1977 – Movie Review



Starring: Sarathkumar, Namitha, Farzana, Jayasudha, Vivek, RadhaRavi
Banner: Radaan Mediaworks, RSK Pictures (P) Ltd.
Producer: Radikaa Sarathkumar
Story, direction: G.N. Dinesh Kumar
Cinematography: K. Bhupathy
Music: Vidyasagar
Art: GK
Editing: Antony

What’s the story:
It’s pretty interesting, the way the movie opens up.
It is a fishing village somewhere in Tamilnadu and the day’s catch has just come in, ready to be sorted out for the markets.
Contrary to reality, there is much harmony and professional courtesy amongst the fisherfolk and instead of separate piles of catch from each of the fishing charters, all of it lands in consolidated heaps. The reason? The villagers have a system where no one goes unpaid because of a poor catch. Everyone has done their job equally and no one goes hungry.
Enter villain. Threats. Bluff and bluster. Some violence. And amidst it all, a lone figure on a boat out at sea, peaceful and pensive. He returns, even as the baddies look like they are going to disrupt the delicate harmony of the community.
…We won’t give you the details, but the way the villains are quelled is quite interesting!

That, actually, is the USP of 1977 in a nutshell. Formula fare in terms of storyline, glamour and the end to it all, but at every stage, just as you think it’s just another masala movie, it endeavours to take a different tack.

Sarathkumar Sr is respected and revered for his sage-like wisdom, pensive nature and his teachings on how to choose peace and harmony in the community over discord. His son Sakthivel (Sarathkumar Jr) is an acclaimed and adored scientist. His ambition is to bring about developmental changes in the country from the small-community-level upwards, when his father’s sudden and mysterious demise drives him to get to the bottom of the elder’s past. He travels to Malaysia, where he encounters any number of friends and foes. Namitha plays a proficient and steamily hot lawyer; Farzana is the leading lady as a glamorous, driven and lovestruck reporter and Vivek provides the giggles for the duration. Sakthivel is taken by surprise at his father’s eventful past (he had always thought his father to be the serene and un-travelled wise man of his village) and has to take every bull that charges his way by its horns. There are villains galore; their type of evil scheming and plans, a quirky concept. And there is a lot of masala throughout the movie.

Sarath Kumar’s acting has always been good, regardless of the storyline or treatment. In 1977 too, it is the same. Surprisingly, despite the ample female pheromones floating around the film and lots of steamy skin show, he doesn’t come across as a randy newbie. He is quite restrained and pleasant to watch. Of course, it is rare to find a man of his years in the industry taking such good care of his physique as RSK has…

Farzana is a bit much as the scantily clad, righteous and ambitious reporter, but the masses, we hear will definitely love her. She’s done a pretty good job for the canvas she has worked in, so perhaps we will see more of her in Tamil cinema.

Namitha is a bombshell lawyer. Buxom, beautiful and every man’s secret dream, she provides enough glamour for the entire movie. Thankfully, she has a good enough role as a woman with intelligence and a responsible career and is no floozy.

Sandhya Shetty, model and actress from Mumbai, steps in for a sizzling song with Sarath. She’s tall, dusky and quite an eyeful. We hope this is her break to sign up more Southern projects!
Vivek, of course, is Vivek. “Thatthuva comedy” is his style and he lets loose some decent, laugh-worthy lines.

The concept is mildly borrowed from James Bond The World Is Not Enough – watch the movie and you will see why.

What we like about the movie are its very flaws. Debut director Dinesh Kumar, who is also an ad-filmmaker has used his ad-sense and created the racy storyline. He has made no bones or pretensions about what kind of movie it is. It is entertaining, flows pretty well and ends in a feel-good and interesting manner. He has put in the right mixture of formula, some new angles, loads of action, comedy and glamour and has even ended it with a fun candid camera credits stream. A combination, we feel, is far better than movies which harp on about how phenomenally different they are but end up being, as they say in Chennai, “semmai blade”! Good job, director!

Points to ponder:
The music is peppy and in tune with the mood of the movie, but the numbers are not very memorable. The costumes of the three ladies were usually either tight or small or both, but to give the costumer (the director’s wife) her due credit, since the visuals achieved their purpose, this too can be accepted.

Walk into the movie with no expectations for a different script or story. But enjoy the simple and effective pace and manner of the movie. It’s an entertainer all that way.

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