Director Ike comes with a strong background, being the grandson of the legendary M.R. Radha and having assisted Priyadarshan and Kamal Haasan. His ‘Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae’ is the production debut of Atlee and armed with an ensemble cast makes a fairly good debut.
Vasu (Jiiva) is a real estate broker who uses tricks and devious methods to get houses sold with the help of his partner Sooranam (Soori). He himself has the ambition of buying a palatial bungalow for his mother (Radhika). In one of his escapades he meets Shwetha (Sri Divya) and feelings develop between the two. Vasu manages to buy the house of his dreams after spreading rumors that it is haunted for a long time. When the family moves in they are shocked to find Jumbulingam (Thambi Ramaiah) and his wife (Devadarshini) already there who claim that it is their house. The two families temporarily decide to stay together and then bizarre things start to happen which leads to a fun filled, thrilling and sentimental climax.
For an actor of Jiiva’s caliber the character Vasu does not measure up and most of the time he is required to go through the motions. However ‘SBKT’ might just be the break that the talented actor has been waiting for to turn his luck at the box office. Sri Divya does not have much to do here and what is alarming is that she seems to be losing her charm in recent few films. Soori gets a nice role as Sooranam and has played to the gallery delivering laughs at regular intervals and he even has a love track. Watch out for his scene with the playful ghost boy and the washing machine comedy with Devadarshini that bring the house down. Radha Ravi as usual is majestic as the golden hearted zamindar turned terrifying ghost while Thambi Ramaiah is in full form as the bungling Jumbulingam. Able support is provided by Radhika, Devadarshini, Madhumila, Kovai Sarala, Mayilswamy, Ilavarasu and Rajendran.
The big plus of ‘SBKT’ is a mixture of adult and juvenile comedy that work in most of the places. The first half is also packed with thrills as the director keeps on teasing of a ghostly presence and only makes a reveal during the interval.The experience of some veteran actors adds up to the life of the film.
On the downside, a sense of dejavu sets in as its once again a palatial bungalow and ghost routine. In the second half the team probably wanted to give every actor in the film a chance to get scared resulting in tedium for the viewer. The sentimental scenes too are mostly unnecessccesary and are purely functional.
Cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan, editing by T.S. Suresh, music by Vishal Chandrasekhar and art direction by Lalgudi Ilayaraja are the four pillars who elevate the film from an average script. Director Ike has put in a lot of heart into his scenes and his theme of family togetherness runs below the surface throughout the film. Right from the cameos by Jai and Akshara Gowda at the start till the very end he springs many visual surprises that prove his mettle as a filmmaker. But the overall feeling is that the screenplay could have been much better.
Verdict: Open the door and walk in without any hesitation for a fairly good fun time and ignore the sentimental moments.