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Review: Pandiya Naadu, a revenge saga

A Suseenthiran film carries great expectations and Pandiya Naadu is no different.

Set in Madurai, the film pivots around a mafia gang led by Simmhakkal Ravi (Sharath Lohitashwa) who rules the temple town ruthlessly. For him money and power mean everything.

Nagarajan, an honest officer working in a granite quarry, refuses to toe the line with his demands, so he is bumped off in a so-called accident.

When his family learns the truth behind the tragedy, his younger brother Sivakumar (Vishal) plans on avenging the death. Little does he know that his father (director Bharatiraja), a retired government employee, is harbouring a similar idea.

How does an ordinary man fight a system that sides with the wicked and powerful? That forms the crux of this revenge saga.

After his last film, Aadhalal Kadhal Seeiver, a romantic drama with a socially relevant message, Suseenthiran tries his hand at a completely different genre. Impressing with convincing storytelling, you can expect gore from a Madurai-set film, with knife wielding goons aplenty.

Woven in is a cute love story between Siva, who runs a mobile service centre, and a teacher, Malar (Lakshmi Menon).

Vishal completely transforms himself into the stammering Siva, who, in the face of adversity, does not hesitate to strike, becoming a man possessed and ready to kill. Stunt master Anal Arasu’s choreography is brilliant. The action sequences bring an authenticity to the scenes without making Siva a superhero.

For good humour, watch out for Soori, who plays Siva’s close buddy.

Making his presence felt, albeit in a small role, is Vikranth, as Siva’s friend. Who would have thought that the vulnerable father in ‘Ethir Neechal’ could deliver such a powerful performance as a ruthless don? Kannada actor Sharath Lohithaswa as Ravi is splendid.

Another surprise is director Bharatiraja, playing Siva’s father — the veteran delivers his role with aplomb.

Produced by Vishal with music by Imman, Pandiya Naadu, is a compelling watch.