Debutant director Rohan Krishna’s Pattaalam tries to look into the various dimensions of the teen age students studying in higher secondary school.
The movie introduces the main characters with some casual and funny sequences. It doesn’t step into the romantic shade in the boys’ lives.
There are two sets of boys locking horns for each and everything. The way they fight with each other forms the major part of the first half. The fights are depicted in a comical manner without diluting the animosity.
Daisy (Nadiya), the correspondent of the school makes them feel responsible by her practical and sensitive approach. Being a psychologist (Daisy manages a mental asylum alongside the school) she believes that students could be shaped well with love. Inspired by the correspondent’s approach, these students get united and help the school win athletic championship.
The movie then shows the other sides including family problems, romance, jealous and violence in the lives of the students. An orphaned boy, who is under the care of Daisy, falls for a girl with similar background. Though the girl too loves him, he suspects the girl’s integrity when she shares pure affection towards another boy longing for affection. He turns jealous which leads to violence and a bizarre incident on the farewell day. The movie ends with a pathetic note.
Rohan must be applauded for not restoring to commercial gimmicks. It is easy to make it looks ‘attractive’ by showing the sensual aspect of the adolescent life. Rohan has thankfully focused on their emotions, camaraderie, and fights. But unfortunately, he hasn’t avoided clichés in depicting the problems and conflicts among the students. Each and every turning point in the second half is quite predictable. The romance-jealous-violence sequences are clichéd and far from convincing.
Nadhiya has handled her role marvelously. Most of the youngsters have played their part well. Irfan, Hari and Balaji from ‘Kana Kaanum Kalangal’ stand out.
Jassie Gift’s songs are peppy and youthful and the song ‘Iskubera Raaraa’ is the pick of the lot.
The movie, despite some flaws and clichés, provides some fun without getting overboard.