Run Time – 2 hours 2 mins
Plot – As the title says, Appa is a film which talks about the importance of a good father and also about the schooling of kids. In this sense, it is an extension of Pasanga 2 and Saattai. The story is told through three male kids and their respective fathers. Samuthirakani plays the ideal father, Thambi Ramaiah is the overbearing kind and Namonarayana is the low-key one. Good intentions alone can’t make a good film !
– Samuthirakani’s majestic presence and typically honest performance are the film’s biggest plus points. He is actually typecast in such roles but is undeniably good.
– The kids are all impressive – be it ‘Kaaka Muttai’ Vignesh or the short kid with stunted growth or ‘Amma Kanakku’ Yuva Lakshmi or ‘3’ Gabriela. Vignesh gets a very expressive part, while you root for the short kid instantly. He is cute to the core. Yuva Lakshmi has a bright future ahead thanks to her looks and expressive ways.
– DoP Richard Nathan has filmed this low budget film well, with the required resources. When the action happens outdoors (Neyveli) and in the sea, it is pleasing to the eye.
– Appa is an extremely preachy film and the treatment is really over-the-top and melodramatic. This is a film where subtlety has no place, and Samuthirakani vents it out against private schools, residential schools, private hospitals etc. in a big way. Beyond a point, it is a test of our patience. In the climax, we have a known actor in a cameo role and he takes these preachy lessons to a new high. The ending of the film leaves a sore taste.
– Preethi plays Samuthirakani’s wife and her tantrums and antics are irritating, to put it mildly. Blame it on the writing. The same can also be said of Thambi Ramaiah’s role, even though the actor plays it with distinction as always.
– Ilayaraja’s re-recording is unnecessarily loud in parts but has his vintage sound at places.
Final Word – It is clear that director Samuthirakani wished to raise his voice on parenting and schooling of kids, and made this movie. This is more cinema for delivering messages than cinema for entertainment. Had the film avoided its over-the-top tone and taken a more balanced approach, it could have been a worthy experience.