This is the season of remakes. Latest is the movie Seedan (Disciple), the Tamil version of the Malayalam hit, Nandanam. Sadly, it does nothing to stand on its own feet. Absent of ideas, the film is so formulaic in its plotting and clichéd in its dialogue that within the first fifteen you know exactly where the film's heading. Here, predictability is at its most abysmal.
It's been helmed by Subramaniam Shiva, who earlier directed Thiruda Thirudi and Yogi. Remakes, of course, work best when they've been seamlessly fitted into the language they're being integrated into. Seedan emerges largely a half-baked production.
Mahalakshmi (Ananya) becomes an orphan at her early age and works as a servant-maid in a rich orthodox family. The family members look after her as their own daughter. A deep follower of Lord Murugan, Maha keeps speaking to the God’s portrait now and then. Then comes Mano (Krishna), the heir of the family and Maha is surprised to see him as she already had a dream of marrying him. Off late, they fall in love and Maha believes that it’s God’s design and is later disappointed as Mano’s mother Thangam (Suhasini) finds another girl for him. Dashed down with her hopes, Maha decides to quit praying to Lord Murugan. But then arrives a newly appointed cook Saravanan (Dhanush) and few miracles start happening then.
In theory though, it seems to have plenty of potential and does start out encouragingly. By rights, this should have been a tale filled with suspense, drama and emotion, and the Malayalam version certainly was appealing in its simplicity. The Tamil version, however, has been stripped of the original's essence. Everything is trite, the dialogues mushy and sickly sweet; the emotions are over-drawn and characters simply too well to be true.
The story revolves around Ananya and to give credit where it's due, she does score with her simple good looks. Dhanush, on the other hand, has had a ball. It's only after he arrives, in the second half, that the movie perks up a bit. Jai Krishna looks baby-faced and helpless, most of the time. Sheila has been made to over-act; the rest of the cast hasn't much to do.
Dhina's music barely stays in your memory; even the devotionals songs have no impact. Srinivasan's camera-work is just adequate, while Ram Sudharsan's editing could have been better.
There are elements of the film that aren't worthy of appreciation or criticism due to their insignificance. Seedan spirals downward and falls flat on its face.