Sema movie review: This GV Prakash film has nothing new to offer

Every Tamil commercial film has a set of elements that have now become requisites. First, we need to have a hero, who is a bit of everything. From being a shy person to magically becoming a charmer overnight, our hero can do anything he wants. The film should have a friend (inevitably played by a comedian) who doesn’t have a life for himself. The main objective of this friend is to be funny and listen to the woes of the hero. Next, we need a ‘loose ponnu’ heroine with absolutely no agency. Her job is to look pretty, find insane reasons to fall in love with the hero. I almost forgot, the heroine has another important role to play: smile coyly at the hero and dance with him. A relatively newer addition, thanks to Saranya Ponvannan, now our heroes have a funny, good-natured, innocent mother as well. She gets a few gags too. Depending on the genre of the commercial film, the prominence of these elements differ. An action flick will have more of the hero doing whatever he wants (forget logic) and less of the heroine who will walk in to provide ‘cute moments’. Throw in some romance, a few funny jokes, an action sequence or two if necessary and somehow we are convinced we have a film in hand.

Sema is the latest addition to the innumerable films that are permutations of the above-said elements. Kozhanthai (GV Prakash Kumar) is a vendor who changes his wares according to his whims and fancies. He is the town Romeo (he always seems to be getting the looks) but weirdly, no one is ready to marry him. And he finally meets Maghizhini (Arthana Vijaykumar). They are about to marry when Magizhini’s debt-ridden father changes his mind to choose a wealthier groom. Will Magizhini’s father accept their relationship — that’s the latter of this very novel story.

Just like how Kozhanthai’s character is a bag of contradictions, so is Maghizhini’s. She delivers quite the sermon, saying ‘Women only have the freedom to change their Whatsapp DPs and statuses’. Minutes later, she seems to have decided to fall in love with a guy her father doesn’t approve.

sema movie review Sema stars GV Prakash Kumar, Yogi Babu, Kovai Sarala, Mansoor Ali Khan and Sujatha in pivotal roles.
Sema tries to follow in the footsteps of Naduvula Konjam Pakatha Kanom. NKPK’s humour grows out of its unconventional premise, written with sensibility. Sema, on the other hand, hollows out the premise and reduces it to a caricature. How do you take a film seriously when it doesn’t do the honour itself? Thanks to its treatment, there is nothing new or unconventional about the film.

The film’s sole saving grace comes in the form of Yogi Babu, who seems to be in fine form. The comedian’s brand of humour reminds me of Goundamani, the king of ‘counters’ and repartee. If you look at it objectively, you would notice that the jokes have the potential to offend. They are definitely not politically correct, but the self-deprecation nullifies any iota of outrage. It is impossible to not laugh at Goundamani’s antics. Balloon, Kaali and even the single from Kolamavu Kokila were definitely more enjoyable, thanks to Yogi Babu. His lines seem incredibly spontaneous and he seems to up it during dubbing with added ‘mind-voice dialogues’. Just like how Santhanam was, this is Yogi Babu’s season. Here is to hoping that he finds newer ways to say similar things (something I am struggling to do with my reviews) and make us laugh in the process. And not become a hero as well.

This was first originally published on You can find it here. 

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