Is Vishnuvardhan the new Mani Ratnam of Tamil cinema? The audience, critics, stars and Tamil film trade think that the young director like Mani Ratnam during the 80’s and 90’s has opened a market for a new genre of films with Arindhum Ariyamalum and now Pattiyal.
Pattiyal (130 prints) has opened in cities along with B and C stations and collections show that the audience are ready to embrace something new that is within the commercial format (gloss and songs). In a superstar driven industry, Vishnu has proved that money can be made at the box-office without big names or stars. He has also shown that a film with sensibility, story and presentation can reach a wider audience.
The popular rule in Tamil cinema is never to let the protagonist die, but in Pattiyal both the heroes with negative shades are brutally killed in the end. Like Mani Ratnam, Vishnu has not made any drastic change in the format of the film which has its own adequate dosage of songs, dance, fights and human emotions.
If Mani had A.R.Rahman, Vishnu has the backing of Yuvan Shankar Raja the hot-shot composer who is the favourite of today’s generation next. The idea is that both Mani and Vishnu are making films with earthy characters and reach out to a larger audience without actors being hams or the film being over the top.
Vishnu offers the audience a brand new formula- movies that are crisp and sleek like Pattiyal (running time: 2 hours 5 minutes), no separate comedy track, built in item number by lead stars (Namba Kattile…) and a lot of care given to song picturisation.
Pattiyal may or may not be a super hit, but it certainly has hit us with something new.