Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Priyanka Mohan, Vinay Rai, Yogi Babu, Ilavarasu, Archana, Zaara, Deepa, Redin Kingsley, Milind Soman, Raghu Ram, Rajiv Lakshman and others
Cinematographer: Vijay Karthik Kannan
Without wasting any time, let me get straight to the point.
Doctor is a masterpiece and director Nelson is a genius!
Don’t even bother wondering if whether this film deserves such lofty praise, because it most certainly does.
Let not its comedy quotient fool you into believing that this is just a simple, straight film aimed at making people only laugh.
Yes, while Doctor makes you roar with laughter at the really good jokes that keep appearing every alternate minute, it also casually and in a kind of non-imposing, charming way, presents to you the real nature of people and the limits of their kindness, compassion, affection and love.
The film works big time and there are a list of reasons for it. But the five prime factors that contribute handsomely to its success are as follows:
Sivakarthikeyan does not seek to hog the limelight.
Quite a few comedian-turned-heroes have always tried to keep the focus on only themselves in their films. As a result, the jokes in their films have fallen flat, resulting in downfall of their films at the box office. Sivakarthikeyan, confident about his space and his skills, smartly avoids this trap and is content to take a backseat in several prime sequences of the film, allowing his co-actors to take centrestage.
Even in the fight sequences, it isn’t a one-man show as we would have often come across in Tamil cinema. Consider a fight sequence in a train for instance. Every character — man and woman– is involved in it. More importantly, the hero’s character Varun stops halfway through the fight and asks the mother of a child that’s been kidnapped, ‘Do you want your child back or not?’, encouraging her and all the others to join in the fight.
At a deeper level, this sequence tries to subtly communicate the fact that women can no longer expect men to do their heavy duty stuff for them, pretending to be fragile and weak. Equality does not arise only when it comes to opportunities. It also means those claiming it must also be ready to carry their own baggage.
Yogi Babu as Prathap, a small-time kidnapper with a good heart and Redin Kingsley as Bhagat, a Friends of Police volunteer who thinks no end of his policing skills, are just outright hilarious through the film and contribute immensely to its success.
A sequence that takes place when Prathap is brought to an interrogation centre along with other possible suspects and what happens next is just hilarious. Doctor’s strength lies in the fact that the film has several such sequences.
Although Yogi Babu and Redin Kingsley are the main contributors when it comes to comedy along with Sivakarthikeyan, they are ably supported by Ilavarasu, Deepa and a whole lot of others including the heroine, Priyanka Mohan. A fine team effort, one must say!
Filmmakers seem to have got the impression that male bashing is women empowerment and have often indulged in misandry, in a bid to please feminists. Nelson’s Doctor does not do that. It does not look to worship women. Rather, every character in it has dignity and self- respect. For instance, the hero’s character does not beg, plead or follow the heroine’s character after she turns down a marriage proposal. Even while offering to help the heroine’s family search for a missing child, the hero makes it clear he is not doing it to impress her or to marry her. He does what he must do, in a duty-conscious, socially responsible, yet dispassionate manner. Bravo Nelson!
Humour and truth go hand-in-hand and anybody who has understood this fact has been able to come up with brilliant comedy sequences. Most times, the truth, when unapologetically told, can make people laugh and Nelson cashes in on this fact. Take the character of the film’s heroine, Padmini, played by Priyanka Mohan, for instance. Padmini claims that she is looking for a person who is emotional, comforting and understanding and that she believes in the power of positivity. You expect her to showcase all of these qualities that she expects in her partner. However, she comes across as being self-centred and oblivious to the pain of others. Her so-called compassion and concern are all limited to only those who have managed to win her affection.
Nelson seems to have acquired a keen eye for detail. He seems to have carefully observed what happens around him and this ability of his has enabled him to see the humourous side of events going unnoticed in a hurried world. It is from these observations that he has developed his script. That combined with dry, sarcastic humour make the film just work wonderfully well.
On the technical front, cameraman Vijay Karthik Kannan’s visuals are a treat to watch. Anirudh’s music is another big plus for the film. In short, this Doctor heals you with laughter. After all, is laughter not the best medicine?