Monday, April 30, 2007

Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram


PEAS is further proof that a movie becoming a success in another language does not automatically guarantee that it will be a success in Tamil too. A remake of the Kanna superhit Jogi, the film combines mother sentiments and violence, both of which have yielded box-office success in earlier films. While the listless nature of the action makes the film dull, the manipulative nature of the sentiments makes it almost offensive and that combination makes the film tough to sit through.

Azhagu Sundaram(Dhanush) and his mother Meenakshi(Archana), who live in Monanjipatti village, think the world of each other. When Azhagu's father(Livingston) dies, Azhagu can't bear to see his mother as a widow and takes off to Chennai to earn money. Not hearing from him for a while, Meenakshi goes to Chennai in search of him, armed with just a photo. A journalism student Shruti(Meera Jasmine) takes pity on her, puts her up in her own place and helps her in her search for Azhagu. They both don't realize that the dreaded rowdy Parattai, who is in jail for killing another feared rowdy and who Shruti is trying to interview, is actually Azhagu.

The scenes with Dhanush and Archana in the village are designed to illustrate the love and affection that exists between mother and son. But it doesn't work and the reasons are twofold. One (and this is something most Tamil movies do), everything is exaggerated. As the two dance together and goof around, it seems cinematic and real emotions are never conveyed(there is a scene in a flashback much later, which shows Archana saying goodbye to her son as he leaves for school. It works better than the entire segment in the village in this respect). Two, Dhanush simply abandons his mother. His intentions may be good but the fact remains that he leaves Archana, who has just been widowed and has no other children to take care of her, alone and leaves for Chennai without even telling her. All his words about loving his mother and his desperate search for her in the later part of the movie don't help us forget this act.

Since Kaadhal Koattai, we've had several movies (Jay Jay and Enakku 20 Unakku 18, to name a couple of high-profile ones) where the hero and heroine looked for each other without much information about the other. PEAS does the same but with a son and mother instead! So we have familiar scenes like the two visiting the same place within a few seconds of each other, turning away at the last minute when in the same locations, etc. Suresh Krissna uses numerous plot devices to keep the two in the state of "so near and yet so far" and after the first couple of times, our irritation increases exponentially with each new one.

Apart from the mother sentiment, the other major aspect of the film is violence as Dhanush is forced to unwillingly continue his life as a rowdy for self-preservation. As in most movies, an aruvaal is his weapon of choice. Though blood flows freely and the body count is high, the fight sequences lack punch. They are routine and lack energy as Dhanush hacks his way through faceless rowdies.

Tamil cinema and sentiments are inseparable. We've had movies that used sentiments to touch us and we've had movies where the sentiments had little or no impact. PEAS is a movie where the sentiments are almost distasteful. The plot devices used to keep Dhanush and Archara apart, that were merely irritating before, get downright tasteless after a particular plot development. Suresh Krissna tries very hard to attack our tear ducts but his manipulation is so obvious that it ends up having the opposite effect. And after the overload of sentiments, it is ironic that the film ends on an (unintentional) cheery note since the comment by a rowdy who has come to kill Dhanush is so silly and out-of-place that it makes us laugh out loud.

The Parattai in the movie name had led me to think that Dhanush was all set to exploit his association with Rajni overtly. But he doesn't. "Idhu Eppidi Irukku?", Parattai's trademark dialog from 16 Vayadhinile is actually uttered by 'Kaadhal' Dhandapani rather than Dhanush and references to Rajni are limited to his posters on the walls and a song from Chandramukhi playing on the radio. But they do thank 'Friend, Well-Wisher and Guide Superstar Rajnikanth' in the opening credits.

Dhanush actually looks thinner that his usual self and he doesn't suit the role of the rowdy. He should stick to playing light-hearted roles like he did in Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam. Meera Jasmine, on the other hand, looks real fat. There are a few scenes where the actress in her peeks out(her reaction when Archana touches her on the way back from college is just so natural) but for the most part, she tries to be cute and funny and ends up overacting. Archana too overacts whenever she is supposed to be happy and show affection to her son. But she is convincing once she is in the city, clinging onto the hope that she will see her son soon. We've seen Santhanam in only a few films but his style is already getting repetitive and the fact that he doesn't get any funny bits doesn't help.

The movie's end credits roll with a song in the background and one of the lines in the song goes Thangaadha sogam idhu.... That was exactly what I was saying about the film as I walked out of the theater...

23 Comments:

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous ram said...

PEAS-a piece piece-a kizhichuteenge ponge! :-)

looks like the movie doesnt have a single redeeming feature...bb, on a slight tangent- what's ur take on aaha? oru 1-min review kudunge, if u dont mind...have always been curious abt ur take on some movies which u havent reviewed...like aaha and iruvar...adhaan kaetten, esp. since we were talking abt suresh krissna...

Sun TV style-la...Mothathil PEAS...vegaathathu!

 
At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Rajesh said...

Nice review.

 
At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

So, without much doubt, looks like PEAS turned out to be a pattaani padam after all...

Parattai pa(a)ra(a)ttai peravillai!..

Dhanush should be much more careful of his script selections and especially of the many landmines he keeps running into. So, I was right about thinking that Meera looked very plump in the trailers...

