Have you ever been so annoyed that you laugh at everything you see? The laughter is inexplicable and involuntary. For every amazed chuckle that escapes your mouth, your brain asks “why are you laughing, you’re pissed off”. If you have no idea what I am talking about, then I suggest you head to a screen near you and watch Semma Botha Aagathey.
Ramesh (Atharvaa) is nursing a breakup and his friend Nandu (Karunakaran) suggests that he uses the services of a sex worker to get over her. The inebriated hero agrees and invites her to his apartment. But the night takes a turn for the worse and the hero gets involved in an elaborate mess that involves murders, illegal money and a villain whom the hero conveniently uses as a scapegoat. Also, throw in a wannabe kingpin sex-worker and a whiny girlfriend. It is like one of those memes that compare expectations and reality. Your expectation would be Panchathanthiram but the reality is Semma Botha Aagathey.
To add to the extremely ‘novel’ plot, the dialogues in Semma Botha Aagathey are either inane or is a reference to an earlier Kollywood film. Here are some references as to what stands for humour in the film. The ‘heroine’, who by the way is completely unnecessary to the story, is a house surgeon. Nandhu asks, “If you’re a house surgeon, what are you doing at a hospital”. The heroine gets a brilliant retort in “So a carpenter works in a car, is it?.” Hilarious, right? Here’s one more. Nandhu bargains with a truck driver about his charges. The truck driver says 750 and Nandu argues that it’s 350 because seven 50s amounts to 350 right. Slow claps.
To be very honest, not all of Semma Botha Aagathey makes you want to kill someone. But these rare moments are so deeply buried underneath gems similar to the ones I have mentioned above. Karunakaran gets a few funny moments. But it’s agony to watch performers like MS Bhaskar and John Vijay in characters that seem to have been written on a whim. Atharvaa tries his best and gives a fair performance. But the writing is so outrageous that nothing can save this film. If only the film hadn’t taken itself seriously, Thamizh Padam 2 could have had a decent competitor. It is definitely a pity that this is Atharvaa’s first production as well.
Semma Botha Aagathey translates to ‘don’t get too high’. In case you are and you don’t want to be, watch the film. More than anything in the film, I was more surprised that the theatre was almost full on a working Friday afternoon. To take one for the team, at the very least, is a part of my job description. But I wonder how the others must have felt when they walked out of the theatre.