The trailer of the new pow-wow-dishoom-dishoom Tamil Vikram starrer Saami Square(this is their way of telling us it is a sequel) throws forward a disturbing patriarchal arrogance as Vikram who is known to experiment with various kinds of roles, runs amok with his machismo.
Never has this solid Tamil actor with a slew of prized performances to his credit, been seen to be so blatantly and crudely heroic in the most basic cinematic sense. Rippling muscles, flaring nostrils, blaring dialogues… Playing a cop he snarls, he swears, he beats up his adversaries, and most macho of all, he treats his lady love like trash. This is Salman Khan’s Dabangg territory being invaded by the redoubtable Vikram. And the prime casualty of Vikram overweening machismo is the leading-lady Keerty Suresh .Just the other day gorgeous lady held centrestage in Mahanati. Now here in her first post-Mahanati release she is content being the secondary interest, the glamour prop, so to speak.
This is truly unfortunate. It just shows that the patriarchal mindset runs dangerously deep in Indian cinema. In Bollywood the female hero may rule in Raazi and Veere Di Wedding. But the kind of build-up and welcome given to Salman Khan in Race 3 is unequalled by anything the ladies can do. One can see Vikram , a fine actor with a penchant for nuanced character construction, struggling to appear larger than life in Saami Square (not to be confused with Saami Circle) . He screams for attention in bare-chested glory barely giving the other actors a chance to have a word edgewise.
The worst casualty is Keerty, whom the audiences expect to see a lot more of after Mahanati than what Saami Square(what kind of a title is that?) is likely to offer. This is not what we expect from her. Or for that matter from Vikram whom we have come to associate with quality cinema in Tamil. Watch the trailer:
Funny, what the pursuit of success can do even to the successful.