‘Peechankai’: the left comes to power

A still from the movie ‘Peechankai’  

S Muthu – or Smoodhu, as his friends call him – is very much like your random everyday pickpocket. When you board your bus, he's lurking around somewhere. When you're jostling your way through a busy street, he's the one who brushes past you often.

But Smoodhu (RS Karthik) is different in one way – he is a left-hander and that's the hand which yields maximum productivity every single day. Even his friends in the business are amazed by the deftness of his left hand. Just in terms of speed, it is the equivalent of a Rafael Nadal forehand.

  • Director: Ashok
  • Cast: RS Karthik, Anjali Rao, MS Bhaskar, Vivek Prasanna
  • Storyline: A left-handed pick-pocket suffers from the alien-hand syndrome

Life is good until, in a strange sequence of events, he gets involved in an encounter with cops. He has to run for life and that he does quite well... till he bumps into a car that has three goons who had just kidnapped a wealthy man's child. That is the big moment that changes Peechankai's direction.

It lands him in a clinic where he's told that he has been afflicted with an alien-hand syndrome. “Kodi-la otharku thaan indha vyaadi irukum,” the doctor announces about the condition in which a person experiences his limbs acting of their own accord.

For Smoodhu, this is a huge setback.

Or so he thinks until he meets a set of goondas (the same ones in the car) who has a new assignment for him – to snatch a leading politician's phone which has some sexually-explicit videos. And Smoodhu is right in the middle of all this action.

Director Ashok skilfully steers this situation into humour zone – and that clearly works in favour of Peechankai. He's adequately aided in this pursuit by music composer Balamurali Balu whose quirky background score matches each character and situation. There are downsides – too many sub-plots and some moments that lag far more than they should – but Peechankai does manage to sustain interest.

Karthik is apt as the film's 'peechankai'. The syndrome he suffers from is unusual and is ripe for some action masala, but the film consciously stays away from that and provides some genuinely funny moments. Like the ones involving the motley kidnappers gang led by Gaja (he has a punch-line) and Molla Maari (he has a paunch-line). The other guy in their team is called 'Grease', but his actual name is 'Krish'. He's the one who can't control a sneeze during a tension-filled kidnap scene. He's the guy who clicks a selfie with the kidnapped girl and posts it on Facebook.

I kept smiling throughout.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:35:20 AM |

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