Thalapathy Prabhu seems to have made an attempt to make a romantic-comedy in Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam. However, while the romance portions work to a certain extent, the comedy fails miserably.
The film's story revolves around two individuals. One is an altruist and the other is an attention-seeker who will go to any length for the sake of popularity and publicity. The conflict between these two individuals, and the subsequent winner make the story of the film.
The problem with the film is that the premise on which the story is built is not convincing enough and, therefore, any attempt made to make it appealing to audiences only comes across as being artificial and absolutely preposterous.
Ganesh (Udhayanidhi Stalin) is the son of a school teacher with a great reputation. He lives in a village which houses a temple. The temple's deity is revered by those in the neighbouring villages as well.
R Parthiban plays the role of an ex-sarpanch, a publicity-seeking wealthy man in a neighbouring village, who nurses a grudge against Ganesh's village. Many years back, his daughter Leela's ear-piercing ceremony at the famous temple was stalled half-way through by locals because of an inauspicious development in Ganesh's village.
Angered by the incident, the ex-sarpanch is looking to extract revenge on the villagers and has been working on it for several years.
Needless to say, his idea of revenge is a little funny.
He intends to get all the villagers to migrate to other places, thus, deserting the village, he will have the temple shifted to his own village.
Years have gone by and the ex-sarpanch has to an extent succeeded in scaring away a few of Ganesh's villagers. Ganesh, a youngster now, is looking to bring back the villagers. Leela, by now, has grown into a beautiful young lady.
Needless to say Ganesh, as expected, falls in love with Leela.
The film has good performances from most of its star cast but it has just one brilliant performance and that comes from Parthiban.
While Udhayanidhi, Nivetha Pethuraj of Oru Naal Koothu fame, and Soori play their parts reasonably well, it is Parthiban, who, with his awesome punch-lines and measured performance, stands out.
D Imman has a penchant for scoring romantic numbers, especially those set in the rural areas. In Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam, the man has done a riveting job, as two of the numbers just refuse to go out of your mind.
In fact, Imman's music and KT Balasubramaniem's camera work are easily among the film's biggest strengths.
A few of Soori's jokes work but a vast majority don't. To be fair to the comedian, the story falls flat and there's not much the comedian can do to salvage the film.
In other words, the film comes across as a loosely packed sequence of events that have been forcibly fitted into one unit.
Director Thalapathy Prabhu has potential but he will have to learn to nurture his strengths and cut down on his weaknesses, if he wishes to make a mark in the industry.
Podhuvaga Emmanasu Thangam might have gold in its name, but one can't, I'm afraid, say that about its content.