Friday, April 2


Movie - Paiyya (Tamil)
Director - Lingusamy
Producer - Thirupathi Brothers
Cast - Karthi, Tamannah, Milind Soman, Jegan
Music - Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography - Madhie
Editing - Anthony
Story, Screenplay - Lingusamy
Dialogues - Brindasarathi
Choreography - Raju Sundaram, Brinda
Stunts - Kanal Kannan
Art Director - Rajeevan
Release Date- 2nd April 2010

Nothing can make you happier while watching a movie than a masala/formula film done well (At least for a regular viewer of Tamil Cinema). And things get more interesting if this formula is modified to include new techniques of storytelling. Lingusamy who has given us one of the previous decade's best formula flicks in the form of RUN, has made Paiyya as a road movie which takes us on a trip from Bangalore to Mumbai on a Mitsubishi Lancer with an energetic Karthi and a beautiful Tamannah. Paiyya is in the same format as RUN, and sometimes we do feel like we are watching a renewed version of RUN (even the hero's name is the same), but the director makes sure that his audience is not bored for even a single second.

Paiyya tells the story of Siva (Karthi), a jobless youth who is on an interview-attending spree since he's pressurized by his dad to get a job as soon as possible. But he is least interested in joining for a job. While in Bangalore for yet another interview, he sees Charu (Tamannah), while getting down at a bus stop (a la RUN - just that he doesnt run to board the bus again). He is immediately smitten by her and keeps searching for her all over Bangalore leaving even his job interview. And when he goes to the railway station to deliver his friend's car, he meets Charu again over there. But she mistakes him for a driver and asks him for a ride to Mumbai, since she's in some serious trouble. Siva immediately agrees and they set out on a journey from Bangalore to Mumbai and the movie unfolds through the various events that occur during this road trip to Mumbai.

Karthi is sure-shot superstar material. If his brother had to struggle a lot to reach where he is now, Karthi was immediately catapulted to the big league with his debut film, Paruthiveeran. With a debut film that had a 365 day run, it isnt wrong to name him a future superstar. His second release was Aayirathil Oruvan, which came 3 years after his first movie. Even though the movie had mixed opinions, each and everyone loved Karthi in it. But both those films were totally offbeat and not like any other normal Tamil film. So Paiyya can be called as Karthi's first typical Tamil film, so to say. He appears as an urban hero for the first time, sporting designer wear, which is a striking contrast from the lungis he wore in Paruthiveeran and Aayirathil Oruvan. This movie is designed as a star-vehicle to show off Karthi's skills and the guy shines like anything. Be it song & dance, fights, romance or comedy, the young actor shows that he is here to stay. He has terrific screen presence and keeps reminding you of his talented elder brother who is making his first step towards Bollywood this year. Karthi is a younger and taller version of the exceptionally talented Surya, but still has a unique style of his own. He shares excellent chemistry with his heroine Tamannah in the romantic portions and is electrifying in the fight sequences. Madhavan entertained everyone through his romantic-cum-action hero role in RUN and Karthi does exactly the same through this movie and all the girls in the south are sure to have a new poster boy.

Tamannah is getting better with each film. The girl who started out as yet another cute doll with no acting skills has improved a lot over the last year. Even though she couldnt match up to Kareena Kapoor, she was very good in Kanden Kadhalai last year. And in Paiyya, her role doesnt require great acting skills, yet she gives a decent performance although her lip movements are still not in sync with the dubbed voice. In fact, none of the actors other than Karthi have lip sync with their dubbed voices in this movie. Even though that looks odd in some scenes, its not such a big drawback in a movie of this genre. Tamannah looks gorgeous throughout the movie and wears some lovely costumes. If she can correct her lip sync problem soon enough, then she can easily be one of the top heroines in Tamil.

There is nothing much to mention about the rest of the cast. Milind Soman looks awesome in a rugged look, but is totally wasted in the villain role. But it looks neat to watch him get beaten up by Karthi. The other villains are all there to get beaten up. The curly hair girl from the Telugu superhit Happy Days, plays Karthi's friend in the movie. Even she has an enormous problem with the lip sync. All the other guys who play his friends are really bad. TV star Jegan comes in the second half in a comic role and gives some good laughs as a Madrasi trying to make a living in Mumbai. (P.S., one of my collegemates, Danny plays a goon in the film and it was really funny to see the star comedian of our college as a thug. :P)

Lingusamy has used this same storytelling pattern in two of his earlier films,Run and Sandakozhi. A soft, romantic hero suddenly turns into a superb fighter who can singlehandedly take on any number of goons. But each time Lingusamy has done this, he had a megahit in his hands. Same is the case with Paiyya. The movie progresses with very interesting incidents including amazing songs, thrilling chase sequences on the road, adrenaline-rushing stunt sequences and of course, some nice romance between the lead pair. After a disappointing Bheema, he is back in form with Paiyya. Even though the second half could have had a tighter screenplay, the stunt sequences and Karthi more than make up for it.

Cinematography is exceptional. Madhie has done a fabulous job in the road sequences, especially in the chase and fight scenes. It is extremely difficult to shoot such scenes and that too on the busy National Highways and Madhie has done a fantastic job in capturing those thrilling scenes to their maximum effect. Editor Anthony has used his crisp scissors to edit together all the various shots coming from different cameras used in the chase and fights scenes and has totally complemented the work of the cinematographer. Rajeevan, the art director has limited work to do for the major portions of the movie on the road. But the set he created for the 'Suthude Suthude' song looks nice even though it looks artificial. The junction created for the final fight sequence clearly looks like a set and the same set has come in many other movies as well. A good art director like Rajeevan could have avoided that.

Music is the best thing about this movie. Yuvan Shankar Raja has returned to form after some average outings. Each song is as good as the other in the movie. But the most popular among them are 'Thuli Thuli' choreographed by Brinda and 'Poongatre Poongatre' shot as part of the road trip. The background score is also very good and Yuvan has been able to create the right atmosphere during both the romantic sequences and the fight sequences with his apt background score. The other department which has worked wonders in this movie is the stunt department. Kanal Kannan is clearly the best stunt master in the south and his stunt sequences in almost all his movies are really raw man-on-man action scenes, unlike the flying and gliding gimmicks done by most others. Kanal Kannan makes us believe that our hero can beat up all those goons singlehandedly through his effective handling of the stunt sequences. And for lovers of stunts, there are plenty of them in this movie to give you your money's worth.


All in all, Paiyya is the perfect movie for a masala movie lover. It has fights, songs, dance, comedy, action, thrills and romance all rolled into one, without the disturbance of appa-amma characters or separate comedy tracks. And all these formula elements are played out effectively in the movie with some neat acting by the lead pair. (A short note to the Malayali filmmakers who are trying to make formula films. Watch films like Run and Paiyya to know how to make effective formula films rather than creating mundane films using the same age-old formulas which have become outdated).

RATING - 3/5

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