Cop films always tend to draw my interest pretty easily. And it is quite natural to expect a handful of intelligent snippets, twists and chase sequences. After the impressive promos, Paayum Puli was a film I was really looking forward to. The end product, was a disappointment of sorts.
Vishal is an actor who seems to concentrate on having a certain level of entertainment factor in all his films. Also, it is laudable as to how the actor keeps away from playing a wastrel in his films, contrary to the usual baits that our directors use to drive through the first half of the film. While Paayum Puli plays heed to these aspects, the fact that it fails to emerge as a completely convincing film on the whole is a bummer. Dragged down by an uninteresting, doltish love track and irritating comics, the film stutters in the first half which is marred more by forced commercial compromises too. It is saddening to see a director who is known for his breezy, close-to-reality romance make do with such plain wags between the lead pair. Suseenthiran attempts to squeeze in a few twists and turns, but unfortunately, the surprises are only for the characters in the film and not the audience.
It is only in the post-interval stage that the film picks up its pace, with a flurry of well-thought scenes which manage to draw your attention. Though Samudhrakani’s character isn’t etched with perfection, Suseenthiran plays to his strengths of infusing family emotions into a commercial screenplay. The investigative episodes and the realistic, touching climax are the highlight of the film, doing damage control to what would have ended up as a thorough patience tester.
Vishal suits the role of a tough cop like a T. In a film written for him, it is not too hard a task for him to make us connect with his character. Samudhrakani is next in line, but one does wish for more clarity in his role as the much-needed character establishment goes for a toss. Kajal Aggarwal does vacuous things like learning to cross the road and to drive a scooter. Along with that, it’s high time she learns to act, dance and pick better roles. No comments on Soori, who is fast turning out to be the peskiest comedian in our industry.
Watch out for D.Imman’s background score which makes up for the speed-breaking songs which can thoughtlessly be cut off. Velraj’s camera is brilliant in the night sequences, with a special mention to the aerial shots at the start and the end of the film.
Suseenthiran’s Paayum Puli isn’t an unwatchable film, but it happily sits on the commercial bench, albeit having potentials to end up as a genuine thriller. That, is its biggest blow.
Verdict: Passable cop drama which works in parts.
2.75 / 5