Pattas movie review: Dhanush is terrific as a mass hero but film fails to go beyond a regular 'festival special'
Pattas is virtually a one-man show by Dhanush as he appears in almost every frame of the film.
castDhanush, Mehreen Pirzada, Sneha, Navin Chandra, Kpy Sathish, Nasser
Dhanush’s Pattas is a typical Kollywood festival special, that is a film with a big hero with, and targeted at his fans and family audiences.
From MGR days, Tamil superstars used to make mass commercial 'festival specials' for fans on Pongal/ Diwali days. The director’s job is to rework the old and tested formula, preferably with the star in a dual role, and even better if he plays father and son.
Director Durai Senthilkumar is sort of a specialist in dishing out such festival recipe entertainers. Dhanush himself has tasted success with Durai with Ethir Neechal (2013), which he produced, and as hero of Kodi (2016), in which he played a dual role, as twin brothers!
So Dhanush recommended Durai as director to leading production house Sathya Jyothi Films, who were looking for a 'festival special' date. The story is as old as the hills but it is the 'mass hero' treatment that matters in such films, and the trailer promised a lot. Well, Dhanush is fantastic in a dual role, especially in the massy role of the father in the flashback portions in the second half, which had the fans of the actor whistling in the theatre. Other than that, there is no real bang or twists and turns in the traditional sports-based revenge story. And the ending is so predictable that it leaves you exasperated.
Durai writes his stories keeping the emerging urban youth, and tier-1 and -2 family audiences in mind. It makes sense as Dhanush fans love him as a city dweller and a rural guy who wears Veshti. Kollywood commercial cinema makers love to dwell on the forgotten arts or 'rich Tamil traditional culture,' which had its roots in villages. Here, we are reminded of the Tamil traditional but forgotten martial art form Adimurai (like Kerala’s Kalaripayattu), which used to flourish in villages of the state. Please note, a few years ago, Suriya’s AR Murugadoss-directed 7aum Arivu (2011) talked about Bodhidharman, the master martial arts exponent of the Pallava dynasty.
Now, the template film begins in 2001 with Kanyakumari (Sneha) being sent to a prison in Kerala for murder. Cut to present in Chennai, where Pattas (Dhanush) and his associate (KPY Sathish) are petty thieves, who make a living by small time robberies. Their path crosses with Sadhana (Mehreen Pirzada), a girl working in a martial arts school run by Nilan (Naveen Chandra), who organises Karate and Mixed Martial Arts championships. After serving her jail term, Kanyakumari comes out seeking revenge. In a botched-up operation, she tries to kill Nilan. Then Pattas tries to save her from being killed by Nilan and his men when he comes to know she is his mother. Interval block!
In the second half, Kanyakumari, in a flashback, reveals her son Pattas, whose real name is Sakthi, is the son of Adimurai specialist Thiraviyaperumal (Dhanush). Perumal was the understudy to the Master (Nasser), who ran a rural Adimurai school near Nagercoil and his favourite student. Nilan is the Master’s son, and was jealous about Perumal’s success in martial arts. Owing to his machinations tragedy, mayhem strikes. Now, Kanyakumari seeks revenge from Neelan, and challenges him to take on her son Sakthi in the martial arts ring.
It is virtually a one-man show by Dhanush as he appears in almost every frame of the film, and shines mainly in the father’s role. He is the only reason to watch this uneven film, which lacks a punch. Sneha has done a neat job, and her action scenes has been superbly picturised.
Another drawback of the film is it lacks a strong villain, as Naveen Chandra is a bit underwhelming. The romance in the film between Dhanush and Mehreen is lackluster and poorly written. The songs by Vivek-Mervin are peppy and hummable, with the fast paced 'Chill Bro' in Dhanush’s voice, the pick of the lot, though the 'Morattu Tamizhan Da' number is impressive with some terrific beats.
On the whole, Pattas is just a predictable run-of-the-mill 'festival special,' which is watchable only for Dhanush’s swag and energetic style.
Rating: 2.75 stars
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