 
At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dhanush looks thinner than his ordinary self???? i find that hard to even imagine. the boy is going to collapse and be bundled away to a tony spa for recovery in about 5 seconds.

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dhanush should stop acting...full stop.

RS

 
At 3:21 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

This Dhanush vs. Simbhu clash is like Ireland vs. Bangladesh in cricket.They might have had a hit now or before,but not big stars.It's time thee guys realised that guys of their age group like Bharath and Vishal have become quite popular and apart from that,they also have nice 'opening power' compared to these 2 chimps.

 
At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movies sucks big time.. Dhanush, Don't appear on screen again (I know u can't act)..

Sandhya

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Suresh Krishna. "Krissna" does not seem to be doing him any good either..intha numerology thollai thanga mudiyalai

"Thangaadha sogam idhu.... " - LOL! This has been true for most movies over the last couple of years.

Kumar

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Balaji, did you actually catch this in the theater? If so, my sympathies :-) Dhanush moonjiya paakaradhukku $ 15 + popcorn is too much, even if the director happens to be Selvaraghavan

 
At 8:05 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

"This Dhanush vs. Simbhu clash is like Ireland vs. Bangladesh in cricket."

Ganesh kumar, dont insult Bangaldesh. Their clash is in the same league as Mambalam mosquitoes vs Triplicane Buffaloes :-)

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

was'nt this movie maamanaar's story selection for his maapillai? Its safe to say Rajni would probably not attempt to select any more stories for awhile

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

Mamanaar did not estimate his mappillai's potential. Mamanaar should understand Mappillai is not like him nor is he like say Vijay or Ajit or Vikram or Bharat or Vishal.

He can manage some roles like the ones he played in T. V. Arambam and Thiruda Thirudi.

His looks frame etc. suits light roles which do not demand histronics. He cannot just do the angry young man super role at all.

I hope both Mappillai's his wife and Mamanaar realize this and make appropriate choices going forward if he has any ideas of hanging around in the industry and make money.

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

may be maamanar should try using his fans to boost dhanush's movies.
or
rajini should appear in some scenes. segregate and scold women. say some obvious remarks about some political parties and a hint here and there that he's interested in politics and screw his fans.. usual stuff..

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Aravind said...

Dhanush, like so many other wannabe superstars in getting stuck into cliched action roles that dont suit him one bit..

 
At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Princess of Arabia said...

Was half way through downloading PEAS, upon reading your review cancelled it. Amen.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Govar said...

First time here. Impressed! I saw a best of 2005 list of songs. Do you have one for 2006, or 2007 till now? Would be great if you compile that list! :)

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

//My Punch Dialogue for Simbhu in his next film, "Dey, nee paratta thala mudi vechaa periya manushan-nu nenaikara...aana, producer thalaiya mazha mazha-nu mottai adichaalum naan periya manushan."
Tag line: Kettavan; he knows how to spend.//
Ram,even Danush seemed to have 'mottai adichufied' his producer and distributors of Parattai!
Ippo yaar veetle kallu poduvaalo.(Whose house will be stoned?)Dhanush or Suresh Krishna?
//Ganesh kumar, dont insult Bangaldesh. Their clash is in the same league as Mambalam mosquitoes vs Triplicane Buffaloes.//
Nice joke Vijay!I've brought those teams in because they killed 2 giants(Pak and India.),but could not win for themselves in Super 8s!

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Balaji,
1* or 1.5*?

 
At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PEAS -Thalaivar bashayil piece piece akkitunga.. :)
Rukmani.R

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, nope no redeeming feature unless u consider archana's performance when she is looking for dhanush in chennai...

been awhile since i saw 'aaha'. i remember that i loved the movie but didn't like the lead pair all that much. hilarious script. the climax was a straight lift from 'bharatham' though the ending was changed (one of the few times when i liked the changed version also).

rajesh, thanx :)

sandya, it was 'sullaan', another action movie, that marked the beginning of dhanush's slide in the first phase of his career. Hope PEAS doesn't mark the beginning of another slide...

anon, lol but yeah, i did think so. might've been the long hair...

RS/Sandhya, wouldn't go that far. but he should stop acting in action movies...

ganesh, yeah those guys u've mentioned understand their strengths/limitations and pick movies accordingly - something which dhanush isn't doing.

Kumar, lol yeah another instance of numerology thollai. not sure when he changed it though...

vijay, yeah saw it in the theater :( but only 8.75 though(and no popcorn!)

yeah it was supposed to be rajni who suggested dhanush do 'jogi'. dhanush must be thinking "dhrogi"!

vthinktank, exactly! i too feel that those 2 movies u mentioned had the perfect roles for dhanush. light comedy + light action...

anon, can see u r not a rajni fan :)

princess, thanx for the trust. oh, and u're welcome :)

govar, thanx! yeah i did do a post on the best songs of 2006 :)

ganesh, 1 star.

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"anon, can see u r not a rajni fan :)"

i m a rajini fan. and he is a better actor than he was used in recent movies. also love his movies. but not the way he uses his illiterate fans though..

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

awwwwww.......how could a movie with all my favorites turn out to be a flop?:*(.....poooor dhanush

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger dhanush said...

Collection of Actor Dhanush-Yaaradi Nee Mohini Songs , Videos, Gallery, Wallpapers, Latest movies, only at www.dhanushtheactor.com.

 

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