TV personality Vijay Adhiraj marks his maiden direction into mainstream cinema with "Puthagam". Incidentally Arya's brother Sathya (looks like Arya's photocopy) debuts in Kollywood with this movie and so does Director Santhanabharathy's son Sanjay. Puthagam joins the race for Pongal box-office, although its promotion was average when compared with other movies. However the trailer of this film had rave reviews building up the expectation factor. Vijay ends his 14 year respite of this idea and has transformed it into a movie shot with new protagonists. Let's take a brief look on what this movie is about:
The film begins with RJ Balaji's chirpy happy go introduction of mainstream characters, Sathya, Sanjay, Vignesh and Rakul Preeti singh. After the usual blend of romance, slow comedy and sentiment, the first half is all about how the three of them struggle to make a living. Meanwhile there is a political turmoil elsewhere with the arrest of Party leader essayed by Suresh. Rakul plays the upbeat journalist who covers most of the happening news and also as Sathya's lover. A fortune comes by to the vagabonds and rest of the plot is all about how and what happens to them with all the riches and turnover of events.
Post intermission there is little scope for Rakul as she does the disappearing act now and then. Jagapathi Babu's character is of a venal macho along with his sidekick bombshell Rachna Murya. A whale of small time actors like Uma Padmanabhan, Thalaivasal Vijay, Santhana Bharathi, Fathima Babu and Mano Bala get comfy in their roles though they appear barely for a minute.
The movie as a whole is covered in Sony F65, a digital motion camera adding a neat outlook to each frame and Cinematographer Laxman to take credit for it. James Vasanth after his success in rural milieu tries his hand out with urban music. Kevin has taken care of the Editing department.
What's good and what's not:
The movie as a whole is a thriller and Vijay's innovative tryst with it takes a rough jolt at many places. Sathya looks well built for a hero, but he needs to do a lot of homework when he emotes especially the close ups. Sanjay and Vignesh try their comedy at parts and somewhat helps at times. Rakul as a journalist is fresh and charming to watch unlike the part in her previous movie where she was seen most of the time in dark. Her lip synch is such a treat to watch and the director deserves a pat for working on a non tamilian actor's jargon. Her acting is as good as her looks and is sure to stay in Tamil Cinema.
The screenplay is a big let-down with an arguable length which just restrains the flow of the movie. One moment the scene gets racy and the next moment it's all sentimental and then again the director turns to romance, just not matching the right situation. The makeup is drastic and very evident, in certain scenes where Suresh's close-up is depicted it can easily give away how poor the patch up is. James's background score is harmonious at appropriate junctures, however the music is average. Jagapathi's recurring Punch dialogues irritates after a while and makes us wonder why this Kolaveri? A big solace in this drama is cinematography by Laxman, he enthrals us with apt camera work in both lighter and darker shades of the movie.
Ergo, what could have been a racy and an innovative thriller was plagued by mediocre screenplay which drags the movie in and out. Puthagam the movie is a slow oozing out thriller.
Rating - 1/5