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Crude to the core



POTENTIAL WASTED: `Padhavi Paduthum Paadu'

Padhavi Paduthum Paadu
Genre: Crime
The cast: Ranjith,
Ravichandran, `Pyramid'
Natarajan, Rajesh
The director: Ramalingam C.
The storyline: A take-off on
Veerappan's life _
The bottomline: Spoof not entirely palatable!

At times a spoof, at times a take-off on the life of the sandalwood smuggler, but mostly a crass masala fare with frontbenchers as the target audience, G. M. Movies' `Padhavi Paduthum Paadu' (U/A) is barely tolerable. The crude treatment puts you off. `Padhavi ... ' gives Ranjith a break after quite a while and the actor makes the best of even the inane situations.

Malaiyappan (Ranjith) is a don and the forest is his home. The brigand kidnaps ex-CM Thamizharasan (Ravichandran) and tries to extort money from the Government. But none including the present Chief Minister Veerabhadran (`Pyramid' Natarajan) is bothered. Eventually after getting amnesty from the Powers at the Centre, Malaiyappan comes into `civilised' society to head the State. And the irony is that the erstwhile smuggler and murderer is more conscientious than the present day politicians.

The satirical yarn probably suits the print media better. `Thuglak' Sathya's story appears to have adopted enormous compromises for cinema. Nevertheless the humorous touches in Sathya's dialogue are enjoyable. (Malaiyappan laying the condition that the Himalayas be renamed `Thamizh Malai' is an example.) Spurts of astuteness and an overdose of stupidity mark `Padhavi ... ' that has screenplay and direction by Ramalingam C. The appearance of too many characters increases the pell-mell.

Choosing to be obscene is one's prerogative. Yet even there, couldn't the women bear some semblance of dignity? The explicit movements in the name of dance (except for the usual Amman sequence) are downright repulsive. Be it the item number or the duets, not one is even passable. The heroine's rotundity adds to your woes. A visual torture! Gangai Amaran's voice in the `Arasiyalna ... ' lends a touch of nostalgia.

Veerappan would probably do a somersault in his grave if he sees himself portrayed as a gullible nincompoop on the one hand and an honest (!) Minister on the other. And all these without an iota of finesse!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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