Power Paandi is one of those films that you want to sit through the credits in order to be able to emote and understand the smile that the film left you with. Indian families are very complex and hard to decode. There are so many years of conditioning, acceptance, and morals which we grew up with that makes us who we are today. We are definitely evolving with all the new exposure we have received over the years. But at the core, the roots remain the same. This film addresses so many kinds of love within a family spanning across generations.
The story talks about the gap between generations. We see the father son relationship hitting rock bottom where from each of their perspectives they are right but to the other the same thing feels wrong creating conflict. In fact, it's the grandson who understands his grandfather better than the son. We usually see movies where the father and son fight where one of them is shown in bad light. This film is different in that sense. It doesn't portray either of their intentions as bad. It's just the situation and context that creates the conflict. This perspective was very fresh and not a commonly explored concept to watch on screen. But it is also easy to connect to, because we see this in every single household. Watching a bit of our homes on screen was definitely very touching.
The diversity of characters shown to us gives us the sense and feel of the protagonist’s world. The way they showed Power Paandi amused me. Rajkiran is an actor whom we have seen a lot in all these years. We have always seen the stern rural vesti satta side of him. Here he walks in with hands on his jeans pocket with all that confidence and you are left stunned with no words. The quirky and millennial things that he did like waving his legs while texting his girl at night was adorable to watch. It was new and exciting to watch a 60 year old do things that a 20 year old usually does.
Even though we don't see the character grow up, it was exciting to see who he was and who he had become. From fighting in the streets to channelising the same thing to become a very successful fight master was an interesting arch to follow. Yes he'd often get angry quickly but he always channelized it for the better. The way he carried himself, the way he dressed or even that little english that came out occasionally spoke volumes about the character. My favorite was definitely his “Power” leather jacket.
The major beauty of the film was its sound and music. The music was the soul of the film. The visualisation had a lot of slow-motion shots that could be called too slow but for me it was like going back to that beautiful flower that you just crossed, to take a minute and admire its beauty. This is definitely one of Sean Roldan’s finest works. The sound of the earth and the tone of our emotions could be felt. He played with the sound a lot, we saw fight scenes and heard music with it and it worked. The mood was lifted and a whole layer of storytelling happened just with sound. Sean Roldan’s voice felt raw and that texture made the feel of the emotion much larger. A character tries to speak but shies away. So this was spoken through music to the audience and that's why Paarthen is my favorite track. The lyrics worked wonders in elevating this mood.
“Kaalangal Oyintha Pinnum Kaathal Enna
Vaalibam Theintha Pinnum Koochamthaan Enna”
The film was a lot of things but these two lines summed up most of the film for me.
The film helped break a lot of stereotypes about aging. We see our 60-year-old hero running away from his house to get some air and to feel free but we get it. The build up shots for him and all the hype for the old man ironically worked quite well. Somehow the way Paandi was portrayed made him look much younger. We could see that age is just a number. I think this was my major take away from the film. Parents make their kids their life and then their grandkids and so on. But once the kid becomes an adult and he wants to be an individual and have his own opinion, dependency reduces and the parent suddenly loses his world. Placing young characters like Rinson and DD to reinforce this fact was a nice touch. I loved the ending and the subtle message it gave us about love and happiness being truly ageless emotions. Dhanush had again proved to be great in a new dimension as a Director.