Director: Vignesh Sivan
Casts: STR, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, VTV Ganesh
Genre: Romantic Comedy
After a series of experimental films and action entertainer, Osthe, STR strikes back with a simple romantic comedy directed by debutant Vignesh Sivan which also marks the debut of Sarathkumar’s daughter, Varalaxmi. Poda Podi has been highly anticipated ever since it was announced, mainly due to its title and touted premise. So does Poda Podi strike the chord despite being made for 4 years?
Poda Podi is a story set in London where two people, Arjun (STR) and Nisha (Varu) who has diverse perception about life fall in love and how their differences carries forward as their relationship progresses from love to marriage.
Story & Screenplay
Vignesh Sivan scores with his witty and relatable dialogues and situations. From the start to the end, the film is focused well on the main characters and the director seems to have a clear grasp on who he has intended the film to reach. However Poda Podi cannot be eliminated as film only for the youth but also has some practical examples for married couples who have repelling perception about life.
The film also has believable lead pair who often gets tangled due to their different cultural stands. The film which starts off with a trendy feel, but shifts slightly at the 2nd half as the director injects his antiquated take on Tamil culture. That does look quite confusing but does not affect the carefree tone of the film.
In overall, Poda Podi stays focused on its main premise and results as a ‘new age’ Kushi.
STR is certainly the main man in this section who had stood by the struggles of the team to wrap the film up. His characterization is simple yet likable. His casual body language and comic timing is a major plus to the lively mood of the film. His emotional scenes are progressively improving by each film and the scene where he confronts Shobana at her house is one such example where he also stamps his experience. As the film contains dance as a backdrop, there are plenty of opportunities for STR to shine but he waits till the end to showcase his full dancing calibre at the song, ‘I am a Kuthu Dancer’.
A rom com will only get successful when there is an equally strong character and a talented cast to carry it. Varu shines brilliantly with an impressive debut by undertaking each scene with heart. Her original voice and fast diction, adds an apt flavour to her flamboyant character. It is also shocking for her to see her dancing capability matching that of STR’s at many times.
Other casts such as VTV Ganesh is a real scream while Shobana’s character unfortunately, looks lost. Premji and Santhanam also have done a blink and miss cameos at the intro song.
In overall, Poda Podi has a well collaborated casting team led by the sparkling chemistry of STR and Varu.
Poda Podi, as dance musical, demands much technical perfection and the film does lack in it. Dharan’s music is peppy, fresh and experimental which serves the right kind of energy needed for a dance themed film. His BGMs are done in a way which does not overpower the film but travels soothingly with the scenes. Poda Podi should give Dharan a loud entry to the league of big music directors.
Duncan Teleford as the D.O.P captures London colourfully which elevates the light hearted mood of the film further. When it comes to the songs, Duncan has experimented many ways to give the audiences a candy floss feels which succeeds at many parts.
In addition, the effort from the art department must be commended as they attempt to give different tones of colours (in terms of costumes and sets) at different episodes of their life.
Last but not the least, Anthony who has been giving lengthy edits recently, has given a crisp product which runs just 2 hours.
In overall, the young director, Vignesh, has collaborated brilliant young talents which results in a fresh treatment.
Poda Podi certainly enters the league of growing class Rom-com, following Kadhalil Sothapuvadhu Eppadi, which was released early this year. Vignesh Sivan’s relatable screenplay, distinctive target audience and fresh treatment, make Poda Podi a likable musical treat instantly.