Pallikoodam Movie News
Pallikoodam Movie review
Cinematographer-director-cinematographer Thangar Bachchan makes movies based on rural backgrounds. When you see his movies, you live the difficult and challenging life of a villager in rural Tamil Nadu, the habits, superstitions and social mores; you smell the rains on parched earth; you rejoice at a good monsoon; you grieve when the crops fail or cattle fall sick, when medical facilities are sadly lacking, and so on.
Pallikoodam, his latest is no different. Based on his own novel, Kalavadiya Paguthikal, the movie is about a village school which is on the verge of closure and the untiring efforts of its old students to resuscitate it. So you get to know how schools in rural Tamil Nadu are run and ruined by vested interests wearing veshtis.
Vetrivel (Narain), Muthu (Seeman), Kumaraswami (Thangar Bachchan) and Kokila (Vetri's sweetheart played by Sneha) studied in the same village school owned and run by Kokila's father, the village landlord. After school, they parted ways. The school was subsequently (mis)managed by Kokila's uncle, for which its closure was ordered by the Educational Department. What happened to these students? Vetrivel, son of the local potter, moulded the pot of life and baked it to perfection with his intelligence and hard work; he grew up to become an I.A.S officer, District Collector, Kancheepuram. Muthu, son of the village carpenter, shaped his destiny to become a very famous director in Kollywood. Kumaraswami, prize duffer and least ambitious, grew up, got married (wife played by Meenal) and became a labourer in the same village, always hard up. Kokila, still single, becomes a teacher in the same school.
Jhansi (Shreya Reddy) runs a medical dispensary in the village and becomes friendly with the group of friends. All the four boys had a crush on her, but she was evicted from for encouraging the romance between Vetrivel and Kokila. She again appears in the movie in a pivotal role as a conscience-keeper.
Kumaraswami and Kokila, the only members of the group living in the village, would very much like the school to continue to run, preferably with its old fame and good name. So what can they do? Kumaraswami goes to Kancheepuram and meets Collector Vetrivel. Vetrivel moves wheels within wheels in State administration to save the school from ruin and make it run again. Muthu and other old students of the school come together to renovate the good name and fame of the school and to celebrate the school's Diamond Jubilee in a fitting manner. How do they achieve this goal, overcoming village politics, forms the rest of the story. It would not be fair to reveal the other twists and turns in the plot which lead to the expected climax.
Thangar Bachchan (hero, director, cinematography and screenplay) is quite naturally the lynchpin who will draw maximum applause and tears from the audience. The boy who plays young Kumaraswami also draws claps and whistles for his naughty adolescent behaviour, trying to cop a look by dropping his pen! All the others have fulfilled their roles in a satisfactory manner. Gana Ulganathan's appears in an 'MGR act' in a rickshaw singing Rosemary.Nee oru.
Bharadwaj's music is enjoyable, especially 'Meendum Palliku Pogalam'. Overall, an enjoyable film with a village background, nostalgia and simple sentiment, not as boring as a village Pallikoodam.