Synopsis: Sakthi is in love with Anjali but marries city girl Divya because his father has given his word to her dad. But Divya is least interested in making the marriage work and wants a divorce...
Review: Sakalakala Vallavan, like its namesake — the 1982 Kamal Haasan-starrer — is about a villager who tames a city girl. But while that film, despite its outdated and sexist outlook, managed to be entertaining, this one is exasperating from start to finish. Sakthi (Jayam Ravi), the son of a local politician, falls in love with Anjali (an overweight, scantily-dressed Anjali), the moraponnu of Chinnabuthi (Soori, trying to imitate Vadivelu from Winner but simply not possessing the body language to make the role funny), who is constantly at loggerheads with him. But circumstances force Sakthi to marry Divya (a tired-looking Trisha), a city girl, because his father (Prabhu) asks him to. However, all that Divya wants from him is a divorce.
This is a formulaic plot, yes, but what makes it intolerable is how lazily everything is done here. The film wants to be a comedy and it thinks that you can make anything funny if you can gives the audiences a scene that is a reference of an already popular scene. So, we get an endless stream of movie references (from Mouna Ragam to SIngam) in the way of dialogues, character names and background music. It also tries to show that it is self-aware by telling us every time the characters are about to break out into a song, but instead of being cute, this only reiterates the staleness of the formula. Even the stunt choreography is cliched — a shot of a bus blown up, the fighters falling onto the various props, hero clenching his fist and so on.
And if there is no reference to trot out, it turns horribly sexist — making fun of domestic abuse (slapping the wife as a means of keeping her under the husband's control), domestic rape (the hero is so enraged that the heroine doesn't want to sleep with him, that he tells he will rape her), molestation (the hero falling on top of heroines portrayed as romance)... Well, you get the drift.
Then, there is the inconsistent characterization — a modern girl, who calls herself "independent", agrees to marry a guy whom she isn't interested in without raising even the merest hint of disapproval, a father who has forced his son to marry a girl he isn't in love with tells the couple they should make their own decisions, a guy who does everything to make his father stand tall helping an opponent win (and make his dad lose)... There is also the final act, which is sponsored by so many advertisers but has really nothing to engage us and still continues to go on and on even after the climax is over.
Sakalakala Vallavan is so abominable — a blot in the career of everyone involved in making it — that it makes us question its very existence and how it even came to be made. If you could classify it under a genre, this would be the 'What were they even thinking' movie. After sitting through the two-and-a-half interminable hours, it is the only question that we want an answer for from the people behind it. What was the director thinking when he came up with this 'script'? What were the producers thinking when they decided to fund this? What were the actors thinking when they signed on for this? In fact, we even begin to question ourselves — what was I even thinking to have decided to see this?