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Needed, not just new faces

malathi rangarajan
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lacks fresh appeal Pudhumugangal Thevai
lacks fresh appeal Pudhumugangal Thevai

One factor keeps nagging you. An ordinary man has the conviction to make a film that costs a couple of crores to save a young relative from the clutches of a money shark. But with the acumen he shows, he could have easily got him a few lakhs instead and settled the loan! Wouldn’t it have been an easier way out? For all, I mean! These and a few other such illogical occurrences mar Pudhumugangal Thevai (U). Of course, the maker’s urge to be different is evident.

In a scenario where the filmgoer has unambiguously shown that stars or no stars, he always favours a fresh script, enjoyable dialogue and deft direction, it is natural for many young filmmakers to aspire to be unique in their storytelling style. Yet aspirations alone don’t suffice — execution matters. New director Manish Babu tries to imbue PT with innovativeness, but goes overboard in his enthusiasm. A story within a story can spell confusion by itself. Adding unwanted elements to it only confounds you more. PT does just that.

Banu, a Nayantara look-alike, also introduced by director Hari (Nayan was his discovery too) opposite Vishal in Tamirabharani was expected to go places after the film. It didn’t happen. She now returns to play Bindutara(!), a heroine, in PT . The role is sketchy with no definiteness about it — so, naturally she doesn’t shine. Sivaji Dev, who made his debut with Singakutty , is the male lead. The actor returns after a hiatus — nearly four years. Surprisingly, he is relegated to a secondary status midway, and is resurrected to gain importance later on. He shows potential. Lens man-actor Rajesh Yadav makes a late entry but his role picks up momentum soon. His subdued performance helps maintain the suspense.

Stories of a struggling film director are a dime a dozen. But the character of an intelligent, determined, optimistic producer is novel. Yet why bring in a vendetta angle almost towards the end and confuse the viewer? PT has scenes that dangle without fitting perfectly into any niche in the line — Sivaji Dev’s meeting with ‘Delhi’ Ganesh and the scene preceding it are examples. The relevance beats you. And editing hasn’t been done with much thought. Hence clarity in narration suffers. At many a point, you are befuddled by the actions and reactions of characters. To top it all, unwanted scenes hinder the pace of the story.

PT isn’t exactly slipshod. Yet, because of a story and screenplay that could have been better devised, it doesn’t appeal.

malathi rangarajan

Pudhumugangal Thevai

Genre:Suspense?

Director:Manish Babu

Cast:Sivaji Dev, Rajesh Yadav, Banu

Storyline:An aspiring assistant director gets a chance to make a film under the most unusual circumstances. But matters don’t end there.

Bottomline:Logic goes for a toss!


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