Voice of Sathyanathan review: Raffi-Dileep’s latest is a timepass entertainer

Director Raffi seems to have reworked and re-presented his old comedy films to draw the family audience to theatres.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Aug 09, 2023

Voice of Sathyanathan
A decent watch.

Voice of Sathyanathan (Malayalam)

  • Cast: Dileep, Joju George, Veena Nandakumar, and Siddique
  • Director: Raffi
  • Producer: Dileep, Joju George, Veena Nandakumar, and Siddique
  • Music: Ankit Menon
  • Runtime: 2 hour 17 minutes

When Raffi and Dileep come together for a movie, expectations automatically run high. For, they earlier delivered good comedy films like Ringmaster (2014) and Two Countries( (2015).

Now, the trailer of their latest — Voice of Sathyanathan — gave the impression that it would be an entertaining thriller.

So, does it meet up with our expectations? Well, it fares in many parts. But some scenes are repetitive. However, having been packed with the essentials to woo the audiences in theatres, the movie ends as an entertainer.


Voice of Sathyanathan had missed it's release dates

A poster of ‘Voice of Sathyanathan’. (Supplied)

Voice of Sathyanathan features Dileep in the titular role. He elopes with Soosan (Veena Nandakumar) to a small village where he encounters some issues that change his life.

Sathyanathan’s peculiarity is that whenever he talks about a subject, it boomerangs. This is because he fails to convey exactly what he actually means. This, in turn, becomes a serious problem for him.

One day, Sathyanathan talks about a local musician named Tabla Varkey (Siddique) during his birthday celebrations. As usual, he conveys his message differently and it creates a rift between Varkey and Sathyanathan, who are also neighbours.

Making things worse, the road that leads to Sathyanathan’s home goes through Varkey’s plot. The latter blocks the passage by building a wall in front of Satyanathan’s house.

Amid all this, Sathyanathan faces real trouble when he accuses the panchayat president. However, the police misinterpret the “panchayat president” as the “Indian President” who visits Kerala. Sathyanathan is kept in jail till the President leaves the State.

A similar incident happens when Sathyanathan travels to Mumbai for a business purpose. He is kept imprisoned as the President visits Mumbai around the same time. These are some of the instances in the movie that give an idea of the issues faced by Sathyanathan.

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Commercial entertainer

Dileep appears as the title character in the movie

Dileep appears as the title character in the movie. (Supplied)

Sathyanathan’s life in prison, both in Kerala and Mumbai, has an important role in the story. In Kerala jail, he confronts Balan (Joju George), an accused in a murder case.

In Mumbai, he gets in touch with Sahi (Makarand Deshpande), a terrorist.

As Voice of Sathyanathan moves forward, Sathyanathan deals with serious issues that also involve national security.

Sathyanathan’s meeting with Balan in jail (Kerala) changes his life. He asks Sathyanathan a favour if revealed would be a spoiler.

Sathyanathan’s efforts to do this favour will change the lives of many. His friends become enemies and Sathyanathan makes headlines as the Indian President is involved in the issue.

Well, there are many subplots in the story, but they aren’t complicated.

The director, who is also the scriptwriter, penned a loose script meant to make people laugh.

Sathyanathan’s encounters with these issues and how his life changes after that form the crux of the film.

The “Sahi” and “Balan” episodes are two major turning points in the story. But they lack logic and are tailor-made for a commercial entertainer.

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Dileep and crew during promotion of the movie

Dileep and crew during the promotions. (Supplied)

Joju George as Balan is commendable.

Dileep as Sathyanthan did his part well.

The first half of the movie offers good humour along with notable performances by Johny Antony as the panchayat president.

But the real show-stealer of Voice of Satyanathan is Siddique who excels as Tabla Varkey.

His scenes where he meets with different accidents, meant for comedy, work out really well in theatre. These sequences are similar to that of Jagathy Sreekumar’s sequence in Kilukkam (1991).

Veena Nandakumar is a miscast as she fails to make a good pair for Dileep.

Makarand Deshpande and Jagapathi Babu does their part well.

Nevertheless, a major drawback in the flick is Dileep not having a strong counterpart. Even though there are scenes with Siddique and Johny Antony, they are not impactful.

For example, in Punjabi House (1998), Harisree Ashokan and Cochin Haneefa scored equally with Dileep. In the case of Ee Parakkum Thalika (2001), Dileep had strong counterparts like Harisree Ashokan and Cochin Haneefa.

Similarly, Harisree Ashokan and Cochin Haneefa joined Dileep in Kalyanaraman (2002) and CID Moosa (2003) respectively.

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Final take

Voice of Sathyanathan isn’t the same as new-generation movies. Raffi seems to have reworked and re-presented his old comedy films to draw the family audience to theatres.

However, it has enough flavours to keep you entertained.

(Views expressed here are personal.)