Alex Pandian (2013)
Starring: Karthi, Anushka , Santhanam
Casts: Karthi, Anushka , Santhanam
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
When a commercial film gets recognised and fetches blockbuster status, it is common for the film industry to trail along its steps to success. The Santhanam-Karthi duo is highly publicized and never fails to spark talk before the movie release, and keep the reservation counter busy. But does that success formula work without the basic core of commercialism? With that thought, here is my review.
‘Alex Pandian’, carrying Rajini’s yesteryear film title, bears no similarity. Alex Pandian starts off with a ‘sky high voltage’ action sequence where Alex Pandian (Karthi) saves Divya ( Anushka) from a mafia gang. They finally manage to escape and the film shifts to Alex moving into his aunt’s house. That's where the cat and mouse rumble starts between Kaalyan (Santhanam) and Alex who tries to woo Kaalyan's three sisters. Away from this petty squables, Alex is wanted by multiple mafia gangs. When they all finally meet, the loose ends linking Alex, Divya and the mafia gangs get tied progressively.
Story – Screenplay
From the interval itself, it was a concern whether Karthi would be able to revive this mishit. Although Suraj brought to screen decent entertainers like Thalainagaram, Marudhamalai, Padikathavan, he has seriously fumbled with his last two outings. His letdown in Mappilai continues in Alex Pandian, and in fact goes further downhill in performance. Alex Pandian, in the name of commercialism, has given ample scope for so much irrational scenes right from the start.
The film’s first half banks on the Karthi-Santhanam duo which works only partially due to a script that is bursting with double meaning, coarse dialogues. It is quite annoying to see the three sisters lusting after a random guy who resides in their house, reflecting a cheap mindset of the writer.
Alex Pandian also has a big list of antagonists and yet none of them evoke any sense of menace whatsoever. Instead, all of their characters fall flat due to a flimsy screenplay, full of miserable gaps and exaggerated acts which will seriously test the patience of the audience. Even if the makers wanted to cater this film to an Andhra audience, with the current Indian Cinema setting international standards, it is a big question if this film will even pass the moderate standards of the Indian audience.
Overall, even though Suraj has attempted to give the audiences a Pongal treat with over-the-top action sequences, the generic screenplay and cheap gimmicks leaves Alex Pandian becoming an unintentional comedy.
Casting & Performance
Karthi who needed an urgent hit to revive his career and up his scales in being a bankable star, falls for the temptations of commercial cinema once again and this time falls hard. Even though he displays perfect comic timing and dedicated stunts, his feeble character looks disjointed throughout the film. The weakly written dialogues and scenes for his part restrict the performer in him. Nevertheless, his confidence and screen presence might be the only reason for any last man standing in the cinema. Another wasted talented actor is Anushka as Divya who barely has any scenes to prove her calibre. It is quite shocking to see her in such a typical character when her career has been soaring with an admirable quality.
Comedy superstar Santhanam tries to save the film from crashing low but his scripted double entendres fall short of his witty one liners. This would mean that Suraj dug his own grave by choosing puns over Santhanam's punchy one-liners which could have resiscitated his film.
Other cast members such as antagonists Suman, Milind Soman, Saravanan, Prathap, Mahadevan, have just been utilised to move the story in the tried and tested line of action films.
Overall, Suraj has assembled a talented star-filled cast but failed big time in exploting what he had.
Saravanan’s camera work was apt with nicely framed action scenes. National award winning editor-duo Praveen and Srikanth disappoint a little with gimmicky editing. DSP’s music is the biggest downfall for the film without a single song being pleasing. Instead it involved a loud mixture of his previous works.
In a time of realistic commercial films, gravity defying stunt sequences are a big eye sore. Overall, technically, Alex Pandian does not display much innovation but exhibits much exaggeration trailed by the director.
Alex Pandian fails terribly in providing a commercial entertainer with gravity defying stunts, illogical screenplay and generic dialogues which will test your patience from start to finish.
Verdict: You'll not be missing anything if you don't catch this film
By Kannan Vijayakumar
"Kannan Vijayakumar, 20, currently a freelance director/producer, got a spark to become a film maker at the age of 15 and followed his dream by completing Diploma in Moving Images (Digital film making) course at Temasek Polytechnic. He further furnished his skills by writing reviews for all types of movies in online blogs, working as assistant director and scriptwriter in Singapore TV shows and directing several short films and documentaries which participated in film festivals."