The remake is hilarious only in bits and pieces
Hype around a film doesn’t always equal a good watch. The build-up to the release of Settai, the remake of Bollywood blockbuster Delhi Belly, was huge and the makers hard sold it as a laugh riot.
It isn’t always easy to live up to pre-release expectations and that’s what has happened with Settai. It doesn’t measure up to the original which was a runaway hit. It must be said Delhi Belly had a very different feel to it and it is tough to reproduce that effect.
Settai director Kannan, a protege of Mani Ratnam, has played around with the script to give it a Kollywood flavour. Arya and Santhanam steal a march over the others, including Premgi, while the heroines Anjali and Hansika don’t have much to do, except romance the lead actor and fade away.
Music by Thaman S suits the occasion and a couple of his numbers have caught on pretty well.
The story is set in Mumbai and goes like this: JK (Arya) is a journalist and works for a Tamil newspaper along with Nadupakkam Nakki (Santhanam), a photographer, and Seenu (Premgi), a cartoonist. JK is desperate to be a successful reporter, but is up against an editor who wants sensational stories rather than socially relevant ones.
JK is in love with Madhumita (Hansika Motwani), an airhostess and spoilt brat. Shakti (Anjali) works for an English daily, and has a soft corner for JK.
Meanwhile, Madhumita is used, unwittingly, as a courier by a gang of smugglers, and she asks JK to hand over a parcel containing diamonds to someone. It is a comedy of errors with the bungling Seenu being given the task of handing over the diamonds; he hands over Nakki’s stool sample to a gangster (Nasser) and the diamonds to the lab.
Confusion reigns as the gang wants the diamonds back. The valuable stones are sold by the threesome and what happens later forms the rest of the plot.
The comedy of Santhanam and company, though enjoyable, is rather coarse in places, and may leave some audiences feeling uneasy. Settai doesn’t quite live up to expectations, but is enjoyable in parts.
Reviewed by India Syndicate
**** Very good