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By Behindwoods Visitor Vignesh Krishnan
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What do you do when you are forced to get into a roller-coaster? You giggle, shout, even cry & take a deep breath ….At the end; you can’t deny having enjoyed an exhilarating ride.

Even Radha Mohan’s Payanam is equally an adventurous ride & worth a go! Losely based on Indian Airlines, Flight 814, Kandahar Hijack, Payanam too is a hijack drama presented in a typical Radha Mohan style. So what is this typical Radha Mohan? For all who have watched Azhagiya Theeye, Mozhi & Abhiyum Naanum would be aware about Radha’s unique way of presenting a movie.

Radha begins with an introduction of all the passengers (Central Characters) in the airport who are about to board the StarJet Flight from Chennai to New Delhi. After 15 minutes of takeoff, the flight gets hijacked forcing the plane to touch down at the Tirupathi Airport. The terrorists' demands are simple: 100 Crores, and the release of the terrorist, “Yusuf Khan” from prison. What unfolds next, both inside & outside the flight is all about Payanam.

So we have Mr. N Viswanath (Prakash Raj), IAS, (Home Secretary) who gets set to negotiate between the bureaucrats & the terrorists along with few other IAS officers. With sparkling looks, arrives Major Raveendran, a commando with the NSG (National Service Guard) with his colleague Nawaz Khan (Bharath Reddy).

Radha Mohan takes you to a different experience inside the flight! You get see some really interesting central characters inside the flight who play an important role during the parlous journey. Dr.Vinod (Rishi); Father Alphonse (M S Bhaskar), Colonel Jagadeesh (Thalaivaasal Vijay), Subash (Kumaravel), astrologer Narayana Shastry (Mano Bala); mimicry artist Gopinath and a small kid Afshana from Pakistan along with 5 young & handsome terrorists!! The pick of all passengers is actor Chandrakanth (Prithviraj), uncrowned king of action movies and his ardent fan, Balaji (Chaams)
What wins here is the Script & Gnanavel’s dialogues. In a riveting Hijack tale, Radha has brilliantly mixed humor, satire, anger, emotion & action! Scenes involving actor Chandrakanth & his co-passenger cum fan, Mr.Balaji are hilarious. One of the scenes when the action hero screams after seeing a cockroach had applause from the audience. From Media to the Action Heros of the Film Industry, Radha has thrown satire by humorously mocking various channels, bureaucrats & actors.

The first half of the movie seeps smoothly with some real good scenes involving Nagarjuna & the IAS officers. On the flip side, even though Radha tried to add scenes involving humor in a sensible way, it was a bit clichéd. Especially the scene where the mimicry artist gives a solo performance to the passengers looked jarred. But unlike the actual Kandahar Hijack, Radha has brought a twist towards the end of the first half making the second half, especially the last half an hour, an edge of the seat gripping ride. Second half of the movie is completely with Nagarguna & his team who plans Operation Garuda ! Radha has taken special care of the Hijack sequences & the minute details involved it. Nagarjuna as the NSG commando has pulled an incredible performance with stunning body language. Prakash Raj doesn’t have much to offer but has done a decent job as usual. Special mention for Chaams, Prithviraj & Mano Bala for making the ride humorous!

Coming to the cons of the movie, the editing & background music was silly & amateurish. Especially the BGM was hugely disappointing. Throwing satire on the film industry is welcoming but it in itself turned out clichéd towards the end. M.S.Baskar as father Alphonse was good but definitely an unnecessary melodrama inside the Hijack drama !! Kishore’s editing is poor & lacked quality.

On the other technical aspects, K V Guhan has made his Camera speak & is worth mentioning. Art director Kathir who has recreated Tirupathi Airport and the interiors of the plane has done a phenomenal job. Finally Gnanavel (Dialogues) & Radha has to be appreciated for making a Hijack drama with a unique imagination & a totally different presentation.

I am going with 3/5 for this adventurous ride. Go for it with least expectations & you will love it

Vignesh Krishnan

Tags :Payanam,Radha Mohan,Prithviraj,K V Guhan,Kathir,Prakash Raj

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