SCENARIO: You are on an official trip and check out of your hotel at 6:00 pm in order to avoid getting billed for an extra day. Your train leaves at 10:00 pm only. So how would you while away the time when you are in the ‘temple city’, Madurai, renowned for its numerous religious shrines, rich cultural history and of course the illustrious Meenakshi Temple…?
ANSWER: Of course!! You look around for the nearest theatre, get a balcony ticket without bothering about the movie being shown and proceed with bag and baggage to occupy a comfortable back row street, amidst suspicious stares from fellow cine goers (especially when you push one of your bags under the seat!).
So, like all sane people I did the same thing two days back. But I was pleasantly surprised with the fare that I subjected myself to. It was a movie called ‘Boss engira Bhaskaran’. Right from the outset I got this feeling of intimacy with the movie. Never for a moment did it take itself seriously. There was nothing noteworthy about the screenplay, nothing unique about the story (if it had one, as promised by the title slides) and not an ounce of effort seems to have gone into characterization. But these flaws notwithstanding, the movie provided full paisa vasool. The Reason? One man- Santhanam.
It is a fact that for some time now Santhanam has been choosing his movies carefully, making sure that he perfectly fits with the screenplay and the hero. But with Boss… he has transcended even the hero’s role. He hasn’t done anything different from his usual one-liners, intended puns and amazingly timed wisecracks. Still, it comes as a whiff of fresh air. Not a single comic punch of his passes on without evoking a healthy dose of laughter. Especially the repeated utterance of the famous ‘Annamalai’ dialogue- ‘Nanbenda’ has you in splits. The byplay between Santhanam and Rajendran (Remember the terrifying villain of ‘Naan Kadavul’?) is one of the highlights of the otherwise bland and stretched out movie. Though Arya’s Devil-may-care attitude and the breezy sequences involving his pursuit of Nayanthara (is she suffering from marasmus or is that intentional slimming? Because by god, she looks careworn and malnourished) evoke toothy smiles and, at times, gentle laughter, they are nowhere near Santhanam’s instantaneous jibes and hilarious innuendos. Frankly, the only reason I felt rather cheery after coming out of the theatre was because of him.
With his work in Boss… it is only fair to say that Santhanam has slightly grazed the armrest of the ‘timing’ throne, of which the undisputed occupant has always been King ‘Gounder’- the man who gave his all to ‘START MISIC!’