Director Bhoopathy Pandiyan
Cast Vishal, Priya Mani, Urvasi, Ashish Vidyarti
Storyline When the disappointed hero congratulates the villain for having won his lover’s hand, he stirs up a hornets’ nest.
Bottomline Pandiyan’s winning quotient is intact!
Writer-director Bhoopathy Pandiyan has done it again! Intelligent humour peppered with fast-paced action, so typically Pandiyan, characterises Sree Lakshmi Productions’ Malaikkottai (U). The film could mark the beginning of another round of success for hero Vishal. Bhoopathy Pandiyan has you in splits almost throughout the first half. And Vishal who seems to be moulding himself on the lines of a mass hero (‘Puratchi Thalapathi’ screams the title card!) has chosen a subject that could catapult him to an even higher plane on the commercial circuit.
That Ashish Vidyarti is capable of a levity-filled role is a pleasant revelation. Urvasi’s comic interludes are a treat. The romantic flashback of Vidyarti and Urvasi with Vishal’s comments aiding the fun element is enjoyable. Joining this fun club are Harthi and Mayilsamy. A delightful aspect of Malaikkottai is most of the characters, from the villain’s henchmen to the old woman (Vishal’s grandma) lend a comic touch.
Vishal — very much like in his earlier hit Sandakkozhi — is a trouble shooter who tolerates no injustice. And the baddies as always don’t allow him to take things easy. (Villains, their row of vans and trails of smoke … when will this cliché end?) He falls in love with Malar (Priya Mani) but unwittingly gets her into trouble with the villains. So he takes it upon himself to redress matters. Novelty in storyline is not Malaikkottai’s mainstay. Hero-saving-heroine sagas are aplenty. But the accent on humour makes the difference.
Vishal’s bright eyes are an added asset. He proves fairly successful in comedy. But he could give a thought to his diction. Priya Mani looks radiant despite the over-made up face in many sequences. Devaraj (of the Kannada screen), who makes his debut in Tamil, plays the bad man to the hilt. And for those used to Ponnambalam portraying a consummate villain, his attempt at slapstick is a welcome deviation. (Is the kid actor who appears as Deepa Venkat’s daughter the same child throughout?)
The Manis — Sharma and Raj — deserve plaudits for their work. Indoor or outdoor, Mani Raj’s art adds value to the ambience. The authenticity of the backdrop, be it Pattukkottai or Tiruchi, is a scoring point. The first song, ‘Kanda Kadamba …’, sets the tempo for what is to follow. Mani Sharma’s title score and a few re-recording bits seem inspired by the chorus in the ‘Rukumani Rukumani …’ (Roja) number. ‘Aayiram Malargalae …’ (Niram Maraadha Pookkal) heard in the background of Urvasi’s comedy flashback adds to the humour. ‘Baby …’ has interesting choreography and eye catching camera work (Vaithi), while ‘Uyire …’ has good lyrics, — Yugabharati style. But the racy re-mix is a definite intrusion.
As the rest of the credits roll at the end, Pandiyan showcases the present status of the main characters and there begins another hilarious trail!