SI III sees Duraisingam (Suriya) looking into the murder of a Police Commissioner in Vizag. His investigation ultimately uncovers a bigger and more sinister conspiracy of e-waste and medi-waste from Australia being dumped in India. While director Hari makes sure the film moves at breakneck speed with its fair share of high octane action set pieces following one another and Suriya is all fury with eyes blazing, he fails to lift the otherwise pedestrian film.
Singam II killed the one thing that make the original Singam somewhat interesting – the human side of Duraisingam, the reluctant but extremely capable cop who had his share of low moments and insecurities. With the second installment, he much too easily became a too-good-to-be-true super cop who became larger than life and went about thrashing the baddies without a hair going out of place. SI III continues in this vein and makes him a ‘universal cop, very, very sharp’. Hari throws in as much as he can into this convoluted potboiler where in making his hero the ultimate superman, logic and credibility take a huge beating. The film also produces a fair number of truly gobsmacking moments like that with the Aussie cops or Duraisingam now easily overtaking galloping horses and fast moving vehicles with his sprinting ability.
The films mixes all it can – Tamizh pride, jingoism and patriotism – as it paints its hero the sole savior of not just Tamil Nadu, but Andhra Pradesh and the entire Nation as well. As he says, he is an Indian police officer after all. On the plus side, Hari does mix in some relevant contemporary issues like dealing with the dumping of e-waste and medi-waste from developed countries elsewhere and even brings in specific nods to Swachh Bharat for some whistle inducing dialogue but ensures that all of it sits within the ’80s template of the superhero film and its archaic moralities, especially with its women characters. What’s more, though he understands just how long (or short) to keep a scene to get its point across, and keeps the story going at a bloody good pace with the odd punch dialogue, the narrative flow is highly unimaginative and totally predictable on every level. This lets the film down big time especially in its sequences dealing with the necessary evils of mainstream Tamil cinema. So we have some unfunny and annoying comedy sequences with Soori and rather insipid songs, both working as terrible speed breakers in the film . Even the use of VFX (morphing of the lion on Duraisingam) is used to give the film a tacky ’80s feel rather then a smart, contemporary update. And of course, in a film like this there is much we have to take for granted and not question. So what if a Tamil cop is called to Andhra Pradesh to help solve a murder and everyone in the Telugu state speaks Tamil as if it’s the most natural thing in the world? One disclaimer and all iz well!
The one big saving grace in the film is expectedly Suriya. He has made the role of Duraisingam his own and responds with a typically smoldering performance using his fiery eyes to great effect. Rising above the script, he gives the film much of its energetic flow though his screaming and increasingly illogical action scenes are difficult to digest at times. The few times the film actually focuses on his tender, human side, he is in fine form as usual. In fact, his scenes with Anushka, now his wife, like in the previous installment, have their moments and you wish there was more of her in the film. However, Anushka has let herself go pretty chubby and does not cut a good figure in the short dresses she is made to wear in her song sequence with Suriya. Shruti Haasan, sadly, has a longer role than Anushka and plays the stereotypical brainless and utterly stupid Tamil heroine as awfully as ever. But the biggest let down in the film is its treatment of the villain thereby diluting Duraisingam’s victory. Tamil cinema inexplicably fails to understand the need to have a strong antagonist to make the hero that much more powerful. Thakur Anoop Singh, for all his six pack body, makes for a rather weak adversary who is outwitted by Duraisingam predictably at every step. Rest of the cast, be it Nasser or Radha Ravi, are totally wasted and used for basic continuity of the franchise and little else. Still, one appreciates the special nod given to Manorama and including her death in the film. In that sense, one has to commend Hari for going back to the previous films to provide closure wherever needed.
The technicalities are not much to write about. The dizzying camerawork (Priyan) irritates while the songs (Harris Jayaraj) are very average and are further brought down by some woeful picturizations and substandard choreography, especially Neetu Chandra’s so called item number. The sound design is loud and obvious as is the editing and the less said about the background score the better.
The Singam series has been an extremely successful one so far and Hari (naturally) keeps an open ending here for a fourth installment to follow. But what is clearly becoming apparent with each film is that the franchise needs an overall rehaul to stop it from going stale. So, if there are to be more follow ups to the Duraisingam saga, one only hopes it happens sooner rather than later. For now, this one is a big disappointment, Suriya notwithstanding.
Tamil, Action, Drama, Color