Pattas Review: Martial Arts Film That’s Feel-Good but Half-Baked
The Ip Man trilogy, very loosely based on Bruce Lee’s master, is a global phenomenon. Brilliant fight choreography, star cast and full on promotion of Chinese heritage – that’s the formula. Pattas aims to replicate this with Adimurai, a martial art form from Tamil Nadu that is considered the precursor to Kerala’s Varma Kalai, and the origin of martial arts in the world.
The intro might sound serious, but the Durai Senthilkumar directorial, which stars Dhanush and Sneha, is as masala as it can get, and is as breezy as Pattas, Dhanush’s slumdog character in the film. Is it worth your time? Read on.
The World of Pattas...
...is basically the by lanes and single room condos of North Chennai. Loud, colourful and shaped constantly by the teenagers who live, love and steal in it. Dhanush, in real life is pushing the deep end of his 30s, and yet he doesn’t look a day older than 21. His wiry build is an advantage, but it’s the body language he’s cracked. And this above all else is proof of his brilliant acting.
What completes the picture is Vivek-Mervin’s refreshing take on the gaana music subculture – a mix of techno, tabla and Tinglish lyrics – that was born in Chennai. It’s only post interval that we get to the world of Diraviyaperumal.
Adimurai and Tamil Identity
Jallikattu is now passé. It’s not an issue anymore and it has already been used in Mersal (2018) to glorify the hero. Adimurai is the next big thing. At least it would have been, if only Pattas had delivered its goods.
The prolonged flashback could easily have been done away with, or relegated to an emotional yet crisp voiceover. To compensate for the overlong back story, Pattas’ character was given very little room to transform from happy hour lucky to vengeful warrior. His love interest, played by Perzada ,became an afterthought. The entire climactic tournament portion felt like a trailer, or a YouTube clip of the actual scene.
Pattas is a feel-good Pongal film with brilliant performances by Dhanush, Sneha and Munishkanth. But it had the potential to become a trilogy of martial arts films, if only the fight choreography was convincing and thought through, and the story not so lazily written.
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