SETTAI (2013)

Director: R.Kannan
Casts: Aarya, Santhanam, Prem Ji, Hansika, Anjali, Naasar
Language: Tamil
Genre: Comedy
‘Delhi Belly’ tasted stupendous success, both commercially and critically due to its quirky content  and it’s unfaltering pace. When director R.Kannan, who is famous for his family entertainers, announced to direct the Tamil remake of the film, many eyebrows were raised with shock and partially disbelief. However, Kannan have already made the air clear by initiatively announcing that Settai is made with the Tamil audiences in mind and will not hold the coarse humour the original had. With the main shining factor being seized away from the film, will Settai manage to grip the audiences with its originality?

It all begins when Madhu (Hansika) picks up a mysterious package and sweet-talks her lover JK into delivering it. However his roommate Cheenu (Prem Ji) mistakenly delivers their friend Nakki's (Sanathanam) stool sample (thanks to the devilish Illeana Chicken, which has turned his stool into running water) to the mafia boss (Nasser). Now, with the gang hot on their heels, the three friends, enrol the help of fellow journalist Shakthi (Anjali) to get entangled from this dead not tight on their legs.

Story Screenplay
Certainly, Settai is a diluted version of Delhi Belly, which stood strong with its lewd jokes and sharp double entendres. Kannan have tried his best not to make anyone grouch on their seats by giving a clean comedy with constrained touches of adultery here and there. What made Delhi Belly successful is its bold treatment, which did not even show any form of hesitancy in portraying what it intended. 

Whereas in Settai, director Kannan have ripped away the biggest strength of the main USP of it and replaced it with the ‘Comedy Super Star’ Santhanam who does live up to the hype by delivering his ‘spot on’ one witty liners. Especially he has executed the toilet humour tremendously well, which no doubt will leave everyone in splits. The dialogues by John Mahendren can be regarded as the main strength of the film, which sparkle with freshness (e.g. Taste-a irunthalum, chewing gum-a thuppithaan avanum).

However, these factors are too heavily depended, chucking the other core elements of screenplay such as pacing and sustainability down the drain. The film lacks the fizziness for a comic thriller and seems to be too depended on Sanathanam’s one-liners, which eventually drain out because of the dull pacing. Moreover, songs are being thrown at random patches, which sticks like a sore thumb, literally.

In overall, Settai is bumpy ride.

Casting & Performance
Aarya have made a decent attempt in portraying a stern young man but sub consciously imitates Imran Kahn at parts who essayed the same role in the original. Nevertheless his charming presence is a healthy factor in the film.  Santhanam as usual sustains his form remarkably. However, it’s definitely a threat for Tamil cinema, if all filmmakers start to bank too much on the actor to deliver comedy instead of a creative screenplay.

Even though Prem Ji churn outs only few lines in the film, scores well with his dreaded face expression throughout the film. Hansika with her new toned look fits well with the bimbotic role of Madhu. Anjali on the other end does a decent job with her new fashionable look.

Last but not the least is the versatile veteran, Nassar who outshines many, at certain parts with his villainy-comical rendition of his character. It’s just hard to imagine another character essaying the same role he did so convincingly.

In overall, director Kannan has scored distinction again in collating a well-suited cast like he has done in his previous films.


Cinematographer, P.G.Muthaiah have achieved a rich and classy look especially at the song sequences. Editor Leo John Paul’s editing is fresh, sharp and neat – three main qualities that a comedy film significantly demand.

Costumes by Deepali Noor are chic and trendy which aids in distinctively identifying each character. Thaman’s music is nice to hear but the placements are really hateful. Nevertheless, ‘Edathan Kandute Nee’ track’s visuals are surely a scream.   

Technically Settai can be described as a ‘colourful’ film.

Director Kannan have played safe by delivering a ‘family friendly’ film by self-judging what is culturally right and wrong for Tamil audiences to see, ripping away the glittering adult black comedy which made a predictable story like ‘Delhi Belly’ to shine.

Verdict: Fairly engaging
Rating:  3/5


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