Panithuli directed by Natty Kumar and Dr Jay marks the turn of Ganesh Venkatraman to play the hero. It stars two new female leads, Shobhana and Kalpana Pandit. This is a romantic thriller shot extensively in Chennai, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Panithuli is about Shiva, who separates himself from his lover and goes abroad, in order to prove the strength of his love to her father. Later, Shiva meets with an accident, forgets his past and falls in love with another lady. What follows and how he proves his love is what the rest of the film is all about.
After watching the first half of the film, it is very hard to imagine what the directors are trying to convey. It is a cluster of unrelated incidents that happen for no reason. During the second half, the directors have made a desperate effort to bring some sense into the film, but tragically fail to do so. The director duo has also attempted to surprise the audience here and there by bringing in many twists, but none of them is either surprising or necessary.
Ganesh Venkatraman’s acting looks unnatural. Being a model he is truly smart, but it requires a bit more than just looks to be a good hero. He fails to pull up a performance equal to the roles he did in Abhiyum Naanum and Unnaipol Oruvan. He looks incredible during action sequences, but needs to hone his dancing and emoting skills. Shobhana has done justice to her role. Kalpana Pandit’s English does not sound apt for an American born Indian. Her acting too isn’t that impressive.
Angel and Faizan’s songs are not catchy enough to hold the audience. Like Ajith’s Dheena had a BGM, ‘Dhinak dhinak Dhina Dheena’, Ganesh has also been given one that goes, ‘Shiva… Shiva…’ But it brings an unexpected laughter among the crowd.
Cinematography is neither spectacular nor bad. The editing in parts of the song sequences creates an ‘ad for a television reality show’ feel, with colours and designs in the background that don’t gel with the foreground.
Panithuli also falls under the list of films released this year on mental illness. The film talks about varieties of mental disorders and amnesias.
On the whole, Panithuli is just a less impressive portfolio for Ganesh Venkatraman, who has tried to show us that he can carry the roles of an action hero, a lover boy and a mentally unstable man.
Though the movie spans many locations and has a fair bit of gloss, the final product is pretty shallow.
Verdict: A frail attempt