After a mass Osthe, Silambarasan features
in Podaa Podi directed by debutant Vignesh
Shivan with Varu Sarathkumar, daughter of
Sarathkumar, as screen partner. Podaa Podi
was in the cross hairs for its lengthy duration
in the making. However, the film does not
look dated at all thanks to its premise.
The story is set in London where the lead
pair meets, falls in love amidst dance as
the backdrop. It is an apt debut vehicle for
Varu who has a good screen presence and emotes
quite naturally and spontaneously. The young
girl has a powerful face and if she takes
care of her weight, she is bound to go places
in the industry.
STR does not leave any opportunity go waste
when it comes to showcasing his chiseled torso
and gets appreciative claps from women audience
in the opening number ‘Love Pannalaama
Venaamaa’. The collective effort
of dance choreographer, editor and cinematographer
comes to fore in this number.
The first half is breezy and Vignesh Shivan
makes the audience sit up and take note of
the freshness in his execution. Through Varu
and STR, he clearly etches the characters
of current urban youth and their ‘matter
of fact’ attitude. Their impulsive decision
making, candid outlook, a superficial viewpoint
towards life and taking life as it comes with
no mushiness are all well portrayed.
Characterization of Varu and STR are one
of the salient features of PP. While Varu
remains the girl who has been raised in foreign
shores, STR, by his own admittance, represents
the quintessential Tamil male who despite
his geographical placement, continues to prefer
dominance over his woman and feels it his
right. Although Shivan cannot be found fault
for writing such a male character, it does
sound very regressive when STR just calls
out to Varu for making more babies!
While Shivan is successful in hooking the
audience in the first half generating a surprise
element through his lead characters, he fumbles
in the second half with his archaic take on
Tamil culture and sentiment much in contrast
to the tone that was set in the first half.
The pace and the mood change in the second
half and the course of the screenplay does
tend to meander with detours in track. You
start wondering where the director wants to
take his story to. Having said that, Shivan
should also be appreciated for eschewing sleaze,
even when the story gives a lot of scope for
Dialogues not only capture the irreverent
mood of the youth but also convey the superficial
nature of the lead pair’s relationship.
Varu opting to speak for herself works very
well for her as her unique diction and dialogue
delivery gives much credence to her character.
She dances quite well and gracefully too and
for the kuthu number she delivers the right
kind of movements. The mischievous glint in
her eyes when she lies to STR is a delight
For STR, the role suits him well and he plays
with a lot of conviction. The actor should
be lauded for essaying a young father’s
role unmindful of his image. He also deprecates
himself taking help from his characters in
previous films. The supporting cast of VTV
Ganesh and Shobana does their roles well.
Dharan’s compositions are the biggest
plus for PP and the young man scores in RR
too. Dance choreographers need special mention
as the film is based on dance and they have
done good work at that. Cinematographer Duncan
Telford captures London in its colorful mood
and the dances in its vibrant hue.
Toting it up, Podaa Podi is an ideal festival
outing for youth, which has good looking cast,
fun moments, nice songs and a few peppy dance
Verdict: Good youth time pass