Sunday, January 20, 2008

Polladhavan - Tamil

Despite the clichés, (songs, scrawny lead actor!) director Vetrimaaran succeeds with Pollaadhavan mainly through the masterful screenplay that spins an unusual tale with things progressively spinning out of control, much to our surprise! As for the scrawny lead, director Shankar, when he was re-launching Prabhudeva (post Indu!) in Kaadhalan, placed a minor Karate learning shot to convince us that a bag of bones could possibly deal with a hefty man. But, while Dhanush does look the part of a lower middle class boy yearning for a bike, the only other parts that equals Shankar’s Karate-shot are Dhanush’s mom asking him to get a bike of his size and Dhanush calling himself ‘chappai’. The chappai does go on to smash the shit out of the larger-sized villains, though, quite implausibly. Even the ravishing-heroine-falling-for-scrawny-hero part is sheer annoyance. Such quibbles aside, the film’s depiction of the urban underworld is superbly gritty. Most people live their parts amazingly well, specially Dhanush’s dad and Selvam, the lead villain. Pollaadhavan is enjoyably seeped in reality about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, except for one thing that continues to plague Tamil cinema - pandering to the hero, not for his emoting abilities, but for his connections.

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