Single Shankarum Smart Phone Simranum Movie Synopsis: A smart deliveryman named Shankar finds a smartphone with an AI bot built in. As Simran, an AI that interacts with Shankar, falls madly in love with him, trouble ensues.
Cast: Shiva, Megha Akash, Mano, Anju Kurian
Director: Vignesh Sha
Single Shankarum Smart Phone Simranum Movie Review: Have you ever wished to watch a fight between Iron Man and Agila Ulaga Superstar Shiva? Your interest in Single Shankarum Smartphone Simranum (SSSS), which opens with the direct warning, “Don’t look for logic in this film,” will depend on your response. Of then, why bother with superfluous ideas like logic or aim when a very condensed and watered-down version of Spike Jonze’s iconic Her is unfolding on screen? In a movie where even the most inane of lines are saved by Shiva’s caustic humour, he gives his greatest performance as food delivery CEO Shankar. Shiva’s most recent performance, SSSS, albeit one of his better ones, doesn’t do his strengths credit. In contrast to Love Today, a successful short film-to-feature film upgrade, director Vignesh Sha creates a longer version of his own short film, Iphone Siriyum Aynavaram Raviyum. But, SSSS is a mediocre translation.
Shankar develops a relationship with the AI in his phone in this instance as well, just like She did in Her. The filmmakers chose the perspective of a “single” scientist (Sha Ra) who wants to create an AI that would act as his partner in an effort to distance themselves from similarities to Her. This deprives the movie of its subtleties and puts it squarely in the realm of ludicrous comedy, yet it really works for SSSS.
Simran, the AI with a thinking process of her own and the capacity to feel for things, people, and the like, is played by Megha Akash, who does it admirably. It’s an intriguing topic that we also saw addressed in Indian movies, such as our own Enthiran, and it also brings up the jealousy and possessiveness issue. Yet once more, the SSSS filmmakers are out forward about pitching the movie as a comedy and nothing else. SSSS works more often than it doesn’t as long as the jokes are delivered by performers like KPY Bala, Ma Ka Pa Anandh, and of course, Shiva. Yet, when the effort of making the flimsy plot into a feature-length movie begins to show, the movie flatters to fool.
In actuality, it is these embellishments that reduce SSSS’s involvement level. The movie gets off to a rather great start, delivering hit after hit. SSSS nails recognisable but effective beats, whether it is a funny example of “father-zoning” or Shankar advocating for the dignity of labour and his relationship with his single father (a skilled Guy who tries a little too much). It’s an intriguing idea that would have sounded great on paper to make a science fiction movie into a crazy comedy of mistakes in the vein of Sundar C. However there is a lot to be desired about how these many strands are woven into the main story.
Anju Kurian’s Tulsi, a fellow social media celebrity, and Shankar’s romance begin on rocky footing and show signs of promise before finally fizzling out. This also applies to Mano’s “paakaadha kaadhal” with a bank client. There are many murky places in the movie’s romance, and not everything can be overlooked in the name of humour. Nevertheless, it’s also important to realise that the movie isn’t taking itself too seriously. It also helps that a strong Shiva is at the centre of the action, as he ensures that even when the movie veers off course, his charisma and comedic timing keep the audience entertained.
Although we are aware of Simran’s influence in turning Shankar into an overnight phenomenon, this doesn’t come through on screen as a very significant action. There are several flaws that indicate literary errors rather than creative licence used in the movies. A modern-day Aladdin and the Genie may have emerged through SSSS, with the latter being enraged at the pauper-turned-prince and intending to return him to poverty. Even though this is the arc that SSSS follows, it is ineffective in any way. Why use antiquated story devices while discussing such futuristic subjects?
The last act turns out to be overly infantile after tackling several subjects with a surprising level of maturity. There is an overpowering sensation of dissatisfaction when major story issues are hurriedly resolved in the last act. So, when I was leaving SSSS after the last act, in which Simran commandeers the technology in a lecture hall and summons a dinosaur to life, I couldn’t help but smile at the idea of a scientist named Maadhesh who was dressed in jeans.