Singapore Saloon Review: RJ Balaji’s Comic Mastery Tested

Singpore Saloon review

Gokul, the writer and director of Singapore Saloon, has crafted a film with impressive character arcs and casting choices, featuring talents like Sathyaraj and YG Mahendran. However, the same level of praise cannot be extended to the plot.

The film has many commendable aspects, including attention to detail with various film posters, spot-on casting, memorable dialogue echoes, character relationship establishment, touches of magical realism, and Gokul’s skill in weaving fine stretches of comedy. Unfortunately, in the second half, the film takes a melodramatic turn with high stakes and predictable solutions.

The story revolves around childhood friends Kathir (RJ Balaji) and Basheer (Kishen Das), whose admiration for a village barber, Chacha (Lal), sparks their interest in hairstyling. Despite the film occasionally deviating into seemingly unrelated scenes, the humor keeps the audience engaged.

The narrative gradually draws the audience into the characters’ world, making unexpected plot developments feel natural. The combination of Sathyaraj, Robo Shankar, RJ Balaji, and Kishen Das provides entertaining moments, particularly in the pre-interval stretch. Family dynamics, emotional realizations, and comedic elements blend seamlessly.

However, the film loses its charm as it shifts from small dreams and joys to more significant issues. The genre shift itself isn’t problematic, but the convenient and contrived resolutions to Kathir’s problems detract from the authenticity. The introduction of magical realism brings a smile, but certain contrived situations, like a sudden labor scene, feel emotionally forced.

The film’s deviation from the personal to commercial means in portraying Kathir’s journey towards success diminishes the emotional impact. Despite achieving his big dreams, the audience may find themselves less elated than expected.

In conclusion, Singapore Saloon excels in humor and character dynamics, but its shift in tone and reliance on conventional storytelling dampen the overall viewing experience. The film, much like a good hairstyle, falls short of creating the anticipated excitement.