Tamil Movie Fans (that
will be you!) always have high expectations for movies
starring great stars, or directed by established
Directors, or produced by proven Banners/Producers. The
expectations are even higher when it is a movie involving
a 'Super Star' (wait,...please stop clapping or whistling
alright ?! this is only a review and not the title scene
of Padaiyappa !!). Usually, the expectations of the fans
in a Rajni movie includes: a good story with sentiments,
at least one new style from Rajni, a punch dialogue which
people like to quote often, some comedy scenes done by
Rajni, good supporting cast, good looking & acting
heroine(s), good songs and good fights. Rajnikanth's new
movie 'Padaiyappa' has all these elements except for the
last two items.
This movie has a strong
dramatic story. Sivaji Ganesan is a highly respected
Jameendar in a village. Lakshmi is his wife.
AruPadaiyappan (alias) Padaiyappa (Rajnikanth) is their
son (please stop clapping and scroll down to read the rest
of the review !!! ;-)) and Siththara is their daughter.
Manivannan is Sivaji Ganesan's brother. Manivannan and his
family live together with Sivaji and family. One day,
Manivannan claims his share of the family wealth. Sivaji
writes off all his properties to Manivannan and walks out
with his family. While doing so, Sivaji dies. At that
point, Panakkara (rich) Padaiyappa becomes Pauperappa !
Padaiyappa owns a small dry land property and by the turn
of luck, he finds granite stones in his land. We hear the
song Vazkayil aayiram thadaikallappa..... in the
background and before it is over, Padaiyappa becomes
Panam'appa (a rich man) !
Lakshmis brother is
Radha Ravi. Naasar is his son and Nilambari (Ramya
Krishnan) is his foreign-educated, arrogant daughter.
Vasanthira (Soundarya) is a servant maid in Nilambaris
house. Nilambari falls in love with Padaiyappa for his
Five good qualities (one of the questions in next years
Fifth standard final exam would be What are the Five
qualities of Padaiyappa for which Nilambari falls in love
with him ?!). But, Padaiyappa falls in love with
Vasanthira. Padaiyappa overcomes all the hurdles and
tricks of Nilambari and marries Vasanthira. So, it is just
another Triangular Love story right ?! Well, it would have
been, if the movie stopped here. Nilambari keeps her
disappointment and vengeance deep in her heart. Time flies
by and Padaiyappa is old now and he has two daughters (Preetha
and Anita). Nilambari tries to take revenge on Padaiyappa
and his family after 18 years, using Padaiyappa's daughter
Preetha Vijaykumar. How will Padaiyappa handle this ? Will
Nilambari win her battle ? - forms the rest of the story.
Rajnikanths acting is
very good. He portrays enthusiasm in the younger role and
seriousness and maturity in the older role. His comedy is
enjoyable. He does a new style of throwing a shawl, and a
new Rajni Salute ! (he does a variation of his good old
cigarette style - in this movie, he does it with a cigar
!). Super Star looks Super Slim ! (looks like he lost some
weight - he looks thinner than everybody else in the
movie). The makeup for Rajni could have been better - in
some scenes, the wig (toupe) is obvious and for the older
Rajni, the beard is not so natural (the olders Rajnis make
up is similar to his makeup in the movie Batcha). Rajnis
punch dialogue in this movie is "My way is unique way'' !
The real heroine of
this movie is Ramya Krishnan. She has a powerful role and
she has done it well. Contrary to the rumors in the media,
her role does not portray the Tamil Nadu political leader
Jayalalitha (except that Ramya Krishnans character also
has a lot of arrogance and anger). However, some of the
dialogues delivered by Rajni to Ramya Krishnan would also
fit - if he said those dialogues to Jayalalitha. Even
though Soundarya acted as Rajnis pair, her role is a 'jujubi'
(small) one in this movie ! There is no need to mention,
but, Sivaji Ganesans acting is good (ayya, kalakiteengalae
!!). Sivaji portrays the role of a serious, yet, loving
father in a nice way. The scene where he runs like a kid
and feels the pillar of his house for one last time - is
touching. Lakshmis acting is nice. Manivannan has done
good acting - for a change, he has done comedy plus
serious acting. Senthil and the rest of Rajnis friends
have done good comedy acting. Senthil's comedy in a scene
where he goes to see a bride (along with Rajni and
friends) is hilarious. To compensate for her lost movie
career after "Arunachalam" movie (for doing a 'Villi'
role), Vadivukarasi has been given a small, but safe role
in 'Padaiyappa'. Prakashraj has acted (well) in just one
scene - he should not waste his talents by agreeing to act
in 'one scene' movies. Siththara, Radha Ravi, Naasar,
Ramesh Kanna, Anu Mohan - all have done their roles well.
