Film: India Pakistan | Director: N Anand
Cast: Vijay Antony, Sushma Raj, Pasupathy, M S Bhaskar, Manobala, Kali, Sarath Lohitashwa
With a plot geared to make maximum room for comedy, a fairly deft treatment, quirky supporting characters and witty lines, debutant director Anand makes a mark with his very first film. The narration may slacken at times, and the film’s length is a downer (157 minutes), but the comedy, both situational and verbal, works for the most part and keeps one entertained.
Vijay Antony’s earlier two films were action thrillers. And now the music composer-turned-hero tries his hand at comedy, doing a fairly good job of it. He seems to have let down his defences and seems more relaxed and confident as he goes about portraying Karthik, a struggling lawyer who has to pitch his wits against rival Mellina.
Debutante Sushma’s Mellina is feisty, the actress getting a role of substance and playing it with competence. The two lawyers yet to get their first case, agree to share office space, only to realise that they are in the same profession. The duo’s squabbles and their tricks to get each other’s clients, only drive away the rare ones who knock at their doors. These portions are mildly amusing, reminding one of the ‘Vanakkam Chennai’ scenario.
On the whole the songs are fairly well placed. The ‘India Pakistan....’ song is picturised in a comic way.
On a parallel track is a cop (Lohitashwa) who believes that Mellina is in possession of a DVD that held some incriminating evidence against him. The lawyers finally get their clients in the form of two feuding village elders Kattamuthu and Marudhu who want a land issue settled. And it’s Pasupathi as Kattamuthu and Bhaskar as Marudhu who turn out to be the scene stealers and the key strength of the film. The duo is hilarious in their act, reveling in their roles. Their whole adventure, when they come to the city and the scene at the mall where Manobala loses his dhoti, are a laugh riot.
Midway through, a couple of tracks are added, not very interesting. Like the episode of the pair of eloped lovers from the village taking refuge with Mellina. The scene where the landlords appear for the court case, though exaggerated to the point of absurdity, generates laughs. And so does the climax at the godown, where the whole lot at the mercy of the cop, try to save Mellina who had been kidnapped by the cop. The portion though could have been trimmed to a crisper length. Stronger in content than style, ‘India Pakistan’, is ideal summer fare. It strikes the right chord for the most part and is one of the better comic capers to appear in recent times.