Whatever happened to director Rasu Madhuravan? Whether it was Paandi, Mayaandi Kudumbathaar, Muthukku Muthaaga or Goripaalayam, lucidity has always marked Madhuravan’s narration. Innumerable characters may stomp the screen, but his narration never confounds the viewer. Neither has pace been a casualty. And family drama has been his forte. But opting for a romantic theme this time, he flounders. Paandi Oliperukki Nilayam (U) is loud in every sense. Reactions are crude, decibel levels are high and dialogue is never ending that just listening to the characters proves an attack on your aural nerves! After a point, you yearn for respite from the assault!

Sabarish, who entered the fray with Markandeyan, has to work a lot on his expressions. Looking dumb and expressionless because of the demands of the character is one thing — not emoting even in sequences you have to is another. Dance is another area he could concentrate on.

PON revolves round lovers Paandi (Sabarish) and Valarmathi (Sunaina), for whom the road to marital bliss isn’t going to be easy. Sunaina, who’s seen after quite a while, breathes freshness. Wonder why this talented actor has still not scaled higher!

Singampuli (with a weird hair-do) and Soori get on your nerves most of the time mainly because of their verbosity. Once they begin talking, nothing can make them shut up. Thambi Ramaiah’s attempts at comedy don’t tickle you much either, though he shines in the sober sequences. And an actor of Karunas’ calibre being beaten up often by the brats around isn’t funny at all. On the whole, comedy is a dampener in PON.

Crassness vitiates the ambience. Why a group song with dancers gyrating in front of temples? And you are made to suffer not one, but two such dance sequences!

Most of the storyline is on predictable lines, except that, for once, the wealthy brothers of the heroine, who are otherwise obsessively possessive of their sister, don’t toe the usual path of wrath and begin wielding sickles when they learn of her love for an ordinary loudspeaker supplier. Only in this aspect is PON different.

The action in the final sequence is lengthy, yet it has been well conceptualised, choreographed and shot. But be warned that the route to the climax is tedious.

Somewhere through the making of PON, Rasu Madhuravan seems to have lost interest, and it shows.

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Tamil Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011