Wednesday, August 27, 2003


"Onnu saamy,
rendu saamy,
moonu saamy,
naalu saamy,
anju saamy,
aaru saamy da naan!"

Saamy rocks... So does Chiyaan. Watch it!

An unconventional treatment of an oft-repeated theme in Indian cinema - Good Cop vs. Bad guys in small town. A saambhar western, if you please! Good cop comes to small town as deputy commissioner. Goes undercover on first day to see what goes on. Pulls up policemen and sets an almost "police-state" like administration in the town. Falls in love with a young girl who acts boldly. Meets bad guys and voila (hitherto unseen previously in similar movies) takes money from them. Turns a blind eye to their activities unless the common man is affected (don't they always suffer because of the anti-social elements, DUH ?). Bad guys are lulled to softness by this unconventional policeman. Bad guy leader thinks this guy is one of them, but his henchmen don’t see what he sees. Finally, bad guy sees reason and uses clout to transfer him to another town. Cop vows to stop him in his tracks within the seven days he has still to serve in that town and proceeds to do it. Finally kills the bad man and burns the body (without anybody else's knowledge) in a brick kiln. His reasoning - Bad guy's death could spawn similar people. Bad guy not dying would endanger his (the policeman's) own family's living. So he kills, but not telling anyone about it and letting the people and the other policemen think the bad guy is absconding and hence deter anyone who would glorify such a "coward". Whatever, this argument seemed much more novel than the others seen so far and Vikram's body language makes him the ideal man to play this tough cop. Final shot of the movie, cop taking a dip in the river (with the setting sun as the background) and coming out of the water topless. Symbolic washing away of all sins.. heh ? And I don't wanna forget this. The good cop actually donates the money he got from the bad guys periodically to various government charities (like the Gujarat Earthquake fund and so on) and actually obtains the receipts for the same in the bad guy's name. And yeah, duly preserves the same in a file as evidence.

Hmm. No role for Trisha except to smile and cry as the scene demands. Same for Vijaykumar except to put senti and die because of the bad guy's bomb. Vivek's socio-centric, priest character spews Subramanya Bharathi's poems in every frame and makes oblique references to every single social issue these days, ranging from Veerappan to the right to basic education and to even the eternal Iyer-Iyengar quarrel. Some more references to the Indian President Dr.Kalam too. We hear that a tape of Vivek's comedy tracks (from this movie too?) was sent to the President who sent a personal letter of congratulations comparing his work to that of NSK and other similar performers of yore. Loud sometimes but full of thought, this Vivek comedy track.

By the way, the statement in the QOTD refers to the fact that Aru Saamy's mother had five stillborn babies before she had him. That line made me laugh every time I heard it on screen.

QOTD: "Porakkum bodhe anju pera konnavan da indha Aaru Saamy" - Vikram as DCP Aaru Saamy in "Saamy" (2003)

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