Seethakaathi is a story that chronicles the journey of Ayya a legendary stage performer. The film showcases how an artiste and his art are immortal. As he ages, he notices a steep fall in the theatre audience, leading to a financial crunch for him and the other troupe members. Just when he reconsiders films, he dies performing on stage. But his good friend Parasuram notices strange happenings in every play.
Seethakatthi Telugu Movie Review:
Balaji Tharaneetharan’s Seethakaathi is one of those films which presents a unique conundrum. It is a film that needs to be discussed at length, but then, doing so would also reveal its novel conceit, and ruin some of the major surprises it has to offer its audiences.
The film’s protagonist, Ayya Adhimoolam (Vijay Sethupathi) is a veteran of the stage. Acting is his life, and theatre his world. In its first 20 minutes, the film gives us his journey in theatre, from the 1950s till 2013, in a rather straightforward way. We see him performing in various plays across the eras. The content of these plays changes according to their respective eras. In the 1950s, it is mythologicals, like Lava Kusa, but by the 1980s, we get a courtroom drama.
In a unique twist, Ayya, who had refused films all his life, starts ‘acting’ in them. He becomes a superstar, but when Dhanapal (Sunil, an impressive debut), a wily producer and actor, decides to play clever, Ayya ‘disappears’, leaving his friend Parasuraman (Mouli, solid) and family to face one of the bizarre court cases ever.
For its first 40 minutes or so, Seethakaathi plays out more like a melodrama. We get to see the passion that Ayya has for theatre, the camaraderie he shares with his troupe and their high regard for him, the problems in his family, which is mainly monetary because of his steadfast refusal to compromise on his art.