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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Uday Kiran, Meera Jasmine, Karthiga.
Direction: Bali Srirangam
Music: Deva
Production: J Nandini Arts
Kalaignar handling the script and dialogues of the film itself makes it special and evinces a lot of interest. It is quite amazing that he is up to the task of scripting a full length feature film even on his 87th birthday. The title of the film suggests that unlike the normal Kollywood fare, this will definitely offer the female characters scope to perform. And, with any Kalaignar script, the dialogues would certainly be a highlight and we expect some really well written lines throughout the film.

Pen Singam is the story of Udhay Kiran and Meera Jasmine. The former is a forest officer while the latter is in a clerical post in his office. Both of them fall in love. Udhay Kiran is also in full support of Meera Jasmine’s ambition of becoming an IPS officer and she ultimately achieves her aim. Meanwhile, the forest mafia is in full swing, smuggling sandalwood and the leader of this gang is Radha Ravi. Obviously, the paths of Radha Ravi and Udhay Kiran cross while the latter is on duty
  Pen Singam
and they cross swords. The smugglers mark him as their prime enemy and are on the lookout for a way to get rid of him. This is when Richard (Udhay Kiran’s college friend)comes into the picture. At first, he appears to the principled and righteous youngster who wouldn’t take an immoral step. And, impressed by these traits of his, Dharshana Sen falls in love and they decide to get married. But, very close to the marriage Richard’s true face is revealed. But, a few reconciliations later, the marriage takes place. But, things can never be the same again. And, Udhay Kiran who was involved in arranging Richard’s marriage feels enraged at this sudden change in character. But, Richard is now already a part of Radha Ravi’s schemes. In the ensuing events, Dharshana Sen is killed and Udhay Kiran finds himself behind bars. This is where Meera Jasmine (now an IPS officer) takes over and has to find a way to get Udhay Kiran acquitted. Rohini, Udhay Kiran’s mother is a judge. She resigns her post to be her son’s counsel. How the duo help in proving Udhay Kiran’s innocence is the crux of the film.

The script has got many twists and turns to keep viewers interested. But, it is not as contemporary as one would have liked it to be. Though taut for most parts, there are a couple of major loopholes in the script; especially the point where Dharshana Sen decides to go ahead with the marriage to Richard even after getting a clear inkling of his intentions. But, that apart the script maintains a consistent tenor throughout the length of the film. But, comedy by Vivek is a major hampering to the proceedings. It has absolutely no value and ends up just as an irritating interspersion.

Udhay Kiran is convincing in his portrayal as the forest officer. Radha Ravi is his usual menacing self, but there is nothing new in his role; something we have seen him do umpteen number of times. Richard is not up to the mark with his villainy. In spite of quite a few years in the industry, his acting skills remain pretty rudimentary. Meera Jasmine does well as the ‘Pen Singam’. But, her role does not seem to have as much weight and substance as the title might suggest.

There are only a couple of scenes where she gets to go into top gear. Rohini is mature and strong in her portrayal. Rambha appears in a small but very significant cameo and fits the bill.

Technically, Pen Singam does not have much that stands out. Music by Deva just about passes muster with nothing out of the ordinary. The lyrics, by five different poets including Kalaignar himself are not the usual ‘jingle’ type stuff that we get these days. Dialogues, the highlight of any Kalaignar script, catch the imagination at places, though not always.

Overall, Pen Singam has got a pretty neat script, which holds one’s attention, but lacks in contemporary value. A couple of holes in the script, a weak and meaningless comedy track and lackluster music come in the way of the Pen Singam’s roar.

Verdict: Kalaignar: still good but not vintage

Tags : Pen Singam Review, Uday Kiran, Meera Jasmine, M. Karunanidhi, Ilayaraja
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