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Sabhaapathy movie review: Yet another Santhanam film which partly entertains because of the engaging humour

Though Santhanam's antics work this time, too, it's high time he realizes that a completely engaging screenplay is as important as the comedy bits  

Thinkal Menon
Nov 19, 2021
cover image

A still from the film

Story: A jobless youngster who hails from a middle-class family suffers from stammering problems from his childhood. His ambition is to secure a job and get married to his childhood sweetheart. One day, he comes across a suitcase full of money. Little did he know that it belongs to a shrewd politician who has readied it for the upcoming Assembly Election in the state. What will happen to the money? Can he win his love?    

Review: Looks like Santhanam has cracked the formula for delivering decent comedy entertainers. Though he has had a few hits and misses, he seems to be on a winning streak now. After Parris Jeyaraj and Dikkiloona, he seems to have played the right cards with Sabhaapathy.       

Unlike his earlier outings in which he has played more or less same characters with similar body language and histrionics, this time he has decided to attempt something new with regard to his presentation style and has upped the emotional quotient, too. But has it worked big time for him?

Sabhaapathy (Santhanam) is a jobless youngster who is yet to clear his arrear examinations despite finishing his college a few years ago. His life revolves around his family, which includes Ganapathy (MS Bhaskar), a strict father, a mother and a sister. Unlike some of his friends, he is an introvert and has a reason for the same.

He suffers from stammering problem from his childhood and is reluctant in attending interviews and mingling with others. His only ambition is to lead a life with Savitri (Preethi Verma), his childhood sweetheart.

One day, he comes across a mysterious suitcase full of money. He gets to know that it belongs to Lucky Raja (Sayaji Shinde), a shrewd politician who was planning to use it for the upcoming Assembly Election in the state. Sabhaapathy informs Raja that the money the latter is looking for is with him and goes to hand it over to him. 

However, fate had other plans because of which Sabhaapathy lands in trouble. The suitcase gets stolen from his home even as Lucky Raja is after him. Will Sabhaapathy lead a happy life which he aspired for? Will lucky Raja get back his money?

A still from Sabhaapathy

The surprising element in the movie is Santhanam's characterization. He plays a boy-next-door role, something different from his comfort zone where he regularly used to crack jokes by body shaming and indulging in name-calling. Director Srinivasa Rao also tried to explore the emotional angle in the actor, something which was missing in the comedian in him despite him playing the lead. 

Perhaps, for the first time in a Santhanam film, comedy takes a backseat and emotion is allowed to dominate to engage the family viewers. It works only to a certain extent, though. We empathize with Sabhaapathy's situations and root for him, but there is lack of novelty which is evident throughout the film.

MS Bhaskar proves for the umpteenth time that he is a versatile actor who can pull off characters with different dimensions with ease. His scenes with Santhanam after the latter gets drunk is a laugh riot. Unsurprisingly, he also scores in emotional sequences. The female lead Preethi Verma doesn't have much to do except for playing the typical heroine. 

Those who expect Pugazh, Lollusabha Maaran and Lollusabha Swaminathan to bring the house down with their jokes will be disappointed as their screen presence is limited to a few sequences. In fact, the story does not have ample scope for them to perform.

The technical aspects are okayish and other artists aren't bad. Sabhaapathy is another Santhanam film which has him carrying the whole project on his shoulders. Though his antics continue to work among the masses, it's high time he realizes that a completely engaging screenplay is as important as the comedy bits which work in parts. 

Verdict: The film is a harmless watch for those who like Santhanam's style of comedy. Nothing more, nothing less.   

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