While the existence of this entertaining film in our star-driven industry is reason enough to cheer aloud, a little restraint in narration would have made Pasanga 2 a more rewarding experience…
In Pasanga 2, Pandiraj does the ‘almost’ impossible. He sneaks in a popular star into a movie, which attempts to transport you into the mysterious and colourful world of two hyperactive kids – Kavin and Nayana. And that, in many ways, is a win-win for Pandiraj. He not only gets the film made in the main-stream space, but also manages to grab quite some eyeballs. His protagonists, Kavin and Nayana, are essentially – make no mistake – brats. They flunk exams. They get into fights with fellow students. They pull a quick one on teachers. And they dance like Dhanush in ‘Otha Sollala’ when asked to leave the classroom. But beyond all that, there is a sense of sweetness and uniqueness about them, even when they go all uncontrollable. Try telling this to their flat-dwelling, ambitious parents who have their own dreams and aspirations about their kids!
And to Pandiraj’s credit, he keeps the characterizations of the parents very realistic. The delightful initial segments where the gestational periods are chronicled under starkly contrasting, yet very familiar circumstances are ‘haikus’ by themselves. Both the couples are not projected as impatient or insensitive – just normal parents setting high standards for their kids who are not necessarily equipped for the same. And the following stretches, where they are caught between their inability to understand their kids’ predicament and the repeated admonitions from schools, are done with a nice blend of realism and humour. Pandiraj gets the casting right too, with Ramdoss, Karthik Kumar, Bindu Madhavi and Vidya Pradeep bringing out the desperation brilliantly. Soon enough, the kids are packed off to boarding schools. Despite a couple of forced scenes (a pretty obvious one featuring Samuthrakani), some ‘adult-acting’ from the kids and quite a dose of pamphleteering, the film till now keeps you mostly engaged.
And it’s time for lessons on parenting and the miracle remedy now. In Pasanga 2, it arrives in the form of Dr. TamizhNaadan (played by Surya) and Venbaa teacher (played by Amala Paul). These two, playing the ideal couple, are the ones who come across as cinematic at times. There is a lovely segment involving Venbaa’s pregnancy days. And slowly, the focus shifts from the children with ADHD to the couple telling parents how to let the children be themselves, facilitating them to choose what they want to be.
And this is where, the film meanders from its original core. While all these issues are still relevant, there have been many films that have already addressed the solutions in all possible ways, including the director’s debut movie. What does this film bring to the table. that has not been said before? This is not to say that the film becomes less entertaining. But the focus is definitely lost. The story gradually becomes one of Tamizh helping the kids overcome their problems rather than the parents and kids learning to deal with the ‘mystery’ disorder. And the climax takes things too far. While it’s true that many hyperactive kids are creatively gifted, a eight year old kid, who had just been diagnosed with ADHD, reeling out a dramatic story on her own predicament?
But don’t let all that bother you. Only a handful of films out there render themselves to meaningful nitpickings.