Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam movie review

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The hero and his friend in Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam are, like many other recent village-set films, uneducated, jobless young men, who are a terror to their village folk. The only difference is that the hero, Ganesan (Udhayanidhi) has an aim — to make his village, Koothapaadi, get the basic facilities that it lacks. To achieve this, he begins to woo Leelavathy (Nivetha Pethuraj, who manages to hold her ground even though role is underwritten), the daughter of Oothukaattaan (Parthiban), a rich man from the neighbouring village, Aalampaadi. For a change, instead of being a loosu ponnu, Leelavathy here is a makku ponnu (she has come last in the state in her state exams, scoring only 99 out of 1200). How refreshing!

It is only later that Ganesan realises that Oothukaattaan holds a grudge against his villagers for a slight they made against him years ago, which involves their common Goddess, Draupadi Amman. He is scheming to destroy Koothapaadi by ‘helping’ its people move away from the place, so that he can bring the Amman to Aalampaadi. Can Ganesan stop him?

Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam suffers from an inconsistency in tone and this makes it less engaging than it should be. Even though the reason behind Oothukkaattaan’s motivation to take revenge feels a bit trivial, Thalapathy Prabhu treats it as quite a serious one, to give the narrative some focus. But then, he also wants the scenes involving Ganesan and his friend, Tiger Pandi (Soori) to be humorous. This makes the tone swing wildly between comedy and seriousness.

The lone bright spot here is the character of Oothukkaattaan, which is somewhat different. And Parthiban captures the serio-comic nature of this character very well. However, Udhayanidhi and Soori, whose combination works well in the comedy scenes, are not that convincing when it comes to the dramatic moments.

Even D Imman, is out of form (except for the majestic theme), The songs, too, are speedbreakers, and the unimaginative picturisation only makes them a greater drag. The only relief is Balasubramaniem’s bright and colourful cinematography, which makes even everyday sights of rural Tamil Nadu look exotic and appealing. 

Overall, the film manages to amble along to its end despite the title credits scene promising us a gripping drama.