I have a special liking for films which find an innovative way to tell its story. There's a fine line to be walked here, where the audience has to be convinced the narrative technique used is indeed a novel artistic choice. Paagan tries to set itself apart by using a bicycle as the film's narrator, but this only comes across as a gimmick.
Subramani (Srikanth) is a money-minded youth living in Pollachi with his family. He shares a deep history with his bicycle, which his father received as dowry when he married his mother (Kovai Sarala). Since the story is narrated by the cycle, we are told just how very much it is fond of him and vice-versa. With the sole motive of making easy money, he borrows from just about everyone around him and invests in various 'projects, ultimately resulting in loss. Then he comes up with a 'bright' idea of marrying into a rich family to make his quick buck. He finds a girl named Mahalakshi (Janani Iyer) but things don't quite go according to plan for him. What follows is an atrociously boring, predictable realisation about the importance of hard-work in life and blah, blah, blah.
It's funny how everyone in Tamil films think it is always the girl's faultevery time a relationship breaks down,no matter how big a jerk the guy was to her.Hismotives appeared alright when the film's tone was light-hearted.He may not have known she had a thing for him right from the age of ten, but there's no disputing the fact that it was his fault alone. So whenSubramani's friends berated Mahalakshmi for not understanding his feelings, it drove me crazy.Another thing that got to me was how easily people fall in 'love' and jump to spend the rest of their life with a person they barely know.
Close to the end, there's this scene where all the characters keep running into each other. Itisfilled with so many coincidences that I threw up a bit in my mouth.Subramani's rise to success is unrealistic to say the least. In what appears to be no more than a year's time, he goes from being a roadside shopkeeper to owning a swanky bungalow and a Mercedes Benz. With all due respect, for a person who confesses to have failed his 10th grade examinations studying in a village school, he sure speaks some fluent English. He went to VETA, maybe?
There are more than a few loose ends left at the end of the film. As the story is recounted by the cycle, we see silhouette of a person attaching a bomb to it. It is not important for us to know the identity of the person planning to kill Subramani? Can we at least know why this mysterious person is attempting to kill him? Among other things, this particular plot line made absolutely no sense. Also, the father, who once had his men chase Subramani around the town just for being in his daughter's life, was surprisingly okay when they finally got together. I mean, what the hell changed?
It was the lead actress Janani Iyer who held my attention for most of the runtime. Those eyes! Srikanth was decent as well but I didn't once feel compelled to root for him while he struggled. There are a few line which may make you smile. The narration by the bicycle adds little to an otherwise banal story. The filmwould have been just as boring with or without this element. It is overlong and the songs simply won't stop coming. Kindly avoid.