Film: "Alex Pandian"; Actors: Karthi, Anushka Shetty, Milind Soman, Suman, Nikitha Thukral, Sanusha, Santhanam, Akanksha Puri, Prathap Pothen and Shannon Elijah; Director: Suraaj; Rating: **
With "Alex Pandian", Karthi has proved that he has been swept away by the tide of commercial cinema and it is very unlikely that he would be washed ashore anytime soon. The film, which was promised to be a better follow up to "Saguni", only qualifies to be called a disappointing commercial pot-boiler.
Alex Pandian (Karthi) earns a livelihood by doing odd jobs for money. Having spent most of his life in prison, he is freed on bail by an NRI businessman (Milind Soman) and his partner (Suman) to help them in the abduction of the Chief Minister's daughter, Divya (Anushka).
Milind and his partner plan to use Divya as bait to make her father sign a deal, which will allow them to distribute thousands of crores-worth medicines, considered fatal for consumption in Tamil Nadu. They leave Divya in the custody of Alex, who later comes to learn about the motive behind the kidnapping and decides to help.
Alex hands over Divya to the personal assistant of the Chief Minister without knowing that he led the kidnapping plot at the first place. Alex is double-crossed and held captive along with Divya, forcing the Chief Minister to sanction the deal. Will he sign the deal and what happens to Alex and Divya?
"Alex Pandian" remains commercial throughout the first half, with good amount of action and comedy. But alas, it turns irksome post interval. While one may wonder what would have happened to this film without Santhanam, who keeps the movie alive with his wit and one-liners, what is even more surprising is that the film struggles to evoke interest despite the presence of actors such as Milind Soman and Suman.
In an effort to make the film a crowd-puller, director Suraaj randomly throws in five songs, plenty of action sequences and good amount of comedy, without any purpose or passion. His definition of entertainment is to make three heroines look cheap and drool over the protagonist. The first half progresses at good pace, but the second meanders at snail's pace and makes one very impatient.
Karthi and Anushka make a good pair, but the romance between them looks artificial and it definitely lacks the oomph factor on screen. Karthi shines in his part, but Anushka hardly delivered anything worth discussing. Santhanam helps the film to live through certain cliched and boring moments and so does Mano Bala in the second half.
This is probably the first time that a composer like Devi Sri Prasad has created an album, in which not even a single number is worth listening to. Typically, at least one track from most of his films lingers in the minds of the audiences as they leave the cinemas, but it doesn't happen here. The background score helps in elevating certain moments of the film, but overall, it lacks energy.
"Alex Pandian" may be presented as a high energetic commercial entertainer, but it gives no reasons to cheer.