Doing double role is always a delight for actors. From the days of MGR to Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan till the contemporary heroes, the craze to play two characters in one film is immense.
Joining the list is Jeeva with ‘Singam Puli’. As the title suggests, it is the tale of a ferocious battle between brothers (both played by Jeeva). Obviously it has to be between the good and the bad.
Debutant director Sai Ramani seems to have been inspired heavily by the likes of ‘Vaali’ and ‘Azhagiya Thamizh Magan’ and laced it up with few moments from ‘Manmadha Leelai’ to render a commercial cocktail in ‘Singam Puli’.
Jeeva who has a penchant to try his hands at different themes in Tamil cinema has gathered guts to do a double role. He has taken the task on his shoulders and gives a matured performance.
The actor manages to bring out the subtle differences between the two roles with consummate ease. Especially as the lusty younger brother Ashok, Jeeva impresses. Then there is Divya Spandhana, Santhanam and Ponvannan among others to give him company.
Siva (Jeeva) sells fish in a market, while his younger brother Ashok (Jeeva) is an advocate. The elder brother is honest and straight-forward while the younger one is a spoilt brat, pampered by their parents Vedachalam (Ponvannan) and Muthulakshmi (Kuyili).
The parents believe Ashok is sincere and obedient and always chides Siva. As it happens, Ashok in the company of friends including Bujji Babu (Santhanam) spends his time loitering behind girls.
He is a Romeo in the sense he manages to pull to the bed all women he comes across. Then there is Swetha (Divay Spandhana) who is in love with Siva. As it happens Ashok in the pretext of love spoils the life of one Gayathri (Soundarya). She eventually dies.
Coming to know that his brother is behind the crime, Siva goes to court but could not prove that he is guilty. Now a game begins between the two. Who emerges triumphant forms the climax.
Jeeva has done his part well. He is there giving his best in every frame. He is honest and straightforward as Siva while brings the right variation as Ashok.
Divya Spandhana appears briefly and has a song with Jiiva. Soundarya tries to fit in the role with great difficulty. Santhanam is entertaining in parts. But his double meaning dialogues could have been avoided.
Mani Sharma disappoints with his muical score. They are loud and forgettable. Balasubrmanaiam’s camera is soft. The major lacunae in the movie is its length. The second half is too draggy and needs an urgent trimming.
Then there are many scenes towards the climax that are too predictable. Also songs put a brake on the movie’s progress. Produced by S Parthi and S S Vasan, ‘Singam Puli’ gives one a deja vu feel.