Azhagappan's directorial debut 'Pattam Pole' is a kite that takes to the winds with a vengeance, having severed its ties off its flyer. It flies aimlessly this way and that before losing poise and crashing to the ground, all torn and tattered.
Karthik (Dulquer Salman) and Riya (Malavika Mohan) elope one early morning to Ooty, assuming that their folks would be opposed to the Brahmin boy tying the knot with the Christian girl. Having run out of money, they fall out in no time, and return home as hastily as they had left it, and the friends-turned-foes vow never to see each other again.
The first fifteen minutes of 'Pattam Pole' are perhaps the best, since it succeeds in tickling your curiosity nerve. You wonder where it's all headed for, especially since the film stars with a love story that had abruptly come to an end.
However, the flight of the kite, from that point onwards is steadily downward, as the writer Gireesh Kumar steers his lead characters on to a common path, making them fall in love again. It's here that the tale repeatedly runs into unsurprising corners, reminding you of those zillion Bollywood tales that have dwelled on similar themes.
The other pair that is supposedly wedged into any similar story to work up the jealousy pangs is here as well. They consist of Sherin (Archana Kavi) and Mike (Anoop Menon), the leading pair's colleague and boss at work, in that very order. Mike does get to speak some of the funniest lines of the film, and the few lighthearted moments in it, are purely courtesy him.
As if setting things straight once and for all, Sherin indulges in a final girl's talk with Riya, wherein she states once and for all that there is nothing brewing between her and Karthi. In order to emphasize it even further, she points at her boyfriend Ronex and states that they are getting married. Phew! There seems to be no end to proving things once and for all.
Coincidentally, I remember one of Dulquer's dialogues in a recent film of his, in which the character that he had essayed proclaims that his destiny is invariably linked with the decisions that he makes. I guess it holds true for 'Pattam Pole', and genuinely hope that his decisions henceforth do not go haywire as they have in 'Pattam Pole'.
This does not mean that as an actor Dulquer disappoints in 'Pattam Pole'. He is every bit the confused, instinctive youngster that he plays on screen, and he is, without doubt, convicting as well. Malavika Mohan makes an extremely confident debut, and the lanky lass impresses in her debut act. And I should say that it's this charismatic pair that makes this film at least watchable, but there is no denying the fact that the script offers no challenges to their talents.
And if Azhgappan is the man behind the frames, could the film fall short on visual splendor? Definitely not! 'Pattam Pole' has some brilliantly crafted films canned along the backwaters of Kuttanadu, and the songs composed by M Jayachadran are somewhat easy on the ears.
Azhagappan's debut feature film suffers from thinness of material. And as a viewer there is nothing for you to do in it except sit and wait and watch it turn into a humdrum romantic tale sans any sparkle or froth.