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Cast: Santhanam, Shanaya, Saurabh Shukla, Karunas
Santhanam, an ace Tamil film comedian who is making a valiant attempt to step into a hero’s role does not seem to be getting there. Not quite. In his latest outing, Rambhala’s comically ghostly Dhilluku Dhuddu -- which is strictly Santhanam’s fourth tryst with ‘heroism’, his last being Inimey Ippadithan -- the actor appears trim, even handsome and his skills are impressive, but he is still hesitant to let go his comic mannerisms. Whether he is taking on ghosts or hammering villains (with flying karate kicks) or kissing his love, Kajal, played by a wooden Shanaya, Santhanam’s Kumar makes these vital moments most un-hero-like by lacing them with funny one-liners.
But of course, Rambhala’s plot itself is more of clowning than horror, the thriller element completely negated by the silliest of wit and strange-looking figures -- which seem to have been dipped into a huge cauldron of white paint and taken out to perform zombie walks. So, one cannot entirely blame Santhanam for his neither-here-nor-there show.
At over two hours, the movie turns into some kind of juvenile romp with a haunted house -- where the rich father (a brilliant artiste Saurab Shukla utterly wasted) of Kajal fixes her marriage with the middleclass Kumar hoping to bump him off there with the help of his henchmen. What the father had not bargained for is the presence of ghosts in the dilapidated bungalow, where the marriage party soon finds doors opening and closing with creaking sounds and hideous-looking women in white kicking the men and women around.
If such a cliche was not enough, Rambhala takes us into the history of the house to say how people there were murdered, their spirits turning evil. Adding to all this spectral hoo-ha are some Tibetan priests transported to the bungalow to try and rid the place of the eerie beings!
In the end, the story seems to be such a mishmash that Santhanam’s role appears trivialised. And his efforts to get out of the comedy costume looks to have been dumped into the dungeons. What a pity!