How many times had we seen a serious issue being dealt in the way it has to be dealt in Kollywood? How many times a real-life issue was given the right tinge of imagination that strikes a chord with masses? How many times that lead actors involved themsleves with the characters they play? And finally, how many times one would have felt watching a movie that the director had firm grip on the medium?
It majority of the answers is rare, then comes a whiff of fresh air in the name of 'Payanam'. The movie set in the backdrop of flight hijack has been told in a riveting way and interestingly the viewer would identify himself as one of the passengers in the flight.
Be it Nagarjuna or Prakashraj, who play key roles in the film, they form part of the script and nowhere one could find their individual traits coming to the front.
Three cheers to Radha Mohan, Prakashraj and Nagarjuna for the trio have combined to render a flm that is entertaining and enthraling from the word go. The filmmaker, who handled emotional and family dramas themes in the past, consciosuly chose to tread a different path and emerges successfully in a tight-rope walk.
'Payanam' is a ride of joy, ecstasy, camaradaerie, thrill and spill. Nagarjuna and Prakashraj, the two seasoned artistes, ensures that Radha Maohan's imagination are brought out well on screen.
For Radha Mohan, the captain of the ship (or call him the pilot of the flight), 'Payanam' would be a landmark film. He has brought out his other side with hard-hitting message laced in a sweet entertainer. What more? His ability to handle a large group of artistes and get their best is a trick that he has mastered since his first film.
A terrorist group hijacks a flight from Chennai. The plane, with 75 passengers (including a Minister and a top actor among others) and crew, is brought to the Tirupati airport. Home Secretary Vishwanath (Prakash Raj) and other higher officials come to the temple town to negotiate with the terrorists.
In the meantime, the job of rescuing the passengers is entrusted to NSG commando Ravi (Nagarjuna). What follows is diplomatic and pulsating efforts to save the lives pof 75 passengers on board.
Prakashraj continues his sublime form. He is at ease playing the pivotal role and brings out right emotions. Nagarjuna as NSG Commando is indeed an apt choice. Sans big romance or naach gaana, it's indeed relief to see a new Nagarjuna. His body language deserves special mention. He is portrayed as both brainy and brawny.
What is praiseworthy is that the rest of the cast including Sana Khan, Bharath Reddy and others, with everyone having a meaty part to play in the script.
Due credit should be given to cinematographer K V Guhan and art director Kathir. They are the flesh and blood to the movie. The authentic feel of being on board a flight is made possible by them. Also Praveen Mani's background ( sans songs) peps up the proceedings.
The producer in Prakashraj has once again proved that he has a nose for innovative ideas and that all hopes are not lost when he is around in Tamil cinema, which is otherwise dominated by cliched commercial masalas.
Kudos to Payanam for a great successful journey.