We've watched on-screen yarns based on cab and bus tours, and stories unfolding during train journeys, but tracking the car of a lead pair and travelling with them through their stunt-laden experiences, from the beginning to the end, is new. Also, a saga of love with the heroine seated in the back seat the whole time, is a novelty.
The story per se is one that you've watched often — it is the route the tale takes that makes Paiyya (U) interesting. Certain sequences remind you of Lingusamy's phenomenal hit, Run. The formula is the same. But, the racy treatment and deft editing (Antony) keep you rooted. Director Lingusamy should be happy about his Paiyya, a feel-good romance all the way.
Smitten by Charu's (Tamannaah) beauty from the moment he sets eyes on her, Shiva (Karthi) goes around a like a zombie and gives his job interview the go by, but unfazed, continues to follow his heart. When still in a trance, he gets an opportunity to take the very girl he pines for, from Bengaluru to Mumbai in his car. What more can he ask for?
It is Karthi's third film, and though he plays a city-bred this time, he's adamant about not sporting a clean-shaven look. So, you get to see a very refined yet slightly rugged-looking Karthi in Paiyya. Performance is a cakewalk for the young man, though the lover boy demeanour doesn't appear to be his line always (or, probably because of the rough roles in his earlier films, you tend to think so). In stunts, he is fiery, in expressions appealing, but in footwork, you notice room for improvement.
Tamannaah may not be sound in her knowledge of the language, but her apt expressions more than compensate for the slightly faulty lip sync in a few places. Looking frail and vulnerable, this Charu is a treat to watch! Milind Soman plays the typical don and makes you wonder why actors of calibre should go in for run-of-the-mill villain roles!
Umar, whom you still remember for his natural acting in a naïve role in his debut, Poi Solla Porom, and his friends Siddharth and Ashish, add spice to the otherwise usual parts. And, Sonia Deepti, the only girl in the group, stands out for her spontaneous portrayal. Comedian Jagan looks more like Vadivelu, as he was in his initial stages.
Each of Yuvan's numbers is a foot-tapping piece that sounds very different from one another — probably that's his USP. And, any day, Yuvan the composer is way ahead of Yuvan the singer. The talented twosome of Rajeevan (art) and Madhie (camera) lend much lustre to Paiyya — Rajeevan's sets spell authenticity and aesthetics, while Madhie's lighting adds to the lure. And pithy, profound phrases are a highlight of Brindasarathy's dialogue.
Paiyya is neat, decent and, most importantly, watchable.