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Appa Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, June 30, 2016 • Tamil ]
Appa Review
Naadodigal Productions

While entering the movie hall to watch a film directed by Samuthirakani, we can be assured of certain things. There wont be anything that causes insult to anyone. Anything that will make squirm while watching with your parents or children, cannot make its way into his film. What we can be assured of getting from his films is clean entertainment and some good messages for the society. The much expected ‘Appa’ which has released under his direction after a gap of two years follows the same path.
As suggested by the title the film is about the role of a father in his child’s life. Samuthirakani has presented his points by juxtaposing three different kinds of father and their sons and has managed to give a film that can be taken as a good lesson for adults on how to deal with children.
‘Dhayalan (Samuthirakani) is a ideal friendly father who is convinced that scoring high marks in studies is not the only purpose of a child’s life. His definition of a father is one who lets his children think and act independently, unearth and encourage their talents and guide them about the good and bad and inspire them to imbibe good qualities.  Directly opposite to him is Singaperumal (Thambi Ramiah) who is ever dominating and the self appointed decision maker of anything and everything in his son’s life. Nadunilaiyan (Namo Narayana) is so true to his name that he is neither strict nor in a position to support and guide his child.
What happens to the life of the son’s of these three father’s is what the film is all about.
Samuthirkani’s ‘Appa’ carries a lot of appreciable, relevant and much needed messages for the society about parenting or should we say fathering, the present education system, need to shift focus on other talents of children and not see them as mere mark scoring machines etc. The film also aptly raises an alarm against over emphasis on scoring high marks, growing demand for private schools, and certain boarding schools who are given a free hand to make  students score good marks in exams.
But are good messages coming out of good intentions enough to make an engaging film?  Samuthirakani’s previous film  offered a fulfilling movie watching experience, had artistic touches, they were high on entertainment values  apart from conveying messages. ‘Appa’ is not entirely devoid of these elements but they have fallen short of a regular movie goer’s expectations.
‘Appa’ is preachy in many instances but that is not the big problem. The problem is most of the characters over react to situations be it Dhayalan’s wife, his son, the other children and even Dhayalan himself at many instances.People shout, cry loudly or weep profusely for what looks like a minor issue. Such melodramatic instances give a feel of watching a tele-serial. More subtle and nuanced approach could have made wonders.
This does not mean ‘Appa’ does not have subtlety or nuances at all. The adolescent attraction towards the opposite gender and the role of parents with dealing them have been handled brilliantly. This particular segment can be termed as the best take away of ‘Appa’ and the scenes involving a group of adolescents and Samuthirkani also offer good entertainment and laugh moments. Also these scenes convey how the Appa need not be a mere biological father and how a family can emerge without blood relationships.
Having mentioned all the shortcomings, we need to salute Samuthirkani to have preferred to direct and also produce a film like this without any commercial compromise (not even songs) while he is in a position where he can convince a star actor with his story and worked on a commercial biggie. The messages carried in the film make it worth a watch.
Samuthirakani as a good intentioned, friendly father gives yet another matured and no-nonsense performance as an actor. Thambi Ramiah is at his usual best as a dotting father and  leaves a lump on throat towards the climax sequences.  Vignesh (we know  him as the Periya Kaaka Muttai) as Kani’s son  is smart and impressive. Raghav as the son of Thambi Ramiah’s son succeeds in conveying fear and timidness with his eyes itself. The two girls Yuvasri and Gabriella make a mark with their performances with the former getting more screen-space and scope for performance and the young girl has utilised it well. Nasath as the naughty, intelligent and creative child with retarded growth is a scream and his role has been well utilised to for entertainment as well as emotional moments. The other supporting actors have done their part without leaving anything to be complained about.
As usual in Samuthirakani’s films, dialogue is one of the biggest pluses in this film too, but some of them sound like they would have been better if written as text rather than spoken by normal people.

Verdict : ‘Appa’ carries a lot of relevant and much needed messages for parents on how to deal with children and it deserves a watch.

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0


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