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Pakkiri Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, June 20, 2019 • Tamil ]
Pakkiri Review
Brio Films, M! Capital Ventures, Little Red Car Films, TF1 Studios
Dhanush, Barkhad Abdi, Gérard Jugnot
Ken Scott
Luc Bossi, Jon Goldman, Saurabh Gupta, Aditi Anand, Gulzar Chahal, S. Sashikanth
Nicolas Errera, Amit Trivedi

Pakkiri - Endearing tale of Karma and Compassion 

Our very own Dhanush starring in Indo-European fantasy film is enough to push you towards theaters and what you do witness is an endearing tale of karma and compassion that entertains and drives home its messages in the lightest veined but effective manner.

Aja (Dhanush) a teacher and a magician in Mumbai slums meets three juvenile prisoners before they are sentenced to four years in prison and narrates his own fantastic story to them.  According to Aja's story he is the son of a single mother (Amrutha Sant) who cons visiting tourists to save money to go to Paris to find his long last father.  The rest of the screenplay is about how Aja falls in love with Marie (Erin Moriarty), effects a huge positive change in the life of a starlet (Bernice Bejo) and his own magical life-changing experience.

Dhanush, after conquering Kollywood and making a huge splash in Bollywood, has taken to European cinema like a fish to water and makes Aja loveable from the very first scene he appears as a reformer in the juvenile jail till the last frame when he reveals he may not be anything like what we saw him the whole time.  We have seen D play to the gallery in many of his films but here he is subtlety personified and expresses love, hurt, compassion and comeuppance in the most tender way.  No wonder the European and American critics are raving about his performance and hailing him as the mainstay of this little film.  The audience who expect commercial too get their money's worth when Dhanush vows Paris with his dance moves in the "Maya Bazaar' and the vibrant montages in "Salakaara".  Erin Moriarty as Marie adds a whiff of freshness to the love scenes especially when she and Dhanush play act as husband and wife in the furniture shop.  Bernice Bejo of 'The Artist' fame gives a splendid performance as a movie star who gets a second chance at true love thanks to Dhanush's character.  Amruitha Sant perfectly brings the slum single mother to life.  The actress playing the confused lesbian, the taxi driver and the Somalian refugees who help the hero make a lasting impression.

What works best in 'Pakkiri' is the simple and clean narration that anyone in any corner of the world can understand. The desolate lives of illegal immigrants around the world are shown without any melodrama and still is effective.  The message about what true magic and self-realization is, in the end, is very relevant and are nicely sewn into the fantasy core of the story.  The musical sequence in the British police station gets the laughs as well.  The low key marketing works well for 'Pakkiri' as anyone who walks without any expectations will be pleasantly surprised and end up having a better time than they bargained for.

The biggest question that lurks after walking out of the theater is whether the story of Aja would really reform juveniles.  The slow pacing could be a grouse for a section of the audience and also the lack of any swashbuckling elements which are usually part of this genre.

The music by Nicolas Errera and Amit Trivedi has a distinct Indian touch to it which helps the story in a big way.  The realistically mounted cinematography by Vincent Mathias and the other technical aspects are on par. Ken Scott has approached the screenplay (adapted from the novel by Romain Puertolas) in too sweet a manner for the audience to really invest in it but the surprise ending justifies that too.  He has extracted solid performances from his cast especially from Dhanush and has succeeded in making an earnest and endearing tale about karma and compassion.

Verdict: Go for this one to witness another career-defining performance from Dhanush and enjoy a breezy entertaining 100 minutes to boot.

Rating: 3.25 / 5.0

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