The crisp, graphics-charged opening titles tell you that Balae Pandiya (U) is in the comedy thriller league — first-time director Siddharth Chandrasekar's sense of humour runs through its warp and weft. The end again, which has the cast and crew named in innovative fashion, evokes laughter.

Beginning with an interesting line, Siddharth allows the narration to get a little vague before matters culminate in a lived-happily-ever-after climax. BP's hero Viishnu has waited nearly a year-and- a-half for his second release. He was every inch a tragic hero in Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, his launch pad. In BP again, as Pandiyan, a young man who is believed to usher in ill-luck wherever he goes, Viishnu begins with looking suitably sad and forlorn. It is in the lighter scenes that he lacks spontaneity. From childhood things have always gone awry for Pandiyan that he decides enough is enough. His only ambition in life now is to die …

Piaa plays heroine Vaishnavi. Her bright eyes and cheerful demeanour go well with the mood of BP.

Narration begins to confound the viewer with the entry of villains Pasupathi (John Vijay) and Vannaiyar (Jayaprakash). It takes you quite a while to decipher the reason for the animus, the purpose of the kidnap drama and the baddies' part in the melee, by which time you begin to lose interest.

BP has quite a few new faces — Amarendran, the large-hearted contract killer AKP, Gibran, who plays Kachidham, the man with a clean shaven pate and menacing eyes, and Shamantha, the girl with whom Pandiyan initially falls in love. Among them Shamantha comes across as an actor with potential. The actor who plays Piaa's grandpa — is he the suave villain of the decades-old Kamal Haasan flick, Tik Tik Tik? He even utters his famous dialogue in that film, again in BP!

Vivek's social consciousness comes to the fore in BP. His track is enjoyable in parts, though after a point you find too many issues crammed into the comedy.

The heroine keeping her mobile switched on so that the hero is on her kidnapper's trail (It reminds you of a somewhat similar sequence in the Liam Neeson – Maggie Grace starrer, Taken.) gives a slight thrust to the sagging screenplay.

Singer Devan Ekambaram debuts as composer with BP. ‘Sirikkiraen …' is a number which takes off well, loses steam midway and ends with the famous M.R. Radha and Sivaji Ganesan “Mama-Mapplae” refrain in the unforgettable film, Balae Pandiya, of yore. But Devan's effort is too contrived. The well-conceived and shot ‘Happy …' piece with a host of singers parading the screen stands out. Otherwise, most part of the score touches a noisy crescendo.

Pandiya impresses in fits and starts.

Balae Pandiya

Genre: Comedy thriller

Director: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Cast: Vishnu, Piaa, Vivek

Storyline: Upset by ill-luck at every turn the hero approaches a don to help him end his life when …

Bottomline: Offers a few laughable moments

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September sizzleSeptember 4, 2010