Power Paandi

Power Paandi

What a neat little film this is. Dhanush shows immense sincerity in handling certain moments of his story. He slacks off in certain parts – the way the flashback is triggered or the very done-to-death village romance trope (but still this manages to pass off as likable). But places where he scores, he does big time. The entire stretch involving Revathi is beautiful. Here’s where you can see his sensibilities as a film-maker; what he has actually set out to do. He wants to create these simple emotional moments that don’t hammer the emotions on your head. These moments unfold, without any kind of fuss or melodrama. He plays it at the right amount. It’s hard not to smirk when Rajkiran and Revathi are texting each other, late in the night.

And the best part of the film is how effortless the performances are. Rajkiran and his “soul-searching” as he calls it, is too easy to root for. There is this immensely adorable aura about him. Note the scene where he hesitatingly uses his public identity to get through a watchman’s barricade. Or when he mocks the indecisive youngsters of today who can’t even confess their feelings to a person in spite of all the social platforms they have at the tip of their fingers. Quite a few of these “messages” breeze past you, and never feel heavy on the senses. There’s just one instance though, where Prasanna (another brilliant performer – he sells the tolerance so damn well) is given a taste of his own scolding with regards to the TV volume. This part felt just too verbose. In fact, none of those flashbacks are required. you get the fact that Paandi has done good by his kin, and that they aren’t giving it back fairly. This should go unstated, as we are exposed to this trope literally everywhere – talk shows, debates, serials and other films as well.

Coming to the best thing about the film – Revathi. First thing, I totally bought the fact that she is the aged version of Madonna Sebastian. Funny thing, their resemblance. And then the way she cakewalks through her role. Look at her noticing Paandi’s frozen hand and brushing it off like she’s seeing a cute kid’s quirk. This very moment felt like subverting a cliche. On a normal day this would have been totally hero-oriented where he gets a high on feeling her touch, and breaks into a dance. But not under Dhanush’s watch. He involves her as well. And then the entire stretch that follows, with Sean Roldan’s “Venpani Malare” playing to full power classic-romance glory. The guy has scored a gem of a soundtrack, where every number hits the right chords. And the parallels to Raja are way too obvious in tracks like the pleasing “Paarthen”. Roldan is another reason why we so easily buy the emotions throughout film.

Special props to Dhanush for handling kids well. He just gets them right. They do not feel overdone. They behave their age, they quarrel their age, and they emote their age. Very rarely do we come across such children in our commercial space of films. There is no forced effort to make them look “cute”. He makes them act.

The pleasant stuff in here outweigh the flaws big time, and you’ll be leaving the screening with a smile. That is all the debutante director wants, and he has delivered it.


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