Tamannaah's Petromax is the latest addition to the list of horror comedy films in Tamil cinema. The film which is directed by Rohin Venkatesan of Adhe Kangal fame, has music scored by Ghibran and cinematography by Dany Raymond. Petromax features an array of comedians including Munishkanth Ramadoss, Sathyan, Kaali Venkat, Saravana Kumar in important roles and Yogi Babu in a cameo. The film has now been released and here is what we feel about it.
Premkumar, an NRI decides to sell his ancestral property in Chennai for a high price, but people don't buy the bungalow since there is a rumour that the house is haunted by ghosts. In order to prove it wrong, Premkumar asks four men to stay inside the house for the next four nights promising them a ransom. Did the four men escape from the ghosts inside the house and what is the mystery that is surrounding the house forms the rest of the plot.
Tamannaah gets a decent character to play, but she cannot be termed as the protagonist considering the less screen time and importance in the screenplay. She gets to play a character role as like others and she delivers a neat performance. Munishkanth, Sathyan, Kaali Venkat and TSK take care of the comic portions and they do it effortlessly. Especially, TSK scores the best out of the lot and he gets great applause from the audience for his mimics. The scenes where all the four encounter the ghosts inside the house is a laugh riot. They make the proceedings interesting in the second half and keep the momentum going until the pre-climax. Yogi Babu's cameo will surely be enjoyed by the audience and it lightens up the mood.
The initial twist that comes in the first twenty minutes of the film is neatly executed and it is a pleasant surprise. The film has equal share of downfalls in the form of the screenplay and the treatment. It suffers from cliched pattern of scenes and that in turn leads to predictability. The film doesn't offer anything fresh as such for the viewer. The first half is majorly boring with no interesting comic portions working in the favour of the film. The separate flashbacks for each of the four characters (Munishkanth, Kaali Venkat, Sathyan, TSK) don't hold the audience's engagement. These mentioned sequences are silly and uninteresting and one would also wonder why so much of screentime and space is given for their flashbacks. A few jump scares lend the intended impact, but it majorly gets played in the expected places, bringing down the excitement.
Director Rohin Venkatesan has retained the essence of the original and has did a fair job. Things would have been much better with a fresher treatment in the screenplay, that could have avoided the predictability factor. Ghibran's background score lends good support to the film, but doesn't repeat the Adhe Kangal magic in Rohin's combination. Dany Raymond's cinematography and Leo John Paul's editing are functional fulfilling the requirements.
Verdict Petromax has an entertaining second half, but doesn't lend a fulfilling experience!