Don’t miss the journey.

Reviews 12-Feb-2011 11:13 AM IST Top 10 Cinema Comments

‘Fasten your seat belts’ – often we read this tagline when we come across action based flicks based on hijacking and its rescue operation. The trailers of ‘Payanam’ might have let us draw assumptions that it’s yet another rescue operation movie that has been undertaken several larger than life heroes. Obviously, ‘Payanam’ does deal with similar theme, but with much difference. Radha Mohan has tried diverting the story away from protagonist’s prominence and laid importance to emotional quotients of passengers as they spend 127 hours of desolation in flight.

The synopsis of ‘Payanam’ is as thin as wafer as we get a clear picture about the storyline by glimpsing on the trailers. A domestic flight between Chennai and New Delhi is hijacked by 5 terrorists and it takes an emergency landing at Tirupathi due to technical problems. Major Ravi (Nagarjuna), command from National Security Guard is assigned for the rescue operation and a senior bureaucrat (Prakash Raj) is to negotiate with the terrorists and gets to know their demand of releasing of their leader Yousuf from prison. Rest of the film deals with 5-day trials of passengers in the flight followed by the rescue operation taking place with some interesting twists…

Kudos to Radha Mohan for dealing with a different term: he throws more light into each characterization in the flight rather than just showcasing the intensity of the protagonist.
When it comes down to protagonist himself, the shades are completely contrastive from the preexisted ones. Nagarjuna does a decent job heeding to the direction of Radha Mohan. We don’t find much exaggeration on his part and so is Prakash Raj. The negotiation room has some hilarious moments with the presence of Brahmanandam. One of highlighting traits is the delineation of an actor, who has captured the onscreen terrorist Yousuf with his herculean power. Sana Khan of ‘Silambattam’ fame and ‘Nenjirukkum Varai’ Poonam Kaur have nothing much to perform. M.S. Bhaskar, Manobala and others have done justice to their roles. Thalaivasal Vijay as an ex-military comes up with an impressive performance.

Technically, it’s cinematographer K.V. Guhan gearing up with his crème de la crème attributes. With major portion of the film shot at indoors of flight, he has very well handled the close-up shots and so as to focus upon the innermost expressions of the characters. Background score by Manisharma is good at places and editing is sleek and neat.

Certain dialogues are best as it includes the conversation between Nagarjuna and the journalist, who is waiting to break the news. With the screenplay, Radha Mohan seems to have taken more efforts for a newfangled style. Couple of twists at interval and climax portion is sure to win the applause of audiences. But Radha Mohan could have avoided exerting hilarious moments at unwanted situations as it trivializes the seriousness.

‘Payanam’ marks the effortful impact of Radha Mohan and the entire team has done a decorous job on its part.

What works: Screenplay, some twists, characterizations, cinematography, no songs, background score.

What doesn’t work: Few humors could have been avoided, having all characterization from various departments in flight looks caricatured.

Verdict: Don’t miss the journey.

Banner: Silent Movies

Production: Prakash Raj

Direction: Radha Mohan

Star-casts: Nagarjuna, Prakash Raj, Brahmanandam, M.S. Bhaskar, Manobala, Rishi, Poonam Kaur, Sana Khan, Rishi and others.

Music:Praveen Mani

Cinematography: K.V. Guhan

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