There are a few people whose name on the credits of a movie, in any capacity, is a clear warning sign to keep
away from the movie. I never thought that Karunanidhi, who scripted several classics in the past, would become
a part of that unfortunate group. I had some doubts after Kannammaa and
Mannin Maindhan but Paasakkiligal, whose story and screenplay are
Karunanidhi's, has put my doubts to rest. With this archaic, laughably bad film, he definitely becomes part of
that sorry club.
Maragatham(Navya Nair) is the apple of the eye for both her brothers Sethupathi(Prabhu) and Sevathayya(Murali).
She falls in love with Nallarasu(Vineeth), the younger brother of Vairagya Bhoopathi(Nasser), an arch-enemy of
the two brothers. But Aalakaalan('Kalabhavan' Mani), who was spurned by the brothers when he asked for
Maragatham's hand and ended up marrying Vairagya Bhoopathi's sister Angayarkanni(Roja), is determined to not
let the enmity between the two families end.
Every aspect of Paasakkiligal is dated. From its story to the names of its characters to the way
they speak, everything in the film gives us the feeling that we are watching a film from the 60s or 70s.
Worse, we feel like we are seeing a very bad film from the 60s or 70s. So we get people with names like
Angayarkanni, Aalakaalan and Needhimaanikkam; we get a villain who lusts after every woman he lays eyes
on; we get a wife who, after hearing her husband lusting after another woman, still calls him her 'God';
and we get a man for whom getting his long hair cut off is the greatest insult of all. Karunanidhi must've
felt young when scripting this film since he would've felt he was in the 60s again!
Paasakkiligal has some of the most ridiculous sequences I've seen in a Tamil movie. I'm almost
positive that the director must've been high on something when he came up with these plot developments.
How else would one explain a scene where Nasser eggs a bull to come and gore him? Or the one where all
the villagers clap two stones against one another, only to drop them when Prabhu stares at them? Or the
climax, which finds Navya Nair strapped to a bullock cart on top of a mountain. If I wasn't laughing so
hard, I might've asked why and how 'Kalabhavan' Mani found a bullock cart, dragged it all the way to the
top of the mountain and then tied a rope to it to keep it from falling!
Both Kannammaa, with its widowed heroine, and Mannin Maindhan, with the character of a
policeman, provided atleast some opportunities for Karunanidhi to take potshots at the government,
comment on some topical issues, etc. But Paasakkiligal provides absolutely no avenues for him
to show off his scripting skills. So he is forced to provide dialogs like the one which explains the
different aspects of the Natrajar statue with reference to dancing.
There is a scene in Chandramukhi where Prabhu, with great sadness, says
"Enna Kodumai Idhu!" The scene had the opposite effect because of its execution and has been met with
great ridicule. Prabhu does almost every scene in Paasakkiligal like that! Murali has little to
do. Navya does what she can with the sorry role. Malavika is plain awful and gives a dance performance
that makes Vindhya in Sangamam look like a great dancer. Vadivelu
gets a few chuckles though they pale in comparison to the unintended laughs provided by the rest of the
movie. There are a couple of good melodies in Vidyasagar's soundtrack.