From the stage to the big screen is a big transition. Many actors now in Tamil cinema have come through the quite famous Koothu Pattarai. This is however a film that consists of a host of artistes from the troupe. Pachai Engira Kaathu set in a typical rustic village of Theni tells the story of a man who believes in getting to the top and living a good life, hook or crook.
Pachai Engira Kaathu, is about Pachai, a man who wants to have a good life, no matter how he gets there. He talks, literally pleads, his ways into political set-ups only to show his true colors once he is give a little bit of authority. His ways earn him no friends, but he doesn’t care about that. And, he is not just an untrustworthy person, he is also one of the most regular drunken brawlers of the village. All put together, he is someone whom the village would gladly dispense with. But, he has no plans of leaving until his unworthy ways and the enemies they earned him retaliate. He does come back; after a long while and he seems to have changed. How has he changed and does his past allow him to lead a peaceful life again?
The film has some interesting characterization. Of course, we have seen the character of village vagabonds time and again, but this is not that stereotyped. Pachai is not mindlessly wayward character; he has a clever deviousness which makes him interesting. You can see shades of Amaidhipadai’s Amavaasai here, but not much. The character is pretty much the backbone of the film. There is a romance track which also plays a very important part of the film; you realize its significance only towards the climax. Till then it appears as just another romance track that is a mandatory addition in movies. The proceedings do drag from time to time but the story has enough surprises here and there to perk up things. But, the length of the film does tire you a bit. It seems like an ending which takes forever to come. When it does come, it surprises you, but it should have been crisp. Instead, it is gory, a very inventive way of sending someone to their death, but not in ‘good taste’. Showing the vengeance of a character is fine, but there should be a place where a line is drawn.
Pachai Engira Kaathu has some good locations, as it always is with Theni and surroundings. The fights also look very rough, tough and original; the actors must have taken a few bruises doing them. Vasagar, the debut hero, has done a commendable job. Considering that the entire movie hinges on his character, he has done extremely well for a debutant. Heroine Saranya, also making her debut, makes good use of her opportunity. Music does not play too big a part in Pachai Engira Kaathu.
This is a film that shows the life of a man who does not have principles in life. His character and life are well portrayed. The movie is a story well told but is definitely not one that provides wholesome entertainment. However, it does make for a fairly engaging viewing, especially if you like watching village life shown in its rustic charm.
Verdict: Strong character, good narration: not much else!