The Film Pandiya Nadu , which got released for this Diwali is an action entertainer set in the back drop of rural Madurai. The film has Vishal and Lakshmi Menon as the leads. Besides acting this is the debut film of Vishal as the producer . The film is Directed by Suseenthiran, who is known for his action flicks. Great expectations are mounted from the director , especially after the grand success of an off beat story in ‘Aadhalaal Kadhal Seiveer’ and the film Pandiya Nadu has managed to live up to the expectations The film has the genuine touching family angle included with a purpose. It’s a quintessential revenge drama supported by taut narration and wonderful performances. He cashes in on a strong family bond to narrate an engaging revenge story sans any commercial clinches. Battling in the stiff competition this Diwali, ‘Pandiya Nadu’ has its own unique set of positives to make its mark. Set in the backdrop of the beautiful tensile town, the film has a lot of action, a lot of emotion, many light moments, a little bit of love and lots of fun on a thread of entertaining story.
First to enter the screen is not the hero or heroine, but bereavement over a death. A grieving father conceals his happiness with an awkward smile when he comes to learn that the man responsible for his son’s death is dead too. He silently walks into his room, breathes a sigh of relief and picks up his crying grandson and takes a stroll. This is one of the most powerful scenes of ‘Pandiya Nadu’, which unarguably is a better film compared to other two Diwali releases. Going further, the story unfolds not one or two, but many big shot bad guys who are in mutual disagreement with one another. The scene simplifies a little when the rowdy who runs quarries against the government norms, Simmakal Ravi, hacks down the others for monopoly. Meanwhile, Sivakumar (Vishal) is a simple guy who works in a mobile service center , who falls in love with Malar (Lakshmi Menon) who is a school teacher. Sivas brother , an honest government employee is killed by the villain. The scenes that Vishal and Lakshmi share are cute and lighthearted. However, it is not love story that forms the main thread of this film. When the lives of the innocent Sivakumar and rowdy Ravi get inevitably intertwined with one another’s, due to the death of the former’s brother, that is where the real story begins. . How the meek protagonist Siva rises up and hits back at the baddies forms the crux of the story.
‘Pandiya Nadu’ has a very ordinary first half with a lot of focus on family drama and romance, but it takes a detour post-interval to give audiences an engaging climax. It steers away stereotypes and entertains with a very strong screenplay, while strong performances by the lead cast make the film one of the best in this genre. The film is a winner because of Suseenthiran, who knows exactly how to use his craft and never let goes off an opportunity to pleasantly surprise the audience. He did it recently with ‘Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer’ and now repeated it with ‘Pandiya Nadu’, which gives us a much needed face life to the genre. loved the fact that he used the family tie to never strip the film off its emotional quotient, but use it poignantly to build an edge-of-the-seat narrative. Brilliant! For the first time in his career Vishal has shed his action hero avatar, and it worked in his favour.
Casting is also the film’s biggest strength. Veteran filmmaker Bharathiraja who plays the father of Vishal is brilliant and his subtle relationship with Vishal stands out. He has added considerable twist to the story , to set the tale of revenge blowing in the track. He gives a knockout performance that makes you root for the actor in him. Vikranth makes a comeback with an impressive cameo as Sethu in the film . He plays the close buddy to Vishal and the scenes where they work hand in hand to impress Lakshmi is yet another entertaining sequence with lighthearted comedy. Loss of such a good ally and his beloved brother transforms the innocent introvert Vishal into a hero seeking revenge, which forms the crux of ‘Pandiya Nadu’. Soori has lightened up the mood at even the most taxing and tense situations.. Begging in seeking justice and ending in delivering justice, the film is yet another provoking yet off-beat story from the promising director, Suseenthiran.
Although the film deals with the formulaic revenge drama, Suseenthiran’s script and fantastic performances of the film’s cast have worked wonders for the Vishal starrer. Critics believe that “Pandiya Nadu” will definitely resurrect the slugging career of Vishal, who has come out with his best ever performance in the film.
All the actors have been cast with care, who have done justice to their roles almost all through the movie. However, there are places where the emotions seem fake on some of the faces. Imman’s music backs the emotional roller coaster effectively. Though it sounds repetitive at places, it does not hamper with the overall experience. While there is a lot of crude information in the first half, it takes the hour after the intermission to put the pieces together and explain the story in detail. In a couple of emotionally demanding scenes, cinematography is strikingly different, to make the mood linger and hit the right notes, giving an edge to Mathi’s creativity.
The fight sequence in the climax is the one to watch out for. The style action is appropriate, much better than most exaggerated action sequences in several Tamil films. Unlike the traditional hit and bleed gruesome scenes, the fight this time is realistic and carries the pent up emotions in right measure Mathi’s cinematography is top class especially during the chase sequences. Camera angles, capturing and editing in this particular action sequence is par excellence. On the whole, Antony has done a great job, as he always has, to add the apt effects at the right places to make this movie an experience rather than a mere story. Imman’s tunes and background score was satisfying. This festival weekend ‘Pandiya Nadu’ is your best bet at the cinemas. It’s a dark horse that gallops with pride. Mostly predictable, but with slight little twists here and there, the story has been put to a racy screenplay, which is worth the time you invest in entertainment.