Vijay’s “Saivam” has a lot going for it right from its title, in which the alphabet I is highlighted by a green mark usually used to differentiate between non-vegetarian and vegetarian products. Even though it addresses vegetarianism as a subject, but at heart it’s a family drama filled with superstitions, familial disputes, teenage romance and culturally diverse ideologies.
Without hurting or insulting his audiences with his subject, especially after he begins his film with a tagline that it is dedicated to people who promote vegetarianism, Vijay treads a cautious path and avoids reasons to criticize meat eaters. As a result, “Saivam” doesn’t turn out to be another boring movie urging non-vegetarians to turn into vegetarians in about two hours (shortest Vijay film ever).
Kathiresan (Nasser) is a highly respectable man, but mostly traditional in his ideologies, in his village. Members of his family that includes his children and their children come home after three years for a family function. His house is now full of people; children playing, men casually chit-chatting about their childhood memories and women discussing about cooking. It’s a happy family. A sight Kathiresan always wanted to unfold under one roof. When everyone in the family is enjoying the reunion, a bad omen reminds Kathiresan and his wife of an unfulfilled promise to god - a rooster they had promised to be sacrificed is still alive. When the family finally decides to sacrifice the rooster, it goes missing, much to the amazement of everybody.
Without ever trying to be preachy, Vijay addresses familial issues appropriately. Known for usually working with superstars, Vijay has two heroes in “Saivam” – child artiste Sara and the film’s story. Tagged as a commercial director, he uses humour to entertain us at regular intervals. It’s a film that evokes more laughter even with a host of newcomers and unfamiliar faces.
Vijay also manages to extract best performances from an unknown cast. Although the film is not devoid of clichés, you tend to overlook them for the overall effort. Nasser and Sara are brilliant, while newcomers Baashaa and Twaraa along with some supporting actors chip in with heartwarming performances.view less