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Peechankai  ( UA ) (2017)  (Tamil)
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Peechankai Review

Had there been more emphasis on sharper dialogues and a pacier screenplay, Peechankai with its novel premise could have scaled greater heights.
2 out of 5 (Average) Peechankai NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Baranidharan Sivasankaran
Rating: Crictiq: 2.0 - Read Review  2/5
Nowrunning Critics: 2.0/5 | Users: 2/5
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Another group of young and energetic short filmmakers have knocked the doors of Kollywood's main stage this week with 'Peechankai'. Initially, the movie was conceived as a short film and it seems it had those essential "genes" to be made as a full-length feature film like 'Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi'. Also, it had an interesting premise with "alien hand syndrome" doing the rounds, which essentially is its selling point.

S. Muthu alias 'Smuthu' (Karthik), a pickpocket, is skilled at literally ripping off people's pockets, with the help of his left hand. He along with his criminal partners go about successfully until a time where a conflict arises between the partners in crime. Meanwhile, things spiral into unforeseen proportions due to various other incidents like a politician chasing down his counterpart with an "evidence" video and another one where a kid gets kidnapped. Eventually, everyone is led to the same gang (of clowns). And, in the melee, Smuthu gets affected with 'alien hand syndrome', wherein his left hand involuntarily acts by itself and serves him well as a blessing in disguise.

Touted to be a dark humour, the movie has a disorder at its heart. Such disorders have come in various shapes and sizes in Kollywood. Usually, it would be something psychological, as made memorable by the likes of Dhanush (Kadhal Konden, Mayakkam Enna, 3) or Kamal (Guna, Thenali and so much more) or Vijay Sethupathi (Soodhu Kavvum, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom) or Vikram (Anniyan). But here, the disorder in question though originates due to an imbalance in the brain, and the effect is more physical.

The inception to weave a story around such a disorder is definitely an appreciable effort from the debutant director Ashok and his young crew. Though the disorder has been magnified and exaggerated, it was used intelligently to carve in the comic scenes. But, the question in contention is whether the comedy really worked? It is both a yes and a no.

The problem with the screenplay was that it had too many elements to be moved at the same time and too few performers to carry them. By performers I mean seasoned artists who can get the timing for the comedy right. Yes, there was MS Bhaskar who did his job and walked away aplomb and Vivek Prasanna was pretty impressive with his natural performance. But what about the rest?

Karthik as Smuthu was certainly a great selection for the role, but he had nothing special to bring forth. Anjali Rao as the traditional girl next door was lethargic. The villain gang tried hard enough to evoke laughter but failed. The dialogues had to be much sharper and witty for such flicks. Most of the lines that were meant to be funny were spoilt because of the rendition and the odd timing. Also, the last 30 minutes of the movie was a big drag and went about in circles. It could have been trimmed for a pacier narration.

Technically the movie could have been a bit more agile in covering up its low budget (sample a scene inside a car where the background seemed to be blatantly masked).

Cinematography and editing were on par for the course. Had there been more emphasis on sharper dialogues and a pacier screenplay, the movie with its novel premise could have scaled greater heights. As of now, my hearty congrats goes out to the young and energetic team who can leverage their potential better in their upcoming projects!
Critic: Baranidharan Sivasankaran
 2 out of 5 (Average) 2 out of 5 (Average)  

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