Paagan - Review
Debut director Aslam has made a bicycle as the central character of Paagan just like the bike in Polladhavan (directed by Vettrimaran) and car in Paiyya (directed by Lingusamy). He has in fact gone a step ahead and made the cycle narrate the story!
A youngster is raring to earn money and tries out various means for it. He calls every money-making venture a ‘project’ but fails miserably. Finally, he decides to fall in love and calls it a ‘project’ too. What happens if one thinks of love as a ‘project’ is told hilariously by the director.
Srikanth, Soori and ‘Black’ Pandi are best friends who live in Pollachi. With no work to do, Srikanth thinks of various business ventures and calls them as ‘projects’. He also starts these projects only to taste failure.
Finally, Srikanth decides to make money faster and plans to marry a rich girl. He and his friends decide on Janani Iyer, who is a rich man’s daughter. Janani also falls in love with Srikanth eventually but her dad A Venkatesh does not accept their love and she goes to Srikanth’s house seeking refuge.
Srikanth is shocked by Janani Iyer’s sudden arrival but plans to hand her over to her dad A Venkatesh and earn a good name. His actual plan is to settle down at their bungalow. But on their way, they are accosted by Venkatesh’s henchmen and Janani immediately asks Srikanth to tie the mangalsutra around her neck. He, however, refuses to do so and states clearly that he was after her money and did not truly love her. Srikanth also leaves Janani at the temple and goes to Thiruppur.
When in Thiruppur, he sees the diary penned by Janani in his cycle carrier. On reading it, he realizes her true love for him and starts crying. He immediately returns to Pollachi in search of her.
What did Janani pen down in that diary? Why does Srikanth go in search of her again? Will they unite? All this forms the very lengthy post-intermission session.
Srikanth’s bicycle seems to be the hero in this film. He sings and fights with his cycle. There is a scene wherein his cycle clashes with the heroine’s cycle and romance erupts between the cycles! His cycle also punctures itself to save the owner from near possible death! He also travels between Pollachi and Thiruppur, almost 61 kms, in this cycle. Despite all this, the cycle remains new right from the beginning till the end.
What is the connection between this story and cycle? One wonders if the director has forcibly included the cycle in the script because no one else has done so in the history of Indian cinema!
Aslam seems to be confused right from the start. He is perhaps not sure if he wanted to make it as a love story, a comedy film or a film with the cycle as the central subject.
Soori and Pandi are welcome relief as they make us laugh with their antics. Apart from this, the scene where Srikanth attempts suicide to get Janani’s attention is laughable.
The director has used the age-old formula in Tamil cinema by including four comedy scenes, three romantic scenes, and two or three chasing scenes with the cycle. Other than this there is nothing new.
Positives: Soori and ‘Black’ Pandi’s comedy. And the love techniques.
Negatives: Cycle, music, both songs as well as background score, lengthy film and confusing script.
In total: If you are not worried about the story and logic but interested in the comedy (though we might have seen such comedy tracks a number of times before), then go for it!
Release date: September 7, 2012
Producer: VP Productions
Distributor: Vendhar Movies
Stars: Srikanth, Janani Iyer, Soori, Pandi, A Venkatesh, Kovai Sarala
Music: James Vasanthan