Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam Movie Review, Film Companion

Director: Thalapathy Prabhu

Cast: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Nivetha Pethuraj, R. Parthiepan

How do you tweak the standard hero-versus-villain rural melodrama? You could do worse than cast Parthiepan as the villain. The actor lends some of his trademark colour to the part of a big shot named Oothukaataan, who swears revenge on a neighbouring village because he wasn’t allowed to conduct his little girl’s ear-piercing ceremony at the local temple.He wants to drive everyone out of the village and bring the temple deity to his village. Or something. It doesn’t matter. He does villainous things so that the hero can do heroic things. He also adheres to Clause 142-C of the Tamil Film Villain’s Rulebook and begets a daughter (Leelavathi, played by Nivetha Pethuraj) that the hero can fall in love with.

Udhayanidhi Stalin plays the hero, Ganesh. He adheres to Clause 274-G (b) of the Tamil Film Hero’s Rulebook and tries to convince us that he is Rajinikanth. There’s first the film’s title, Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam (I Have a Heart of Gold), taken from one of Superstar’s greatest introduction songs. We hear the number when Ganesh drives a road-roller because he believes in social service. Or something. It doesn’t matter. He wears a pair of sunglasses and positions another one at the back of his head, so that the people behind him can see he’s wearing sunglasses. At least, this is better than the idea he comes up with to bring more customers to his travel agency: he introduces “car hostesses” (like air hostesses).

To Oothukaataan’s annoyance, Ganesh won’t leave the village. So an election is rigged with the help of the panchayat. The people who want Ganesh to leave are asked to vote for the “plane” symbol. Those who want him to stay will vote for the “chair” symbol. As I type this, I realise I am just regurgitating plot. Maybe I want you to feel my pain. Thalapathy Prabhu directs with an eye on the B/C centres – and without realising that even those films can be made entertaining. This film’s idea of laughs is to have Soori flinch whenever he faces a man with bad breath. The romance is worse. My favourite touch comes at the beginning, where a corner of the screen bears the text “3 a.m.” Such specifics for something so utterly generic.

Watch the trailer here:


Rating:   star

Subscribe now to our newsletter