Sattam Oru Iruttarai (English: The Law is a Dark Room) is a 2012 Tamil film directed by Sneha Britto, which is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name by S. A. Chandrasekhar. The film stars Thaman Kumar and Bindu Madhavi while Reemma Sen and Piaa Bajpai amongst others play supporting roles.
The film stars Taman who recently made his first on screen appearance in a film titled Aachariyangal. Unlike his first film, his role in SOI demands an all-round commercial performance such as action, comedy, romance, drama and dance. One must say that he’s fairly adequate. The intensity that he displayed in the flashback jail scene is an indicator of the young man’s acting skill but it was found wanting for more in other places. Reema Sen plays the role of a cop and displays the authority of a police officer and that of an older sibling quite well. The two heroines in the movie Bindhu Madhavi and Pia Bajpai have very little scope for performance but they make their presence felt with every given opportunity apart from being relegated as just eye candy. Bindhu especially displays good dancing skills in a couple of songs.
One of the key areas where the film shows deficiency is in character development. There are several characters in the film whose roles haven’t been etched out comprehensively. There are quite a few scenes where Taman is in the company of his friends, nearly 7-8 of them, out of which only 2-3 have anything to contribute. The others seemed to be just assigned to fill screen space. Erode Mahesh, stand-up comedian making his silver screen debut, is one of the friends who has the major role as the one providing comic-relief which turns out to be a bit of a hit and miss.
The encounters between Taman and Pia Bajpai post the interval present itself as being juvenile and it results in hampering the audience’s connection with their upcoming romance. The other problem that SOI faces is that, just as in the case of law itself, the film too has several logical loopholes. While the protagonist is shown to commit the perfect murder, it’s only at the expense of the police force’s nearsightedness, which may be convenient for the narrative but hard to comprehend in real life. Also, why are the police focused only on a confessional when there are other methods available to prove the guilty? These are elements that indicate that SOI is lost in time in terms of its concept.
C.J. Rajkumar’s camerawork is adept as he’s employed the handheld method to bring out the intensity of the scenes. He has also ensured that songs are picturized with the same color and vibe of Vijay Antony’s music.
Sneha Britto has many years ahead of her and should treat this as an opportunity that not many are provided with. Unfortunately for her SOI is a script that was successful during a period where family melodrama ruled the roost but now the audience has moved on to a different era, one that she should look to be a part of.
Directed by Sneha Britto
Produced by Vimala Rani
Written by S. A. Chandrasekhar
Starring Thaman Kumar, Bindu Madhavi, Piaa Bajpai, Reemma Sen
Music by Vijay Antony
Cinematography C. J. Rajkumar
Edited by M R Rejeesh
Production Esthell Entertainers
Release dates 21 December 2012