Kaushik L M



If not for Suriya, Pasanga 2 may not have got this much attention., Pasanga 2, Suriya


Every week we see scores of Tamil films hitting the screens and most of them just fall by the wayside as the audiences just don't have the time or interest to check out every movie that comes their way. Even the ones with noted names, which draw in some initial crowd, are subjected to ruthless inspection and analysis in the social media. It really is a big deal for a film to emerge unscathed from all this social media criticism and go on to emerge victorious.

Among the Dec 24 releases, it seems Pasanga 2 belongs to that elite club of films with minimal or no negativity surrounding it. Critics have been granting it 3+ ratings on 5, and the film is being raved about by all who have seen it so far. The box-office has also responded positively with steady improvement in collections since Day 1.
This Suriya - Pandiraj presentation is a preachy lesson for parents & teachers on how to raise young kids, inspired by ‪‎Taare Zameen Par‬. Its good intent stands out no doubt, and a couple of hyperactive kids (ADHD is the technical term) are the protagonists who drive the plot ahead. Their parents and teachers in competitive private schools aren't able to manage them. It takes Suriya and Amala Paul (a married couple specializing in children's needs) to turn around their fortunes and make winners out of them.
Very rarely do we see children's films coming out and director Pandiraj continues to be at the forefront of this genre. It's a splendid job by ‪the director in extracting very fine performances from all the lead kids. He is an expert indeed, with the tiny tots, and the emotional stage scene with Nayana narrating her tale in a competition stands as proof to the kid's talent and also Pandiraj's ability to work with this demanding age group. Expect some awards to knock at the doorstep of Baby Vaishnavi (Nayana). Pandiraj's dialogues are sharp at quite a few places and they are already trending in the social media space through Memes. See the film again, if you had missed some of these lines the first time around. 
If Kaaka Muttai was subtle and presented what it had to, in a breezy manner, Pasanga 2 is more dramatic and in-your-face. The director could have presented a balanced take on private schools & teachers (even in Taare Zameen Par this was the case). It is as if some of the teachers and authorities in these schools are filling the void left due to the absence of the typical villains. Pasanga 2 is preachy, melodramatic, manipulative, one-sided and isn't as emotionally overwhelming as Taare Zameen Par or Stanley Ka Dubba. The film's take on the urban way of life isn't totally accurate, and Pandiraj may need some more experience in the urban space. But all this doesn't discount the film's other merits.

Foremost among them is the moving music score by young Arrol Corelli, with the theme music coming at good moments, like the little pregnancy flashback featuring Amala Paul and Suriya. His 'Tham Tham' song is another cute little segment where Suriya unleashes his histrionics and gymnastics skills while working with the kids. Director Pandiraj and editor Praveen KL have kept the film tight at just over 2 hours and this runtime is a major plus in this age when long films are invariably panned. The film also has some engaging animation snippets of popular characters which ought to delight kids. Pasanga 2 is filled with scenes and moments which may feel dry for the youth but would appeal to kids without a doubt.
There is this unwritten rule which says that when kids like a film, the box-office prospects of that film are safe. This is because, if kids have to come to a film, it has to be a complete family outing to theaters, which means more tickets sold at the counters. Pasanga 2 should benefit in this way.

Finally, kudos to super-smart ‪‎Suriya‬ for producing this relevant film, & giving it face value. If not for a producer like him, who also happens to be a big star in an extended cameo, Pasanga 2 may not have garnered this much attention. He also seems to have let go all inhibitions, while acting with the kids, and there are some scenes where he is at his expressive best. An act which definitely warrants the catchphrase 'Way to go'

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