Director SP Jhananathan is known for his interest in social issues and conveys a strong message through his films. Though I am not a big fan of his films, I wanted to give purampokku my time just for Vijay Sethupathi and I must say he was the one who kept this film a bit interesting, though this was not his best of the performances. After 3 odd hours, I was still searching for a reasonable explanation why this film was made in the first place. I mean the logical reasoning.
Ok, now the story. Purampokku, if you look from a distance is a story of communist Balu, who wants to escape from the prison upon given the death penalty. Forget the deeper meaning, this is what the movie goes about. He tries to escape but fails and his followers draft plans to bring him out but it flops and finally dies. So what's the point? A person who makes bombs, hijacks a train and wants to blast the indian army is a terrorist and has to face the consequences. Why make a movie to tell this? So whose side are you taking here?
Overall logic and storyline looks flawed but the idea was good. Never understood if this movie supported the indian law or the communists and naxals. They do good for the people but they do it by going against the law. But I liked the characterisations. There is one person who strictly abides by law, one communist who doesn't believe in law and a hangman who doesn't want to do that job by going against his conscience. And a lady communist who wants to save balu from outside, who once breaks into a duet song before going for a suicide attack. There are these forced songs that act as speed breakers in an already slow paced film.
Vijay Sethupathi was good with his drunkard mannerisms and casual dialogues. Shyam has nicely shaped up as good cop in Kollywood. He is fit and sturdy and does this role with ease, though he had difficulty in delivering his dialogues. Arya had very little scope in this movie as he rarely steps out of the jail. Karthika Nair was good but never fitted the role in the first place. Other supporting communist characters looked like jokers. The film was not serious enough for us to take it serious.
Purampokku is more like a documentary of a communist's life and his reasoning. The film starts of well, dips a bit, thanks to the songs, lacks a bit of logic and finishes of in a teary note. The idea was good but execution went bad. I was not able to feel for the characters and it lacked that emotional connect. Performances were good, editing was bumpy and cinematography was excellent. The runtime tested my patience too. But I liked the climax for the realism in it. Thank god Balu didn't escape, then it would have been a clichéd ending. A honest attempt goes bad in execution.