Pattathu Yaanai: The Superhero called Elephant-Man

It’s as predictable as formula films get. The hero is a harmless guy who runs away from trouble until the bad guys drive him to the edge and he has to reveal his deadly past. Hear footsteps already? Before you can say Baasha, Baasha, it maybe recalled that even Vishal himself has done this before. Remember Sandakozhi?

Sandakozhi has now grown to possess strengths of an elephant and can send scores of goons flying with his superpower. Beating up bad guys, the old-fashioned way.

But what makes this template watchable (for at least those used to this fare) is the fact that director Boopathy Pandian employs comedy at regular intervals. If action films previously had a comedy track, it is safe to say that this is almost a comedy film with an action track that’s introduced only half way.

Santhanam once again delivers, using his Goundamani inspired brand of insult-and-kick based humour to keep the masses happy and Vishal is happy to play foil as long as he gets to do his share of romance, song and dance and action scenes. This isn't a role that requires much of his acting muscle because most of the communication here is done through fists.

Going by films made by Kollywood, you might believe that the ‘aruval’ is the official mode of communication for people in certain parts of Tamil Nadu. And of course, no one has ever heard of guns.

But then, feature-length martial arts movies and Tamil masala movies would become short films if everyone had a gun.

So, how do action films work? Like any other wrestling match. Round 1. Hero beats up 20 guys. Round 2. Hero beats up 50 guys. Round 3. 100 guys. Round 4. 200. Usually, four rounds are enough for the hero to decimate all gangs and henchmen in town.

At least, the action choreography is slick and the cinematography makes sure none of this looks as ridiculous as it sounds.

Action King Arjun’s daughter Aishwarya makes a confident debut here as the demure Class 12 student in distress.

Maybe it is time educated actors insisted on increasing the average age of the Tamil film heroine. Can we make sure she’s at least in college before the hero falls for her, please?

Genre: Action

Director: Boopathy Pandian

Cast: Vishal, Aishwarya Arjun, Santhanam, Jagan, John Vijay

Storyline: The seemingly harmless cook who finds himself caught in the middle of a gang war has a deadly past

Bottomline: A predictable action template Vishal film that’s watchable because of the pace and comic treatment.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:47:02 AM |

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