Movie Review: Pa. Paandi (Tamil)

Pa. Paandi
Pa. Paandi is unlike any other love story we are used to seeing in films. In an interesting role reversal of sorts, we see the son well-settled in life, financially secure and married with two kids. It's the father who courts trouble, all the while yearning for a life that seems to have whizzed past (but fruitful nonetheless), wanting to relive it in his own terms if given a second chance and longing for a love that has eluded him for decades. He is Pa. Paandi, a sixty-something man and a former stunt master. Some sort of a legend in film industry circles. But tired of leading a grandfatherly life, he applies for a series of jobs, fails at them, and even heroically tries to rid the neighborhood of drug peddlers, much to the exasperation of his son and his daughter-in-law.

The manner these scenes play out reek of melodrama, even as Raghavan, his son, is made to see the err of his ways when one fine day Paandi decides to leave home for a journey of self-discovery. A flashback ensues (Dhanush playing his younger self), a story about him falling in love with Poonthendral and how circumstances separate them, followed by a search that's as quick and easy as typing her full name on Facebook. Coaxed by his biker friends, Paandi sends her a message, anxiously waiting for a response. And when he gets, the film hits a home run. It becomes a love story so breezy and exhilarating, you can't help but watch their interactions with a big, fat grin on your face*. Revathi, after all these years, makes a welcome return and proves why she is an actor nonpareil. A touch mawkish and refreshing at the same time, actor Dhanush makes an assured debut as a director aided by a fantastic musical score from Sean Roldan.

*Not since Vasanth's Rhythm and Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain has there been a love track this beautiful!