‘Prince,’ starring Sivakarthikeyan, has a few amusing stretches and some great dance moves, but not much else.
A British woman is sitting in a Tamil home, speaking with the man who could be her future father-in-law. Ulaganathan (Sathyaraj) tells Jessica (played by Maria Riaboshapka) that he knows everything and that she can ask him any questions she has, especially about the Tamil language.
Anbu’s (Sivakarthikeyan’s) phone rings at that precise moment. What about the ringtone? ‘Gumuru Tupuru’ is a song from Sivakarthikeyan’s previous hit, Namma Veetu Pillai. Jessica inquires of Ulaganathan what this means, and…
Prince is a compilation of such’jokes.’ That’s a no-no. It has two or three funny lines, most of which have already been packaged in the trailer, but the irreverent laugh riot promised in promotional interviews appears to have vanished.
Anbu is set in a village near Pondicherry, but the setting is fictitious; it’s a place where everyone is simple and irreverent. A high school student writes a love letter based on a subtitle text he saw once. A vegetable vendor boasts that he knows what a bottle gourd is, but he doesn’t. Then there’s our protagonist, who writes and signs a letter promising his father that he will only marry outside his caste. All of these are good ideas on paper, but when they are translated into actual scenes on screen, the silliness doesn’t hit you as hard as it should.
Anudeep KV, who previously gave us the Telugu hit Jathi Ratnalu, has a unique sense of humour when writing. The jokes aren’t intended to pull someone’s leg, as is customary. They’re just simple, silly lines that are mostly taken out of context, which is supposed to be its selling point. However, his Prince comes across as a collection of jokes from a comedy series.
The main plot revolves around Anbu’s feelings for Jessica, but there is no emotional investment there. The love scenes barely work; they veer dangerously close to humour. Maria Riaboshapka’s scenes are passable, and her dance moves in a song show promise, but the romantic track lacks substance. As usual, Sathyaraj commands the stage, but Premgi Amaren fails to make an impression. Coming off the success of Doctor and Don, this is a film Sivakarthikeyan could have made in his sleep. It makes no use of his newfound confidence or skills, instead focusing on his standard repertoire of funny expressions and counter-dialogue.
It does, however, focus on his dancing abilities, which have progressed significantly since his early days in the film industry. Watch his feet dart quickly in the catchy ‘Jessica’ song (music by Thaman) or the fast moves in ‘Bimbilikki Pilapi.’ What exactly is ‘Bimbilikki Pilapi’? That’s most likely for Prince 2, a film we hope never gets made.