CAN HOW MUCH BE NOSTALGIA SOLD?
( THNKAR PACHAN’S ‘PALLIKKOODAM’ -A REVIEV)
Thankar Pachan will be happy to be called as the ‘Nostalgia Man’ of Tamil cinema (Cheran will finish as close second if there was a poll). The good thing about Thankar being nostalgic is that he is true, sincere and tries to be realistic within the imposing boundaries of the rectangle of the silver screen.
A dilapidated school is on the verge of being shut down. The teachers and villagers try to save the school, which is more than just a place of learning to them. For everyone who studied there the school has an intimate story of their boyhood. Shutting down the school means allowing a portion of their nostalgic boyhood to die a silent death.
Kumarasamy, a former student tries to rope in Vetrivel, his classmate
at the village school and now a district collector into their endeavours
to save the school. Muthu, also a former student, now a famous cinema director joins the team. Kokila, a former student as well as a teacher in the school, is there and is dedicated to the cause.
As the protagonists journey through their boyhood memories in the backdrop of the school, evocatively, it brings back our own school days and wistfully we relive those fantastic days of innocence, compassion and of course, the budding of love in that tender age.
How we all waited all these days to witness a love affair on the screen like that of Vetri and Kokila. There could be a very few parallels to this rather subtle yet compassionate love affair in the exhausting saga of Tamil cinema love. In the span of the broader story line, this love affair has a very little space for its foothold but in the end, you are prepared to give away anything from the movie just to savour this love for posterity. And one should not forget that it is Sneha as Kokila who infuses life into the affair like a seasoned orchestra conductor whereas Naren could only play the second fiddle.A wistful gaze and the almost invisible quiver of the lip, as Kokila, Sneha wins hands down. Kokila will remain etched in memory as one of Thankar’s finest female portrayals.
Naren, director Seeman, Thankar Pachan all have done their jobs neatly. True, Thankar has added one more feather to his crown but he could have done more justice to the screenplay and the seriousness of the plot by just removing and rectifying a few scenes and sequences.
Finally, can how much be nostalgia sold?
As long as it is not nauseating and irritating you can go on selling it Thankar.