Podaa Podi (Tamil)
Genre: Sentiment/ Rom-com
Director: Vignesh Sivan
Cast: Simbu, Varu Sarathkumar, Shobana, VTV Ganesh
Storyline: Ego comes in the way of lovers-turned-husband-wife
Bottomline: Where do they go from here?
Two things are tough to believe — that a superficial tale of romance has taken nearly four years to be completed, and more important, it has rolled out of the stable of a hero of Simbu’s calibre! Podaa Podi (U) has a multi-faceted hero, who strives to make his films different and convincing, particularly if he’s working with a fresher. Yet the effort has gone awry! Director Vignesh Sivan’s aim is to show a plausible love-hate relationship of a young couple. An interesting premise, but the problem is that PP is bogged down by a meandering storyline, an inept screenplay and mundane dialogue.
Thus PP is a roller-coaster ride of feelings ranging from ego and possessiveness to love and obsession — laughable here and there, exasperating now and then and impossible most of the time. Sivan could have thought of better ways of taking the story forward.
Amidst arguments, counters, pleas and vacillation Arjun and Nisha decide to get married. The surprising aspect is both are headstrong in their views and know that they don’t see eye to eye on certain matters and still take the plunge! They get hitched on the condition that the two would take turns to boss over each other. If you find it inane, just wait for the ‘kuththu’ dance at a London television reality show. The racy footwork makes even the judges of the event do a jig. Salsa is overrun by the power of our own country dance! Rather far-fetched!
Incidentally, ‘Podaa Podi’ is a foot-tapping number from composer Dharan Kumar.
You don’t find much depth in the couple’s feelings for each other (except in the sequence where the hero is unable to watch his wife in labour). So the drama and the denouement lack appeal. Yet, the situations leading to the finale show promise. Only that expectations fall flat soon.
Arjun is an animation expert you are told. But he’s introduced as a printer of counterfeit notes! Be it the casino or the bar he hoodwinks the white men at the counter with the confidence of a master conman! In fact, all the characters in PP are unpredictable. Nisha (Varu Sarathkumar), for instance, is scheming, obstinate, loving and completely naïve, all at once.
Varu’s entry in tinseldom showcases her as a graceful dancer and expressive performer. Her twang adds zing. But the wait has been unduly long for this heroine. Later on in the film, when she cites the reason for gaining weight, she sounds quite convincing. As for VTV Ganesh, all you can say is, he tries to tickle. Why is veteran dancer-actor Shobana in PP at all? You get to watch neither her dance nor her performance.
Several scenes give the impression that the dialogue, which isn’t too meaningful, was written on the spot without much thought, and/or delivered extempore. (Simbu’s line about accidents is an example!) All the same, the argument between the lead pair towards the end, when Arjun takes a dig at her proficiency in Tamil has some very interesting lines.
Don’t we have enough of episode-watching on television? Why does PP have to be segmented so and that too with pedestrian titles for each?
More than half a dozen times in the film, the hero says, “Very good Ma!” But you can’t say the same about PP.
The visuals are splendid and the beauty of London and Disney Land in Hong Kong are a treat. Otherwise, even in the first hour of viewing PP tests your tolerance a tad too much!