Paramasivan is touted as Ajith's comeback film - the film that proves that he has reinvented himself as an actor all set to reclaim his spot among the top actors in Kodambakkam. His choice of the film clearly shows that he is aiming to reach that objective by taking the masala route. Paramasivan is a completely commercial, risk-free project that contains a little bit of everything - action, romance, comedy and sentiments. One just wishes they had been packaged with more finesse.
When SP Nandakumar(Prakashraj) wishes to eliminate the people behind a horrific bomb blast in Coimbatore, he chooses deathrow inmate Subramanya Siva(Ajith) for the job. A man with no identity is the best bet to get these terrorists, is Nandakumar's theory. So he brings Siva out of prison, erases his past, gives him a brand new identity as Paramasivan and puts him up in his own house in Ooty. Once Siva completes his mission, Nandakumar plans to complete the government's job and kill him. But Siva falling in love with Malar(Laila), who lives in Nandakumar's house, complicates matters. And then there's CBI Officer Nair(Jayaram), who is slowly closing in on Paramasivan.
Paramasivan boasts of an outrageous story, is filled with gaping plot holes and and has serious continuity and logic issues. But it also has the one factor that keeps us from thinking too much about all those things - a good pace. With Ajith's mission, his flashback, the romance, Laila's problems at home, Prakashraj's plans, Jayaram's chase and Vivek's comedy, the film throws so many things at us that we rarely have the time to think too much about the aforementioned things. So when sentiments get in the way, there's an action scene just around the corner to shake things up. And when the action gets a little tiring, Vivek does his thing to make us laugh.
The entire film has a very 70s feel. The revelation of an entire 'control center' inside a room in an ashram, the computer files that reveal everything about the bad guys and the outlandish plans of the bad guys would fit right in in an old MGR or Jaishankar flick. The goings-on are frequently so preposterous and dumbed-down that they give the film a campy feel. But there are times, like when you realize that the role of a CBI officer is primarily being used for comedy, where we wonder if Vasu did it all with his tongue firmly in his cheek. In that respect, Paramasivan is like Attagaasam - a film that is throwback to the goofiness of the old days but knows that it is and is almost proud of it. But I do know one thing. I certainly preferred this 'campiness' to the violence of Aaru or the crudeness of Sivakasi.
But the action sequences definitely don't feel like they belong in a 70s film and are mounted quite impressively. Ajith's chase of a police officer on the busy streets is a real stand-out but all the fights are picturized energetically. But these nice stunts make us look forward to a climax that will top them all but that is not the case. The motorcycle chase is a huge disappointment and is spoiled by some ridiculous graphics.
The film starts with an obvious Anniyan hangover, evident both in Ajith's hairstyle and the location of the first fight. It continues to remind us of Anniyan in many places (like Jayaram's track, with Vivek in tow) but Vasu includes a lot of references to other films, his own Chandramukhi being the most frequent. Among the more notables ones, there is a spoof of Ghajini which isn't as funny as it initially promises but the sequence that includes a scene from Uzhaippaali is quite clever.
I almost don't believe I am saying this but Ajith has lost too much weight. He looks haggard in a few places, especially since he obviously likes to flaunt his new thinned-down body in all those cut-off vests. Laila overdoes the Oh-I-am-so-cute routine with her broken English and famous dimpled smile. The dresses and fast dance steps in Undivil Un... definitely don't suit her petite frame. Prakashraj does his role with a lot of conviction and is one of the reasons the movie doesn't descend into total camp. Jayaram never seems sure if he is supposed to be serious or comical and ends up doing both. Vivek's track has a few weak spots but he can consider it one of his funnier ones among his recent films. Nasser and Seetha have cameos.
Oru Kili... is a nice melodious number, especially because you don't expect it in such a commercial entertainer. Kannan..., which introduces the family Ajith is going to live with, is a number along the lines of Oru Naal Oru Kanavu's Kaatril Varum Geethame..., in both concept and execution. Aasa Dosa..., an item number by Rahasya, is an unnecessary song in an otherwise clean film. The Hara Hara Siva Siva... bit serves as a high-energy background score in some action scenes.
Paramasivan - Pazhaiya Sivan!