Sembi (2022) by Director Prabu Solomon feels familiar, yet different. It was about the now-common story of the sons of people with power and influence committing the gravest of crimes and walking away scot-free. Kovai Sarala, one of the underappreciated actors of Kollywood has given her best, her performance in the action sequences was brilliant. The first half of the film was engaging and realistic, but the long second half was a cinematic take on the public and the justice suddenly turning over a new leaf. Hence, it gets only a Raw rating from Mangoidiots.
The visuals following the tragedy that happened to the young tribal girl, though gruesome, add a level of authenticity that’s common in European films but rarely seen in Indian cinema. The red colour bus named Anbu plays an important role, but in many places reminds us of popular movies like Madras to Pondicherry (1966), Speed (1994) and others. Much of the narration happens inside the bus, at first, it was appropriate but soon becomes tiresome, a quicker background change would’ve made the film more interesting.
I appreciate the writers for the way, Kovai Sarala‘s character as a tribal grandma Veerayi was portrayed. Having lived in the mountains all her life, Veerayi feels united with nature and removed from the urban chaos. Yet she is aware of her rights, has progressive thoughts, and aspirations for her granddaughter and is fearless to take on the mighty. The overhead drone shot of Veerayi removing precisely the honeycomb from a tree branch overlooking a cliff was breathtaking, kudos to the camera work by Gurukailash. Ashwin Kumar Lakshmikanthan has done his role well.
For a film that goes into detail in many areas, the climax happens abruptly and feels sudden. A missed opportunity to incorporate a courtroom battle and to display people’s power.