I must admit that the teaser and trailer of the movie Voice of Sathyanathan were extremely underwhelming as they had the notions of the movie being outdated. But thanks to those promo materials that kept the expectations low, this Raffi film starring Dileep as the central character Sathyanathan felt much better than it made us anticipate. With a reasonably okay story backed by Raffi’s signature humor and glimpses of vintage Dileep, Voice of Sathyanathan is a watchable entertainer.
SPOILER ALERT! Sathyanathan, a furniture business guy who lives with his wife, is our central character. He is trying to figure out how to resolve his issue with his neighbor to have a way to his house. But his usual slip of the tongue causes problems for him, and he gets arrested as police find out that he has threatened the Indian President. How this jail term and the consequences of that change the life of Sathyanathan is what we see in Voice of Sathyanathan.
There have been debates about how we lack out-and-out comedy entertainers like the ones Raffi, Benny P Nairambalam, etc., used to write a few years back. The effort of Voice of Sathyanathan is to recreate something similar to that. And in terms of finding a funny plot that remains the central focus till the end, I would say Voice of Sathyanathan has succeeded to an extent. The second half of the movie, which wants to blend two tracks that came into the life of Sathyanathan, is a bumpy phase in the film as they try to balance emotions and over-the-top comedy in the same space.
As the titular character Sathyanathan, Dileep was fine in those humorous portions. You could see him finding that lost rhythm in pulling off comedy. When it comes to emotional sequences, he is struggling. When you have Joju George portraying the emotional bits so effortlessly in the same frame, Dileep’s lack of subtlety kind of becomes evident. Sidhique as the annoying neighbor, was the quintessential Raffi character, offering many laugh-out-loud moments. Veena Nandakumar as Sathyanathan’s better half, Susan, was fine. Vikram fame Jaffer Sadique, with his swagger, makes a good impression. Makarand Deshpandey’s character was a bit too comical.
As I said, the good thing about the plot is that it does not develop into something entirely different from where it began. Sathyanathan’s tongue slip issues and the whole President chapter are not mere comedy sidetracks that they created to put him in jail for the movie to move forward. The Mumbai detour of the script that was kind of essential for the Balan backstory was the weak link of the script, and the thrills and suspense around that just didn’t land smoothly. With an overdose of national-level “goodness” in the climax, the ambitions are a bit too much.
If you are a massive fan of a movie like Two Countries, which Raffi wrote, I would say Voice of Sathyanathan’s humor pitch wont be much of a problem for you. I am someone who was okay with that Shafi film, and for me, Voice of Sathyanathan was a passable one-time watch. By the way, the Janapriyanayakan Whitewashing is happening with impressive subtlety, and I think future collaborators should take note of that.
With a reasonably okay story backed by Raffi's signature humor and glimpses of vintage Dileep, Voice of Sathyanathan is a watchable entertainer.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended