It is the classic case of remake-citis. Every remake is bound to be accompanied by side-effects, a round of comparisons. This week seems to be the remake week as the Tamil versions of two major hits from other languages, Kshanam (Telugu) and Ulidavaru Kandante (Richie) are hitting the screens. The biggest advantage I had in watching Sibiraj’s Sathya, the remake of Kshanam, was that I was new to the film. However, after saying that, Sathya is a gripping tale that doesn’t compromise on the narrative keeping you invested till the end. Accompanied by some great music and apt performances, Sathya is a good comeback vehicle for Sibiraj after the tepid Kattapava Kanom.
Sathya (Sibiraj) gets a call from his ex-girlfriend seeking a favour after four years. He travels to India to meet her and finds out that her daughter is missing. Was the girl kidnapped? Did she exist in the first place? These are some of the questions he seeks to find the answer for. The screenplay is gripping, shouldered by Sibiraj. The heavy-bearded look suits the actor; he looks good as the eponymous Sathya and delivers a satisfactory performance, barring a few places where he looks stiff. Varalakshmi is a good addition. After Thara Thappattai, Vikram Vedha, Nibunan and now Sathya, we can safely say that Varalakshmi has become the face of Kollywood’s definition of a ‘bold’ woman. It made me wonder how it would be to see her in a role that (doesn’t show her in a position of strength; something like Ramya Nambeesan’s role in this film. Some food for thought)
Conversational humour in Sathya is on dot, thanks to convincingly natural dialogues. While it is tough to buy Yogi Babu as an NRI corporate employee, it is impossible to not laugh when Sibi says “Enaku nadika varathu” and he responds “Adhan ooruke theriyume!”. Anand Raj’s dialogues are another great example, especially when he goes, “Arai bodhai naaye” in an interrogation scene. The no pretence dialogues aids a tight screenplay that doesn’t let you look away. Sathya’s narrative doesn’t compromise much; it diligently sticks to its objective as thrillers should.
I had liked Simon K King’s feel-good “Vizhiyile” in Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu, but “Yavvana” in Sathya is pure joy. So is grungy “Sangu” sung by the music composer himself. Sathya’s music aids the high-paced drama well and should definitely open up more doors for Simon.
Without the baggage of being a remake, Sathya is a solid thriller. It does all it can to satisfy the expectations of a pair of fresh eyes. The question to ponder upon is how faithful should remakes be. There are two sides to it — why fix something that is already good and on the other hand, if it is good enough why remake it? A discussion for the future, I guess.
This was first originally published on https://indianexpress.com/. You can find it here.