Sarvam Thaala Mayam Review
Director Rajiv Menon’s comeback film after 17 years is the musical Sarvam Thaalamayam starring GV Prakash and Aparna Balamurali in lead roles. With AR Rahman’s music serving as the spine of the flick, how visually and musically has this comeback churned out for Rajiv Menon? Read further to find out.
STM as we can shortly call it has GV Prakash playing Peter Johnson, an ardent Vijay fan. The boy who has no big ambition or goal, slowly develops a profound interest towards percussions. He idiolizes Vembu Iyer, played by Nedumudi Venu and somehow wants to learn the art from him. However, the path to become the musician that he dreams to be is not as easy as one would think. Now, STM on one hand deals with the beautiful relationship between a Guru and a Sishyan and on the other hand touches upon caste, politics in the music industry and also brushes upon a reality show which forms an integral part of the film.
The first half is very impressive with the Guru Sishyan relationship being explored in a very mature and convincing manner. As for performances, this is easily one of GV Prakash’s best after Bala’s Naachiyaar and Nedumudi Venu shines as the Mridangam Vidwan. Actor Kumaravel, who plays Peter’s father is at his best and the emotional sequences that have him are a treat to watch. Kumaravel plays Johnson, a man who belongs to the clan that has been among those who make Mridangams and percussions. How someone (Peter) from that clan dreams to break into the music industry in spite of the hurdles and politics forms the rest of the story.
STM also has DD (Divyadarshini) and Vineeth in pivotal roles and both of them deliver good performances. As for Aparna Balamurali’s character, there is not much to do with respect to the core of the film. However, she does not come across as the usual Tamil cinema heroine which serves as a relief to the audiences. There isn’t too much scope for love in this film and the love for music takes center stage in most of the scenes.
Technically, STM is quite sound and has the legendary ARR’s expertise with respect to music. The Sarvam Thalamayam title track is well shot and is pleasing to the eyes. Kudos to the cinematographer Ravi Yadav, for his work is predominantly appreciable.
The first half has a lot of happening moments that creates an interest in the mind of the watcher and it is quite clear that we are in for an emotion driven music based film. But the second half could have had more such moments and one might find it a tad bit draggy due to the lack of high points in expected intervals. The basic idea of the film is to portray how music breaks all the barriers and touches the soul of one and all. However, a section of the audience might feel that the film which is high on concerts, music, practise sessions and a reality show based on music and that the overall engagement factor lurks beneath this.
The second half had a lot of disconnected episodes that seemed to lack a closure. For instance the Dingu Dongu number and the title track were both placed at situations that needed more connect and reasoning. Director Rajiv Menon has stuck to his genre right from the start and the genuinity is definitely there throughout.The reality show portions could have had more fizz and the end though neat, did not seem like a touching, bang on finish.
We very well know that we cannot expect an edge of the seat thriller kind of experience from a soulful film like STM. But what could have made Sarvam Thaalamayam another Rajiv Menon classic was a slight check on the engagement factor and a few more ‘wow’ moments backed up by some scenes with high points to engross the viewer. Nevertheless, with some good performances, sound technical work and an overall neat direction, the soul of Sarvam Thaalamayam is kept intact.
STM is a fairly engrossing film that has its soul kept intact with the beautiful Guru Sishyan relationship which is easily its USP.