Director Suraaj has tried his hand at time-tested theme. An average-looking youth, who falls in love with a rich and a charming girl. He overcomes a gang of baddies who bay for his blood to eventually hold the hands of his beloved. Suraaj has tried a marriage between action and comedy. However a sense of deja vu prevails as the film progresses.
The director has strictly applied the rules of Tamil film grammar in the first-half as the hero is ridiculed by his father, he spends his time with a set of good-for-nothing friends and cliched sequences leading to romance blossoming between the lead pair. Towards the latter part, the influence of 'mirch masala' Telugu action films cannot be denied.
Radhakrishnan alias Rocky (Dhanush) is the youngest son of an auditor (Prathap Pothen) in Chennai. In the family of intellectuals, Rocky is unique. He has been attempting for several years to pass his matriculation examinations. This invites the wrath of his father.
Inspired by one of his friend's (Suman Shetty) suggestion that he love a well-educated girl and marry her, Rocky begins his search for one. He comes across Gayathri (Tamanna), an aeronautical student. As usual after 'cat and mouse game', Rocky wins over Gayathri's heart. Unfortunately a group of goons from Andhra Pradesh come after her. Gayathri gets rescued by her father Samarasinha Reddy (Suman), a rich and an influential man in Andhra Pradesh. She is forced to go to her native by father.
Meanwhile, Rocky begins his journey in search of his beloved. When he lands in Andhra Pradesh, he is thrown open to many challenges and surprises. He starts to fight unknown enemies. When it looks like he had sorted out all troubles and ready to hold Gayathri's hands, hurdle comes in the form of Kasi (Atul Kulkarni), a dreaded goon from Thirunelveli . How he clears the last hurdle in his journey to wedlock his beloved forms the climax.
It is a 'typical' Dhanush in the film. He plays to his strength. Thanks to his boy-next-door looks, he manages to bring life into the character. Dhanush has managed well to combine both action and humour. His hard toil is visible all through the film.
Tamanna looks fresh and refreshing. Though she plays a cliched heroine in the film, her charming looks does woo the audience. Vivek as 'Assault' Arumugham evokes abundant humour. In the company of 'Cell' Murugan and 'Bonda' Mani, he is at his best bringing the roof down with laughter. Interestingly, Vivek does a Vadivelu this time around.
He seems to have been part of a comedy track that Vadivelu had often played in his earlier movies.
Suman as Tamman's dad fits the role well, while the likes of Shayaji Shinde and Atul Kulkarni speak from their belly. Of course a host of stunt artistes wielding sickles and guns do form part of the movie.
Mani Sharma's has come up with a racy music thanks to his chart busters in recent Telugu films. Produced by Vijaya Productions and presented by Sun Pictures, Padikathavan reminds us of films like Winner and Run. It would be a treat for those who love some hardcore action combined with fun.
Padikathavan is worth a watch for its unadulterated masala.