There is a pattern that has worked for films like Amar Akbar Anthony (Malayalam) which is creating a lot of funny sequences and ending the story with a topic that hits you hard on an emotional level. Pokkiri Simon from Jijo Antony is somewhat attempting the same thing. But the impact here is not that great and the main reason is the lack of originality of the content.
Simon is the head of one of the fans associations of actor Vijay in Trivandrum. He is this irresponsible youth who always gets scolded by his parents for not having a focus on life. While a lot of other things happen in his life, Simon becomes aware of major criminal mafia that works in the town. His decision to go against these powerful people and how it all goes is the story of Pokkiri Simon.
Well the tagline of the film calls Pokkiri Simon a hardcore fan. Well in order to show his story on screen, what the makers have done is recreating all the formulaic cliché moments of a main stream Tamil cinema in to a Malayalam cinema. Writer Ambadi K has tried to spoof these scenes a little bit to make it look more grounded, but still this is that fan pleaser formula which will be very hard for you to digest if you are someone who doesn’t believe in star worshipping. Watching Pokkiri Simon is pretty much like watching a cliché Vijay film, but on a tight budget. You have comedy, shallow romance, and hero going after unexpected villains and ultimately taking up the responsibility and taking down the baddies. The conflict and main story is in the whole child trafficking episode and the film reaches that point only in the middle of the second half and prior to that there is a whole lot of usual masala.
Jijo Antony who made his debut with an underrated Konthayum Poonoolum and later made Darvinte Parinamam is the director here. It is sad to see a promising talent going after more and more ordinary content. Looking at the script, there is very little for a director to innovate. K Ambadi has made a script that has every element you see in a Vijay film including some of the much talked about scenes. Introduction song is there, hero is single handedly taking down goons, songs are popping out of nowhere, the romance is lame, there is family sentiments and there is social preach. If you are someone who believes that these are the ingredients to make an entertaining cinema, you should watch Pokkiri Simon. I laughed when Nedumudi Venu’s character told the police officer that “legitimate” reason for the fans to worship their hero. After a point the movie doesn’t need Vijay and if you sit and analyze, you can clearly see that the Vijay thing was a tactic to add action masala to a typical ordinary film. The action wasn’t that great. The music was average and Pappinu’s frames also weren’t making an impression.
Sunny Wayne who couldn’t carry the role offered to him in Alamara sort of goes back to his comfort zone of being that lazy guy. But this film demanded a screen presence and elegance in dancing and fighting from him. And I don’t think the actor was able to add that to his portrayal. Just like most of the Vijay films, the heroine Prayaga Rose Martin is just there to get romanced by the hero so that they can have a song. A lot of faces we have seen in Angamaly Diaries have got roles here and those characters aren’t that juicy when compared to what they got in AD. Sarath Kumar and Jacob Gregory have done the roles of Simon’s friends. Out of the elaborate cast that has names like Nedumudi Venu, Ashokan, Saiju Kuruppu, Shammy Thilakan, Marshal Tito Wilson, Anjali Nair and many others the only performance that impressed me was the CI played by Dileesh Pothan.
Pokkiri Simon has moments of the fan’s life in some points of its narrative. But the film is apparently that beta version of an over the top Vijay movie which will look like a passable entertainer only if you are that diehard fan who will pour milk on the superstar’s cut out on the day of release.
Pokkiri Simon is apparently that beta version of an over the top Vijay movie which will look like a passable entertainer only if you are that diehard fan.