Cast: Dhanush, Sneha, Maureen Pirzadha
Direction: Durai Senthilkumar
Tamil cinema has a time-tested Pongal formula: A big hero who plays dual roles, an ancient Tamil tradition or custom that is long-forgotten but yet brings back a sense of pride, and of course action to keep the entertainment flowing. Durai Senthilkumar’s Pattas brings to the fore elements of his previous works Ethir Neechal (2013) and Kodi (2016), but given an ordinary story it ends up making this only an okay affair.
Here the ancient martial arts form of Adimurai, which was popular in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu takes centrestage. Dhanush plays father and son. The film begins in 2001 with Kanyakumari (Sneha) thrown into prison for alleged murder. Then it cuts to the present where Pattas (Dhanush) and his buddy K P Y Sathish are petty thieves without any purpose to their lives. His neighbour is Sadhana (Mehreen Pirzada), and their relationship is frisky and full of mischief. Sadhana sets Pattas to steal from her workplace, where she helps run a mixed martial arts academy headed by Nilan (Naveen Chandra.)
There’s a lot of history at play here and Pattas is unaware that Nilan killed his father Thiraviyam Perumal (Dhanush) who himself was an expert at Adimurai. When Kanyakumari comes out of jail, she tries to take revenge and in a clumsy operation, Pattas intervenes to save her from Nilan. He then learns that this lady is actually his mother and thus begins the plan of vengeance and revival of this primeval form.
Overall, Pattas seems to have given a sampling of all the important scenes without fleshing them out. The portions where Dhanush plays the dad are the better parts of the film. The relationship between Thiraviyam and Nilan could have been stretched further. This would have given more weight to the villain’s role, who seems to be nothing more than a caricature.
Dhanush is the sole reason you’d want to watch this movie. He is present in nearly every scene. The action is well choreographed. Sneha surprisingly has a well-rounded role and gives her best.
Songs by Vivek-Mervin are catchy with a good rhythm. Due to the Pongal timing and huge commercial expectations, the director used one too many tropes of Tamil cinema and the results are evidently watered down. Overall, the ‘Dhanush brand’ has a very particular style and Pattas caters to that audience....