Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 22 September 2001
Raj Kiran, Arun Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Sharmita, Mano
Hello there, director Cheran has churned out yet another village based sob story to torment you further. Cheran?s Pandavar Bhoomi like his earlier Bharati Kannamma and Porkalam are for those who like steamy tearjerkers and self-flagellation. On the downside, the film drags, as the plot is much too precarious a peg for a near three-hour account of a village tale.
Opening slowly as Dhanasekharan (Raj Kiran) a rich farmer comes back to his village along with his family to rebuild his house now in ruins. The director has nearly 25 minutes of the opening scenes going on needlessly without starting the story. Raj Kiran and his family, which includes, his brothers and sister approach a well-known architect (Vijay Kumar) who sends his son Tamilrasan (Arun Kumar) to the village. Tamilarasan mistakes Dhanasekharan?s niece Jeeva?s (Sharmita) friendship overtures and falls in love with her. Vinu Chakravarthy and his son are the villains who have pathological hatred for the Raj Kiran family. Meanwhile Arun Kumar is shocked to know that Sharmita is sort of booked to be married to her ?Muraimaman? (uncle) 20 years elder to her and serving a jail sentence for 12 years!
After the interval the story unfolds through a flashback told by Raj Kiran to a lovesick Arun Kumar. Well they were a happy family of three brothers and two sisters, with the youngest sister (Sharmita in a double role) being the most pampered of the lot by their mother Manorama. The family believes in old world values of agriculture, that it should give employment to the entire village. The villain Vinu Chakravarthy and his two sons believe that farming methods should be modernised and they buy a tractor and also plan to sell fertile land to set up a factory. Raj Kiran and family oppose this, which create further trouble as Vinu Charavarthy puts poison in the well, killing their livestock.
Meanwhile the youngest sister is having a torrid affair with villain?s eldest son. She elopes with her lover on her wedding day, which results in their mother?s death. As Raj Kiran and his brothers are going for the funeral, the younger sister and her husband come back. In a pique of rage one of the brothers (Ranjit) beheads his sister and her husband. And after that the family leaves the village and now has come back and is waiting for the brother for whom they have built the new house!
And just in case you haven?t grasped the moral of this morbid tale, Cheran argues against people migrating from the villages and turning agricultural fields into factories. The saving grace of the film is the eye catching camera work of Thangar Bachan in lush green Mysore and the music of Bharadwaj. Of the cast Raj Kiran is ok, but it is Ranjith who steals the show as the angry younger brother. Arun Kumar is there for his dancing and new comer Sharmita has to work hard on her acting. On the whole it is a typical overdose of Cheran melodrama masala.