'Sundara Pandian' (Tamil)
By Malini Mannath
19th September 2012 12:58 PM
'Sundara Pandian' (Tamil)
Cast: Sashikumar, Lakshmi Menon, Inigo, Vijay Sethupathi,
Well-crafted screenplay, smooth narration, and finely tuned characters and performances make ‘Sundara Pandiyan’ an engaging viewing experience. The clarity, precision and confidence with which director Prabhakaran moves his narration belies the fact that it’s his debut work.
The film is produced by his mentor Sashikumar who plays the title role. Sashikumar seems to have gained in confidence and there is an added maturity in his performance here. He’s lost oodles of weight, and cuts a trim picture. Stepping out of his comfort zone, he unlike his earlier films, woos his girl spiritedly, the character a more vibrant one here. He plays Sundara Pandiyan from an indulgent affluent family who whiles away his time with his friends. Pandiyan’s playful flirting with his married cousin, and his basking in the love showered on him by the old ladies in his household who literally smother him with their affection, are enjoyable moments. The long bus rides through picturesque locations and the happenings in the bus, may be a familiar scenario. But packaged interestingly, the bus episodes are hilarious. The dialogue sparkles with wit and humour.
The film has quite a few unexpected twists. Like when the shy Arivu (Inigo fitting in suitably) takes the help of Pandiyan to woo Archana, a girl he had been following in the bus, it’s an unforeseen scenario that develops. As Archana, Lakshmi Menon (has done a film in Malayalam) performs like a seasoned actress, her face registering myriad expressions. Among some of the finer moments in the film is the subtle way Archana’s family tries to scuttle the girl’s love affair.
Appukutty’s character is a turning point in the story, the actor portraying well the negativity of the character. Soory has steadily carved an enviable niche for himself as a comedian to reckon with. As Pandiyan’s friend here, he is a delight to watch, gets the best of lines, and makes the most of it. Adequate support is lent by Vijay Sethupathi, who plays Archana’s intended groom.
It’s a riveting climax where Pandiyan who thought of himself as this great problem solver, realises that he was not one after all. One can feel the influence of Sashikumar’s earlier films ‘Subramaniapuram’ and Nadodigal’. With its judicious blend of humour, sentiment and action, ‘Sundara Pandiyan’ is a wholesome family fare that keeps one entertained throughout.
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