Chithirai Sevvaanam review: A clichéd narrative spoils the impact of what could have been a film with a strong message

Chithirai Sevvaanam review: A clichéd narrative spoils the impact of what could have been a film with a strong message

The film strongly makes you recall the basic premise of Drishyam, but then moves on to an entirely different narrative falling back to the cliches

Bobby SingUpdated: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 06:01 AM IST
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Pointing towards a real-life case of sexual assault and exploitation of the victim, Chithirai Sevvaanam is about an MBBS aspirant who goes missing after a sensitive video of her becomes viral. The police inform her father, who then investigates and punishes the criminal on his own.

The film strongly makes you recall the basic premise of Drishyam (Malayalam) but then moves on to an entirely different narrative falling back to the cliches.

Going back and forth in time, the initial moments successfully establish an emotional connection with the viewers. This also remains the best part of the film, focusing on the father-daughter relationship after the sudden demise of the mother. The second half primarily deals with how the father tracks the culprits, including a twist in the end, and that’s where the film falters, becoming routine.

Both Samuthirakani and Pooja Kannan are excellent in their on-screen portrayal. Pooja wins your heart with her sincere, honest smile in a non-glamorous debut appearance, and Samuthirakani brings in many lump-in-the-throat moments playing the helpless father. Rima Kallingal also does well in the role of a concerned police officer, who otherwise doesn’t get any support from the writers.

The film gets its emotions perfectly right but cannot rise above the usual as a thriller because of an ordinary screenplay with many major loopholes and weak characterisations of the supporting cast. As a debut directorial project of Stunt Silva, Chithirai Sevvaanam raises some relevant questions on our society and the way women are treated in the social networking portals in particular. But at the same time, it also comes up with a disturbing visualisation of the sexual assault that ought to be presented differently.

Films made on such important subjects should essentially focus on the serious consequences and the ugly mindset of the culprits, avoiding any normalisation of the ghastly inhuman acts. Sadly, the director tries to raise a voice through the lady police officer in a lacklustre manner, without any transforming impact in her scenes.

In reality, such videos are widely circulated through quick forwards by almost everyone, especially the well-educated youth. Though it should have been the film asking this question, since it doesn’t; therefore I would like to put it in words as the concluding part of the review.

What will you do if your phone displays such a video received from a friend? Will you watch it, share it further, or delete it right away? The decision will simply define your existence as a person and your upbringing because watching and sharing it further is nothing less than being a part of the disgusting act. Give it a thought!

Title: Chithirai Sevvaanam (Tamil)

Cast: Samuthirakani, Pooja Kannan, Rima Kallingal

Director: Stunt Silva

Platform: ZEE5

Rating: 2.5 stars

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