1977 is an out-and-out action-masala movie. You may argue that the makers have no pretensions about what kind of movie it is. We beg to differ - the makers have no idea about what kind of movie it is.
Ultimately, this dubbed celluloid wonder won't make it to the Oscars. That said, it won't kill you either. It's in between - it'll manage to keep you barely sane enough to be able to tell the "Exit" signs from the "The End" sign and keep you from rushing out the wrong door.
The much-revered saintly Rajayya (Sarath Kumar) is a guiding light of sorts for his fishing village, and has vowed to never set foot outside the village and desert his people. Suddenly one day, he is seen hurrying off somewhere with a suitcase, after coming across a newspaper article. But before he can even make it to the road, he dies of a heart attack.
His son, the award-winning nano-technology scientist Karthikeya (Sarath Kumar again), starts getting to the bottom of what happened and what was in the newspaper. He goes to Malaysia, where he discovers that his father had been sentenced to death for some heinous crimes. He also discovers his mother (Jayasudha) there.
Karthikeya goes all out to prove that his father was accused wrongly on all counts. In the process, we have a romantic track with a woman (Farzana) with whom he has a couple of full-bodied collisions, a lawyer (Namitha) who keeps coming onto him, and a handful of villains of varying degrees of blah.
Like we said, this flick is all about ritualistically executing cinematic clichés, pretty unapologetically, at that. It's not an extremely inane movie, but just as ordinarily mediocre as hundreds of other films. If you're upto it, it even manages to maintain a respectable level of interest - the script is well-paced and a fair bit of mild suspense is woven in.
Ultimately, this is a Tamil-dubbed production, which is where it loses even prospective audiences.
Save for the lead actors - save, in fact, for Jayasudha - none of the cast is recognizable. Sarath Kumar seems about the most dignified part of the movie, closely followed by Jayasudha. Namitha gets to add some oomph, though.
The cinematography is bland and the music utterly forgettable - and wouldn't have made a difference even if they were otherwise.
On the whole, if you're thinking of watching this one, you should probably think again. Better still, you should probably stop thinking.