Hey Sinamika borrows the title from a song in Mani Ratnam’s Oh Kadhal! Kanmani. But just as you complete watching the film, it simply reminds you of Mani Ratnam’s Katru Veliyidai, with gender roles of the leads reversed.
The story of the complicated love triangle is written by famous Tamil lyricist Madhan Karky, and it stars Dulquer Salmaan, Aditi Rao Hydari and Kajal Aggarwal. The film is directed by choreographer-turned-director Brinda and the music is composed by Govind Vasantha.
The movie opens with Yaazhan (Dulquer) and Mauna (Aditi) sitting at a beach side restaurant, that's hit by a storm immediately after they share a glance of love. It's a brilliant metaphor to set the context of what follows in their relationship.
They soon exchange poetic pick-up lines and get married at the end of the first song. Even before you realise that the first song is over, comes the second, then the third and subsequently many more throughout the movie. We are constantly reminded that the film is reputed choreographer Brinda’s directorial debut through song and dance sequences at regular intervals. They are good but just too many.
Coming back to the story, Yaazhan is a happy house husband who loves to cook healthy meals with produce from his backyard garden and is a chatterbox, living life one moment at a time, expressing his true self. Mauna, on the other hand, is an angry young woman who feels her personal boundaries are being violated by her clingy husband. To end this suffocating marriage, Mauna hunts for a “less painful” way to divorce her husband because she believes he is a good guy after all. And how does this happen? Experts would have told her to have a conversation like an adult with Yaazhan, but Mauna has some other idea altogether. She chooses to hire a psychologist Malarvizhi (Kajal) to seduce her “nice husband” and use it as an excuse to walk out from the marriage. At that moment I only wanted to ask her - dear Mauna, why did you devise a divorce strategy that actually pins the blames on him if you genuinely don’t want to hurt Yaazhan?
Every character in the film is well-defined, yet the reasoning for their behaviours is still a mystery. For instance, Mauna hates Yaazhan for being clingy and talkative and she is ready to go to any length to divorce him, but she suddenly wants him back when Malarvizhi is half way through her assignment that Mauna herself had requested.
While the answer to why Mauna hates her husband has been clearly established, there aren't enough reasons presented as to why she wants him back. The storyline then gets predictable, with Malarvizhi developing feelings for Yaazhan and the film falls under the typical template of how the two women start fighting over a man. What happens next? Who will Yaazhan choose at the end? You will have to watch the movie to know it.
'Hey Sinamika' aspires to be funny and sensitive while being mediocre at both. For instance, there is a scene where Yaazhan schools a bully during a function, who mocks him for wearing his wife’s clothes. Just when you finish saying, “Wow, that was amazing!”, a few scenes later Malarvizhi asks Mauna, “Is Yaazhan gay?” as an insulting joke.
Though the screenplay tries to repeatedly make you feel lost, the aesthetic beauty of the shots in the film pull you back to sit through it. The colour palettes used are a treat to the eyes. Kudos to cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman, art directors SS Moorthy and Senthil Raghavan, costume designers Archa Mehta and Khushbu Banerjee for this visual treat.
One of the few best things about the film is the refreshing feminist take on the male protagonist. Despite his flaws, Yaazhan organically helps a woman like Malarvizhi restore faith in men by going from "All men are cheats" to "Not all men".
Honestly, Hey Sinamika is a love story that you may not really love but just like.