Most of the films nowadays comprise high end glamour, mindless comedies, and are commercial potboilers, but Arun Kumar’s Panayarum Padminiyum is an exception. Perhaps the most notable period in Tamil cinema where ambitious short film directors are making their mark on the big screen providing a refreshing change to the audience.Nicely portraying the panchayat leader’s harmless desperation to own a premiere padmini car laced with mushy sentiment and drama.
The story of Panayarum Padmiyum is rather simple. The prominent head (Jayaprakash) of the village is given the responsibility of taking care of a premiere padmini car by his friend while he’s away. He then appoints Murugesan (Vijay Sethupathi, who is also the only guy in the village who knows driving) to drive him around. This car is endlessly used for other services in the village. The chief slowly gets attached to the car and secretly desires to own it. He then becomes the rightful owner of car but faces several obstacles to safeguard his prized possession.
The Characterization in easily one of the key highlights of this film. Panayarum Padminiyum showcases Jayaprakash in a refreshing loveable role, bereft of his typical father/politician roles which he donned in his earlier films, and he scores very well. He is outstanding as the car owner and moves the audience with amazing dialogue delivery.
An outstanding mention to Vijay Sethupathi who delivers his 100% even as a supporting artist. He does what several actors risk doing. He emotes well as the insecure driver. A special mention to a character named Peede (The Bad luck Brian of the film) who adds high dosage of humor. But the most noteworthy performance was that of Tulasi, the chief’s wife. She emotes effortlessly providing zing to the couple’s chemistry. The scene where the couple separately request Murgesan to help to drive depicts the heartwarming love they share for each other.
The director has made careful reference to the elements which define the mid 90s. Special mention to the scene which had a vintage color T.V that aired the 90s sensation Shaktimaan, the problem with this film is its slow-paced narration. It drags a little too much without mounting any suspense.
Debutant Justin Prabhakar’s music is hummable, The Cinematography by Gokum Benoy enhances the rustic and sentimental feel of the film. The film delivers a sweet, heartwarming mushy story. Toting up, debut director Arun delivers a neat and enjoyable product sans any technical frills solely relying on his direction. A plethora of heartwarming scenes makes this film charming and instantly likeable.