Preethas acting is just OK. Abbass acting is Adapas !
(people who know Coimbatore Tamil will understand this!).
Lets talk about the
Music: Singa nadai pottu sigarathil aeru.....en paru
Padaiyappa is an regular intro song for Rajni and it is OK
(one more question in next years Fifth standard final
Tamil exam would be Singa nadai pottu sigarathil aeru..."
endra paadalai adi piralamal ezuthuga !!). This song also
has the tune of Suthi Suthi vantheeha... in between the
verses. The dance sequence for this song is good in the
movie. Vazkayil aayiram ......Vetrikodi... (Sriram) - is a
good motivational song and it is OK to watch along with
the movie. The lyric in this song is good. This song
sounds like some very old song (Srirams voice also sounds
like some old singer). Minsara Kanna'' (Sriram,
Nithyashree and Srinivas) song is OK. The dance for this
song is not good in the movie. The costumes in this song
are similar to that of Muthu. "Suthi Suthi Vandeeha...'' (SPB
and Harini) song is the best in this movie with nice music
and melodious voices of SPB and Harini. Harini's voice is
very sweet in this song. It is also good to watch in the
movie. Every body except for A.R. Rahman knows (if he
knew, he should not have done it !) that "Oh oh oh...
Kikku aeruthae..." (Mano and Febi) song strikingly
resembles (the tune and Mano's voice) 'Ayirathil naan
oruvan...' song from the movie 'Iruvar'. This song has a
good beat and it is good to watch in the movie. The CD /
Tape has an additional instrumental music of "Suthi Suthi
Vandeeha...'' song and it is good to listen. There is
nothing worth mentioning in the background score. It is
very disappointing to watch the songs in the movie (except
for 2 songs) - it looks like they filmed the songs in a
hurry. Also, Vairamuthu (lyrics) is invisible in most of
Director K.S. RaviKumar
has clearly understood the way a Rajni movie should be and
has delivered a good product. The weakness of Arunachalam
movie is the strength of Padaiyappa movie - the story that
is. The basic plot of the story has similarities with some
of Rajnikanth's previous movies like 'Mannan' and 'Nallavanukku
Nallavan'. The story (by Aruncahala story discussion
group) and screenplay (K.S. RaviKumar) have been planned
and executed well (except for the last parts of the
movie). The strong dialogues are a plus. This movie has
all the elements (except for good songs) of a typical
M.G.R. movie (love, drama, sentiments, fights, some
political dialogues,.....). Well done K.S. RaviKumar !
Also, K.S. RaviKumar should be appreciated for giving good
comedy opportunities to Senthil, Ramesh Kanna and other
people who have acted as Rajnis friends.
The editing is good -
there are a few good continuity scenes - where the ending
of a scene leads to the beginning of the next scene. The
cinematography (by S. Murthy and Prasad) is OK for the
most part (since most of the movie happens in indoors).
There is one scene where the camera pans a huge crowd of
people and that scene is completely out of focus. The
dance choreography (Tharun Kumar, Lalithamani and Brinda),
art backgrounds (G.K.) and costumes could have been
better. Some songs settings and costumes resemble that of
the movie Muthu. Considering that it is a Rajni movie, the
fight scenes are so-so. They are below average and there
is no style or bravery in them (what happened to 'paranthu
paranthu fighting' of Rajni ?!). The movie also has some
masala car chasing. This movie has some computer graphics
- it is good for the most part - except for the climax
(the flying Vel) - where it has been done with poor
would enter into politics is debatable. However, if he is
planning to enter politics, this movie would place him in
the right track (similar to the MGRs movies that were made
before he entered into Politics).
Nalla Padamappa !
(movie is good !)