This one is for the younger generation and is typical Kollywood fare. The film follows the trend set by Boys, Chennai-28 and Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu, where fresh faces and a thin storyline depend on the presentation of situations by the director to work at the box office. And Pattalam may well turn out to be just what the teenagers ordered, as a post-exam stress buster if you will. The film is about the coming of age, backed by a new perspective.
The faces in Pattalam are the sort you see when you travel on an MTC bus or an electric train, or even in the streets - children cycling their way to school. The faces are fresh and create an impact on the big screen. You could say there is a deliberate method here in moving away from all that s glamourous. It is an approach that has worked well in earlier films and passes muster here, too.
Of course, you need to have a fair amount of slapstick to carry the audience with you, and the formula works well in the first half. The director manages to do so without labouring too much. The picturisation of the song Disai ettum thirumba vaikkum , had the audience laughing and applauding in unbridled joy, especially when the four boys experience a series of adventurous moments as their cycle brakes fail. The frequent fight scenes between two sets of boys in the school compound is all so natural, it does not get tedious. The story is about a gang of eight students of Std XI, who are allowed their excesses by a tolerant school head Daisy (Nadia) in the hope that the carrot, and not the proverbial stick, will help them shape up into better human beings. The point is emphasised when a teacher who believes in corporal punishment is sacked by Daisy.
In the second half, the attempted suicide by one of the eight, and the introduction of a sort of triangle between Sakkarai (Arun), Karthi (Irfan) and Sophie (Kripa) hit predictable terrain. However, the ending does not. Of course, there are a few scenes which remind of you of other films, but those are few and far between. The role of Daisy, who multitasks as teacher running a school and doctor in charge of a mental institution, might have been a tad tough on some, but Nadia does justice without going overboard.