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Pandhayam is ridiculous

Pavithra Srinivasan | September 19, 2008 13:06 IST

A small boy is surrounded by his coterie of friends who challenge him to run up and down a hill within a count of 100. The boy replies that the task will be a breeze. Why? Because he's a fan of Ilaya Thalapathi Vijay, which automatically entitles him to superhuman powers. And if this scene hasn't alerted you to exactly what kind of a Tamil movie V V Creations' Pandhayam (Challenge), directed by S A Chandrasekhar is, then you're lost.

Pandhayam can easily be recommended as a laugh-riot that will set you free of mundane worries, and here are the reasons:

Poor Nithin Sathya, who's obviously been wrongly advised about his career, (this is another bad choice after the disastrous Thozha,) is required to play a hardened Vijay fan. This would have worked if it had stopped at that. Instead, as Shakthi, he has to frequently open his jacket to show Vijay t-shirts, love Thulasi (Sindhu Dolani) simply because she happens to be Minister Masanam's (Prakashraj) sister. This again, is because the Minister's silly cohort Sangu (Damu) warns that anyone in the college who dares to set eyes on her will have them gouged out.

Naturally, Shakthi has to make sure that she gazes deep into her limpid eyes, look at pink cotton-candy (presumably, his heart, in SFX) and fall in love with him. And then, as though to make matters worse, Shakthi actually dons the roles of Rajnikanth [Images], MGR and Vijay in quick succession in a fight scene, fighting 10 goons single-handedly.

Poor Prakashraj, who plays a stuttering rogue/silly villain a la Ghilli, ends up looking stupid. He starts out as a slick assassin in Trichy, morphs as a creditable villain when he kills his first sister and her lover, but for some reason, he completely fails to recognize Shakthi, who enters his domain as his confidante. A seasoned minister who can smell treachery a mile off, he trusts Shakthi with all his heart (!), completely failing to understand that this is the guy who's taunting him with Thulasi's love. 

Poor Radhika who's capable of great performances is reduced to a caricature of a Tamil serial's weepy heroine, as she trails behind her minister husband like a lost puppy. Exactly why he marries her after murdering her whole family is a mystery. Equally mysterious is why and how she puts up with him and lives quite happily for years.

Poor Nithin Sathya's friends, who each imitate Vadivel and Rajini, and put up a pathetic display of being loyal companions.

As for Sindhu Dolani, her role doesn't even bear talking about.

Vijay Antony's music, even with the Surangini and Diana Haddad remixes, is nothing to write home about -- much like the screenplay itself, which is a painful exercise, and rehash of several Vijay movies.

You begin squirming in your seat long before the intermission.

Oh yeah, there are two cameos of the Ilaya Thalapathi himself.

Watch Pandhayam if you've challenged your friends about sitting through a ridiculous movie. Even then, you might end up losing.

Rediff Rating:

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