Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Naai Sekar Returns - No bark, no bite

Article Author: 




Vadivelu makes the grand return to Tamil cinema following his two year ban with ‘Naai Sekar Returns’, director Suraj’s latest effort. The film is a spin-off of the Naai Sekar character who appeared in the director’s 2006 film ‘Thalai Nagaram.’ Vadivelu saw success leading the 2006 historical-comedy film ‘Imsai Arasan 23rd Pulikesi’ and has struggled to see similar success in later films as protagonist. Over the decades Vadivelu has spent in the Tamil industry, he has become the literal punching bag of the comedic subplot world. He has a face and personality that immediately elicits laughter from the audience. Before Vadivelu’s entrance in the film, a montage of his greatest hits was shown, which evoked a feeling of awe and admiration for the impact he has had on the industry, and the longevity of his career. Unfortunately, ‘Naai Sekar Returns’ is not quite the return to form Vadivelu may have anticipated. 

The plot follows an ambitious dognapper with a ragtag group of accomplices. The first half of the film sees them plan and execute largely unsuccessful attempts at making money by extorting money from wealthy dog owners, before planning the ultimate heist involving a ‘lucky’ dog previously owned by Naai Sekar’s parents. The two most popular templates for creating a solid comedy film is either to create an engaging plot with comedy written in or to conjure a series of comedic sketches and tie them together with a plot later on. ‘Naai Sekar Returns’ seems to have gone with the latter route, as the plot is not engaging at all. The comedy, on the other hand, is unfortunately a lot more miss than hit. 

What was missing most in the film was Vadivelu’s comedic physicality. One cannot help but wonder whether it is age or if he has become rusty from not acting in films regularly. The visuals are uninteresting. There are attempts to make the film more visually striking, with pop-art/comic book style freeze frames and character name and descriptions, but these do not fit in with the rest of the film’s aesthetics. The only aspect of the film which is equally quirky to the freeze frames are Vadivelu’s costumes. 

The soundtrack by Santhosh Narayanan accompanies the film well. Having tread in a similar concept with 2013’s ‘Soodhu Kavvum’, there is a constant comparison to his earlier work. The closing track ‘Appatha’ is a catchy number, but runs the risk of becoming a novelty song. 

Overall, ‘Naai Sekar Returns’ is an underwhelming effort and not the re-entry into Tamil cinema a comedic legend like Vadivelu deserves. I would recommend ‘Soodhu Kavvum’ instead, also a film about kidnapping. 

Krishna's rating: 2 stars


Official trailer for film below. 


We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.