In the fast changing world of Tamil cinema, where offbeat themes have become the order of the day and slick, stylish presentation a given, one director refuses to budge from the old formula. He isn’t ready just yet to come out of the formula-centric masala movie mode. After dishing out mediocre fare, he’s at last come up with an entertainer that entertains big time. Now you know why the movie tagline for Pazhani says "Commercial Panchamritham.”
Perarasu debuted with the much liked masala venture Thirupachi, quickly sustaining his position as a masala king with his follow-up hit, Sivakasi. But with Tirupati and Dharmapuri he slipped down several notches, unable to seduce an audience the way he had with his first two hits. This time, however, he is back with a vengeance: Perarasu gets all the different ingredients of the masala formula just right in Pazhani, churning out an enjoyable movie that is fast paced with several twists to keep the audience hooked.
The movie is about a young hunk, Barath, who loves his mother and sister. When he is just ten years old he goes to jail after killing his father’s second wife. He was forced to kill for his mother’s sake. When he finally comes out of jail, he is heart struck to see that his sister has begun hating her brother- she seems to be in the same tragic situation as their mother was fifteen years ago. What Barath does to help his sister forms the rest of the plot, but intertwined is Perarasu’s usual flair for romance, comedy, dance and some fierce one-liners fired by the hero.
The movie is certain to get a huge reception in the B and C centers. The director scores extra points for making Barath such a sizzling action hero. The first half is slickly paced with intelligent turns in the plot. And just when you think the second half is losing pace, Perarasu slams us with a rousing climax. Typically, almost all the scenes are drenched in sentiment and illogic, but an audience familiar with Perarasu’s work will know that trying to find logic in his script is close to committing a sin. The scene where Barath presents his sister a saree, declaring that he sees her as his mother is highly emotional and is sure to have women wetting their handkerchiefs. In one of the songs Barath evokes the names of Rajinikanth, Vijay and Ajith without provoking their huge fan base – rather he impresses them by demonstrating how much he respects those big stars.
The movie entirely belongs to Chinna Thalapathy Barath: this agile hero has grabbed the opportunity to look every inch the action hero here. His dialogue delivery, his agility in the stunt sequences, his grace in the dance routines and his acting prowess in the more emotional scenes catapults him into a star
in the making. Kushboo as usual impresses as Barath’s sister, as does yesteryear actress Rekha as his mother. Kajal Agarwal has little to do except look cute and ravishing in the song sequences. Like so many of our heroines whose roles are underwritten, her acting gets little scope. Chitti Babu is unimpressive as the comedian. Ishwarya is at her best in a villainous role. Banu Chandar, Biju Menon and Raj Kapoor in supporting roles also stand out. Ravi Mariya, as the movie’s villain and dialogue writer, scores in both departments. His crackling dialogues are actually the highlight of Pazhani.
Vijay Milton’s cinematography is, as always, expert - the song sequences especially are a treat. Editor Jaishankar has worked hard and it shows. And both, stunt and dance choreography, nicely match the mood of the movie. Srikanth Deva’s music is fairly okay with two songs that are memorable enough to stay with you after the end of the show.
Overall a mass masala entertainer, which is sure to become a hit ( particularly in the B and C centers) rewarding Barath with an action hero image, and giving a much needed break to Perarasu’s lagging career. Pazhani is not for an audience looking for something offbeat and inventive but for an audience craving for some old formulaic entertainment – loads of action thrown in with mother- sister sentiment.