Director Hari has decided to bring out the fireworks this Diwali with Poojai, a film consisting of craze, bombast, coincidences, and logic of sorts to ground the action and make it palatable. Vishal as Vasu is at the forefront of this action - loud, brash, and macho like, comprising a big part of this commercial puzzle very well.
Vasu (Vishal) hails from an affluent family where the mother is at the head. After a certain unpleasant incident at home, he sets up a small money lending business at a high traffic market. Two incidents leave Vasu brushing with destiny: one, he falls in love with a darling by the name of 'D' (Shruti Haasan), and second, he comes in contact with a dreaded contract killer, Anna Thandavam (Mukesh Tiwari,) whose baits and barbs rubs Vasu the wrong way. This engulfs them into a drawn out struggle, announcing the commencement of the fireworks. Ladened with eye popping visuals, sharp, dangerous objects and loud music, the senses are in for a constant bombardment and may leave you dazzled for a while.
In the end, the film is about the intertwining of unlikely characters. And given the number of ideas to play with - large family, large wealth, constant stream of outsiders, and a business to take care of, the opportunities for Hari to improvise and connect the dots seem boundless. And that's what he does: the filmic equivalent of reading a gripping spy novel.
Vishal does an admirable job in returning to a blockbuster, especially considering his previous experimental roles. Shruti Haasan as his lover is sweet and good natured on screen. Mukesh Tiwari exudes that bigness required from a villain, instilling anxiety and fear into the audience. A crucial aspect of the cast is that it features a veteran supporting lineup: Radikaa Sarath Kumar, Thalaivasal Vijay, Jayaprakash, Satyaraj, and Prathap Pothen amongst many others. This means that the faults of the film are more structural: 'been there, seen it' sequences, cookie cutter action, and a predictable pattern of fight, drama, dance and romance with high octane songs in the background.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music is just functional. Other important aspects such as the cinematography and editing have been relegated to Hari's past reliables, comprising of Priyan and VT Viyajan respectively.
Thus with an ensemble cast and a solid production team, the end product of Poojai is firm in its standing and assured in its functionality. But some aspects of the initial architecture could have used with a bit of innovation....