Tamil Movies | Trailers | Slideshows | Top Ten | Interviews
Movie Articles | Classic Movies | Movie Personalities | Tech&Tech | Contact Us
Behindwoods Logo
Tamil Movie Review : Pudupettai
Selva-Dhanush-Yuvan combo rocks!
Cast: Dhanush, Sneha, Soniya Agarwal

Music Director: Yuvan Shankarraja


The ‘pettai rowdy’ theme –the gangster film trend that probably started with Surya’s ‘Aaru’ this season- reaches to a completely new level not quite seen before in Tamil silver screen for some time, in Selvaraghavan’s stylishly mounted ‘Pudupettai’

Industry watchers have anxiously been looking forward to ‘Pudupettai’ on two counts; one, a concern: Dhanush, now the son-in-law of the super star, badly needed a hit after a couple of awful movies and forgettable performances, and two, an intriguing question: whether Selvaraghavan, who gave three successive hits in ‘Thullavado Ilamai’, ‘Kadhal Kondein’ and ‘7 G Rainbow colony’ can pull off a hit this time too?
Rowdy’s rites of passage

Like all ‘pettai’ rowdies, ‘Kokki’ Kumar’s career in gangsterism starts off with a traumatic incident- involving his father, a petty henchman- at home and culminates in himself becoming a hitman of a local chief, indulging in bootlegging and drug peddling. The skinny lad evokes derision among his mates, but that he could summon up all his pent up rage when cornered like a rat stuns his rivals and the quick, transformation from a callow, lily-livered youth to a two-timing ruthless killer and ultimately to a politician is neatly told.
Soon, Krishnaveni, (Sneha) a sex-worker of the area, enters his life and then his rise in the lawless world is meteoric and he sows the seeds of destruction when he starts lusting for Selvi (Sonia Agarwal), his loyal guard, Mani’s sister
‘Kokki’ Kumar makes far too many enemies in his pursuit of power and pelf and does nemesis catch up with him? To reveal more would amount to giving away a spoiler!
Soniya Agarwal
Selva chronicles the story than narrates

One valid criticism of the movie is that in trying to be chronicler of the rise and further rise of a small time criminal, the director has done away with all sentiment which is so crucial to the success of the movie. While narrating the story of a wimpish lad from a small time gangster to a full time rowdy and to a politician, Selva just seems to document the story without attempting to moralise even a wee bit. Never once he tries to justify the hero’s actions and he refrains from giving his hero a few likeable virtues.
In the end, you are just a witness to a criminal’s rise to the hall of shame and you feel little empathy for him. As result, the viewer gets the feeling of having watched several hi-powered episodes at one go than a full-length feature film with a structured beginning, middle and an end.

Also one feels that Selva probably got carried away with his subject that he did not feel like ending a movie at any point. The story never shows signs of hurtling towards the climax and in fact, there is not one climactic moment in the film -the story just meanders towards the end while the audience waits for the anti-hero to meet with his nemesis which never happens. Whether this would be considered a drawback or a new style of film-making entirely depends on the tastes of the audience.
Dhanush back with a bang!

Dhanush, practically in every frame of the movie, eyes smoldering with fury and anger, has done an excellent job in the author-backed role. His dialogue delivery hasn’t changed much and at times, gives the impression of being loud but it gels with the loutishly criminal character that he portrays. Another top class performance is from Sneha who adds serenity to the proceedings with a dignified presence. The sore point, some may feel, would be the presence of Sonia Agarwal, who seems to have been cast as the unwillingly annexed bride, more due to nepotistic reasons than to pure merit.

Selva’s style of narration, alternately dark and bright, the way he eases into the story of the dark, underbelly of the metro with a lot of fast cuts, the way he has handled the fight sequences with a lot of panache, the dark humor he injects even in the most chilling of scenes, the performances he extracts from all the artistes all speak highly of his growing maturity as a director.
The background score is, to use a milder word, awesome, though Yuvan’s fans would be disappointed with a few songs chopped at the editing table.

A major negative of the movie, that earned it a UA rating, is the excess of violence - there is so blood and gore right throughout the movie.
Technically brilliant, but is the audience up to it?

In ‘Pudupettai’, Selva - one of the younger crop of the newer generation of directors- enters an unexplored genre – for him - of gangster movies. This is a vast canvas he deftly paints with broad, violent and incisive strokes, wisely eschewing the sentimental and effeminate touches that lesser directors succumb to while handling such themes. ‘Pudupettai’ is a film that should make people sit up and take notice of him and his craft more seriously.

Viewers with conservative tastes might not like the unconventional climactic sequences but, this is a technically brilliant movie with not a single dull moment. Dhanush’s ‘Kokki’ Kumar is not ‘Batsha’ or ‘Nayakan’ because you’re not supposed to like him.
rather Selva, does not want you to show sympathy for him! If you remember that minor piece of detail, may be you’ll enjoy the latest exotic offering from the combination of Selva-Dhanush-Yuvan!


The movie is 2 hours, 55 minutes long. Due to this, the movie does look like a mega-serial at times.

Dhanush in a white silk shirt and Sonia Agarwal in a bright orange dress came to Albert Theatre and waved to the delirious fans from the balcony. There was a lot of applause for quite a few scenes. A few fans felt that they would like to see the movie the second time so that the story could sink in better.

The entry song ‘Enga area ulley varathey’ has been picturised with a lot of pizzaz and may be it’s the sets, or the new 35 mm technology, one feels the song is bound to be a super hit. But, Selva has to cop the criticism that the line ‘padicha naye inga varathey’ does tend to glorify lumpen elements.

This must be one of most violent movies in the annals of Tamil cinema. One loses count of the number of heads chopped by the time the interval happens. Have the Chennai’s underworld not heard of guns and pistols?
Pudupettai Gallery >>
Pudupettai Music Review>>
Other top stories
Top 10 heroines of Kollywood today Globally saleable Tamil heroes and expanding worldwide market of Tamil films!!
Vignettes of the making of Sivaji!! Stars and their autograph lines for you!!
Top 10 Punch Dialogues of Tamil Cinema Varanasi: Bala's next spiritual journey for Naan Kadavul
From Rs.390 to Rs.3.5 Crores. Ajith’s journey of hardship, from nowhere to stardom!! 365 days and beyond: Films that ran for more than a year and their success stories!!
Sivaji - Package Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu Package
Behindwoods.com © 2004 - 2006; For advertising contact behindw@behindwoods.com