This is director Sasikumar’s maiden venture. He has deviated from the clichéd plot and relied on realism. Films like this come as a whiff of fresh air when Tamil cinema has become synonymous with commercial ‘tamasha’ which is worse than ‘masala’. “Subramaniyapuram” is a slick package with full of fun and suspense.

The young Sasikumar, who worked under directors Bala and Ameer, has made a brave attempt to be different. His choice of the cast and the techniques adopted distinguish him as a director with skill and talent.

The story set in the 80s takes place in a hamlet near Madurai. The plot revolves around a group of friends and how love affects their friendship. Jai of “Chennai-600028” fame is once again in the spotlight. Debutant Swathi plays the female lead.

Five youngsters (Jai, Sasikumar, Ganja Karuppu, Vichithran and Mari) are fun-loving, care-free friends. Prominent among them are Azhagar (Jai), Paraman (director Sasikumar) and Kasi (Ganja Karuppu). It has become routine for these youngsters to commit petty thefts, indulge in brawls and land in police stations. Whenever they are in trouble with the law enforcing authorities they are helped out by their neighbour, Kanagu (director Samudrakani). Disregarding Paraman’s counseling, Azhagar falls in love with Thulasi (Swathi) who is the daughter of Kanagu’s elder brother, a political bigwig and former councilor of Subramaniyapuram. The bigwig’s hope of becoming the district secretary of a political party is dashed when the post is given to another person. It is a loss of face for him and no one respects him. Upset by this, his brother Kanagu exploits the Thulasi sentiment to persuade Azhagar, Paraman and Kasi to kill the new party leader. They do carry out the job believing that they would be bailed out by Kanagu but are let down. They manage to come out of the jail on their own and set out to eliminate Kanagu. In their pursuit of vengeance, they get sucked into the vortex. With many surprise twists and turns, the film ends with a fitting climax.

The audience is transported to the 80s when the step-cutting, bell-bottoms and big collars were in vogue. Even the vehicles used belonged to that period. Every scene in the first half of the film is given a realistic touch. The storyline is so captivating that the director can do without big names in the cast. There is neither a hero nor a heroine. All the characters are well etched and give a good performance. Jai and Sasi particularly impress with their expressions of emotion, pathos, body language and dialogue delivery in Madurai Tamil. Ganja Karuppu deserves special mention. He does a character role which marks him out as an actor and not merely a comedian.

Swathi, though a new face, shows great promise. In ‘pavadai’ and ‘thavanai’ (half sari) she looks a typical Madurai girl of the 80s. She gives a realistic portrayal of her character.

Samudrakani, a director himself, depicts the role of villain with finesse. Music director James Vasanth also is new to film music. He has been doing television anchoring for 15 years. His passion for music is evident in this film. Retro effect cinematography by Kadhir and art work by Rambone is excellent.

“Subramaniyapuram” is a film which deserves appreciation for it is rooted in realism.

Cast: Jay, Swathi, Sasikumar, Ganja Karuppu, Samuthirakani
Director: Sasi Kumar
Cinematography: Kadhir

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