Bumper Movie Review: A dawdling and predictable film with a heartfelt message 

Bumper Movie Review: A dawdling and predictable film with a heartfelt message 

Despite the right kind of sentiments and emotions, Bumper loses a jackpot due to its draggy screenplay and its away-from-the-topic storyline 
Rating:(2 / 5)

Films that talk about religious harmony are not new to Tamil cinema. Just a few months ago, Manthira Moorthy’s Ayothi spoke about putting humanity over religious differences. Director M Selvakumar attempts something similar with his directorial debut, Bumper. With messages on humaneness, integrity and virtue braided all throughout the film, Bumper aims for the moon. But, the lethargic screenplay and a familiar story make the film fall way short.

Director: M Selvakumar

Cast: Vetri, Hareesh Peradi, Shivani Narayanan


Bumper revolves around Vetri's Puli Paandi, who goes to Sabarimalai, and buys a lottery ticket from Ismail (Hareesh Peradi) worth Rs 10 crores, but leaves it there itself by mistake. When it becomes the winning ticket, a noble Ismail embarks upon a journey to return what is rightfully Puli Paandi's Bumper prize.

The film goes on to establish the life and character of Puli Paandi, a wastrel who robs and indulges in petty crimes for money. One by one, we are shown his family, the setting in which his character exists and the reasons why he became a reprobate. Almost the entire first half is used up for staging, which all becomes useless once we realise that the central conflict is another ball game altogether. However, thankfully, this is where Bumper actually starts picking up the speed. Unfortunately, the narrative almost immediately falls back to its original tardiness, making the drama and sentiment all the more tiring. The audience is at least two scenes ahead of the film, at all times.

Speaking of predictability, once the conflict is set, Bumper does not even try to take the road not taken. It has no welcoming surprises or unpredictable twists. For example, when Ismail is shown to be virtuous and with integrity, we already know that his family suffers from poverty. Similarly, Anandhi's (Shivani Narayanan) father – Puli's uncle – agrees to give his daughter's hand in marriage to Puli once he wins the lottery. This too, we know well in advance. The climax and the conflict resolution are also as predictable as if it is inspired by our own lives.

Although Bumper has its negatives, the film has quite a few valuable messages. For instance, Puli mends his ways after adorning the Ayappa Mala. Ismail is a religious man who sticks to his principles. We see how religion can be an important binding factor that helps in the transformation of people. However, it isn't like Selvakumar resorts to cliches either as there is an equally strong commentary on how humanity is not defined by religion, and what matters even more is personal integrity.

Hareesh Peradi's Ismail seems like a character who is too good to be true. A man, who doesn't want one penny from a 10 crore bumper prize, even though he has all the rights to take all of it. Yet, his character seems pertinent in cinema as we need more good characters on screen to reiterate the importance of humanity off it. As usual, a wonderful Hareesh Peradi pulls off the role with ease.

The climax of Bumper makes it look like the film had serious budget constraints. The film ends abruptly with Puli spelling out his plans for the future. While the mother sentiment is milked all through the film, she is not even shown in the end when Puli has finally succeeded in life. The ending – which we know is coming from miles away – could have definitely been explored and executed in a more satisfying way.

Bumper's one-liner is simple, its execution is, however, not. Despite the right kind of sentiments and emotions, Bumper loses a jackpot due to its draggy screenplay and meandering away from the central plot


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