Sivappu Manjal Pachai Movie Review: This simple film lacks finesse, but is still likeable

I have always had a soft corner for films that emphasise the importance of human relationships. It seems that sometimes our protagonists get so caught up saving the world that they forget sometimes to do something more difficult: save their relationships, and in the process, save themselves. In Sivappu Manjal Pachai, the relationship that needs saving is between a street racer, Madhan (GV Prakash), and a traffic cop, Raj (Siddharth). The former breaks road rules on a whim (“Gap-la vandi ottra dhil, mass”), the latter is a steadfast stickler for rules. What I liked about this film is that it isn’t a film about whether the cop can reform the street racer. It’s about something more rooted, more relatable. It’s about whether these two can live as, and I’m not kidding, maaman-machaanSivappu Manjal Pachai is about their relationship beginning as Sivappu, and ending as Pachai. And no, this isn’t a spoiler, because at all times, you know this is where the film is going. It’s a super-predictable film, and its almost bare-to-the-bones simplicity is many times frustrating, sometimes amusing, and occasionally endearing.

The villain, in a sense, is almost imaginary in their relationship. Both think of the other as the bad guy, and for the longest time, aren’t willing to extend an olive branch. The circumstances that cause their strife aren’t written with great nuance, but serve to pit them against each other in an almost rudimentary way. Given the existence of this conflict, it’s anybody’s guess why director Sasi also wrote in a more conventional villain—a murderous drug trafficker (“Avar cancer patient-a ambulance la kadaththala; cancer-aye kadaththaraaru”). He’s a one-note killer with a taste for laughable punchlines. One of them goes, “Enakku savaal vittavan, nenacha madhri vaazhndhadhum kadayadhu, seththadhum kadayadhu.” It’s tempting to reply, “Lol, okay.” (Continued in below link)

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