|Kishore, Sriram, Dharani, Pandian, Murugesh|
Now director and producer, the trendsetter Sasikumar of Subramaniapuram fame and Pandiraj, the new director he is introducing through his Company Productions, have dared to venture in to this forbidden territory and make a children classic aptly titled Pasanga(Children).
It is perhaps the best ever children film produced in Tamil, on par with films like Taare Zameen Par, Makdee, Hanuman etc. The saying 'Child is the father of the man' can be seen and experienced throughout the film and it touches your heartstrings sans melodrama or moral science classes.
The film is a slice of life, looks real and is set in Virachilai a village near Pudukottai, the hometown of the director. The children in the film behave like normal kids and are a delight to watch. It justifies its tagline - “the secret life of kids”.
The film is a winner all the way because it is not made like a message children film, on the other hand it has the flavour of Tamil commercial elements like good humour, touching sentiments, trials and aspiration of Tamilnadu’s powerful lower middle class, village milieu with perfect dialogue, a beautiful love track incorporated into the main story with soothing songs, a stunning climax and above all a hero in the small boy worth emulating.
The story unfolds in an interesting manner. Jeeva Nithyanadam (Sriram), Pakkada (Pandian) and Kuttymani (Murugesh) are the lazy laidback and troublesome guys in the sixth standard at the local matriculation school. They terrorize the locals too with their various activities, making them seek police protection!
Enter Anbukarasu (Kishore) a new student who always has a suffix to his name IAS, as he dreams of becoming the district collector. He is influenced by former president Abdul Kalam’s teachings and sets to fulfill his dreams.
Anbu soon becomes a role model for others as he is hard working, first in class, determined and stands up to the bully gang led by Jeeva, whose cousin Manonmayi (Dharani) too takes a liking for him.
Jeeva’s dad Chockalingam (Jayaprakash) is the class teacher whose favourite student is Anbu. All this creates jealousy and rivalry in Jeeva’s mind sowed by his friends.
Meanwhile on a parallel track there is a beautiful love story that blossoms between Jeeva’s sister Sobhikannu (Vega) and Anbu’s uncle Meenakshi Sundaram (Vimal), as they live opposite to each other! Their romance is beautifully woven around the cell phone, and also shows the changing pattern of modern day love.
The real hero of Pasangal is its script, remarkable and rooted to its milieu. The everydayness of a schoolboy’s life is well etched. It is not just the little moments that stay with you, but also the film’s crucial scenes including the climax scenes are handled with a rare amount of maturity.
All this comes with top class performances from all the artists in the film. The director has got the best out of the kids who look natural born actors, and the supporting cast of Jayaprakash, Vimal, and Vega are excellent.
The music of James Vasanth suits the mood of the film with top class background score. The Naresh Iyer- Shreya Ghosal song in the rain Oru Vekkam Varudhe Varuthe… is picturised in an eye-catching manner in the rain. Count among others the camera of debutant Prem Kumar and art of another debutant Crawford.
Pasanga is a masterpiece, which Tamil cinema can be proud of, and should be compulsory viewing by all who support and love good cinema. It is a film about parents and children, about the kind of pressure we put on our kids, and it comes with a big heart and an important message. It is also about finding our true heroes.
A small film with a very big heart. Watch it, because gems like these are hard to find.