Pithamagan is definitely a good crafty movie but not for everyone. That was obvious from everyones reaction as we walked out of the theater in Atlanta, US. To the extent I observed, Looked like I was pretty alone among those who could have enjoyed this kind of movie. There may have been some exceptions - who are probably die hard fans for the two heros of the movie - Vikram and Surya and for Director - Bala. But for them, in general the movie was not making any sense to the public in general.
The expectations that Bala had created from his previous movies Sethu and Nandha which were artistic, moving and sensational. Vikram was the hero of Sethu while Surya was the hero of Nandha. Bala had extracted exceptional acting talents from both the actors in respectively in those movies
Whats good about this movie?
Portrayal and Presentation of the Characters:
Director Bala is has done a wonderful job in characterizing the lead actors pretty well as he did in his previous movies.
Vikram is characterized as the man in charge of the burial ground, someone who was born and brought up all along there. His lives there with only one person to accompany - the old man who brought him up. With such a background, Vikram has no idea what the external world is like, worst of it - he is not even used to converse to public - thus in most of part of the film - he doesntt even speak. Such a person after the death of the man, who brought him up, comes out to village and mixes with the public. The movie is all about how he copes with his experiences, how he is caught up in the evil web of city life. He plays part to perfection. A very powerful portrayal of a powerful person.
Suryas character is just opposite to that of Vikram. He earns his everyday bread by fooling around by bursting a scam or two in selling stuff around. Suryas character nicely compliments the seriousness of Vikrams character - without which the plot could have been little intolerable. Bala uses Surya and Karunas to establish the balance.
Lailas character is also something different. Her performance raises everyones eyebrows. Something that many fellow heroines to envy about. Given a chance, Laila has proved her acting smartness. I am not sure if Bala had selected Laila and then built up her character or chose Laila for this character. She just lives it every moment - like an acting dynamite ready to burst any moment.
How abt the Music?
needless to say, IR would give his best for a movie like this.
The Background music is nice, but Visual medium is strong that they just block hearing senses.
As far the songs, there is nice Elangaathu veesude melody which Bala uses to show the funny moments Vikram pondering over - the world he is unaware of.
Well, Why did the movie appeal to me anyway?
There is so much of Violent scenes in the movie, which is something that strikes everyone to say Ah, Yucky!. I know. But believe me, its all in the perception. Last year around this time, I saw an Hollywood - spilled with lot of violence like this - Gangs of NewYork. I was highly critic of that movie - that it was a bad example.
But in this movie, I did not see that Violence as Violence, I saw it as Power.
Power of Good to beat Evil, Power of Krishna to beat Duriyodhana.
Every time I saw Violent depiction, I felt stronger and stronger to fight against the evil inside me.
And unavoidably it come to mind that, if everyone thinks like that, how strong would we be?
But Violence is not a permanent solution to any problem - Anyway that totally a different topic
Is this movie realistic?
Cinema is a medium of exaggeration. Then where does Realism come into picture? The extent to which there is less exaggeration - thats the degree of realism. On that note, Yes the movie is. Balas portrayal of characters is realistic. Questions like - Why do Lailas parents dont come into picture after a while - do arise - but then you can expect a director to tell you and justify every minor detail. Certain things have to be taken for granted. Certain people cant accept that. Still some other ponder, these things dont happen. For them its Not.
DO I recommend?
No, Not for young audience and light hearted people.
Yes, for the brave and intellectuals.
A must for anyone in who care about film direction
Is there any message in the movie?
Yes. To those film directors, who are still making movies on based masala formulas (Alas, even Shankar fell into that trap) : Stop it, or else you will be thrown out. Beware! There are more creative talents on upspring.