A hotel management student, Velu, interning at a hotel accidentally meets a young woman, Kavya, whom he falls for. But Velu is no ordinary young man – he’s had a poor and tough childhood where he had to fight constantly for survival. A twist in the tale makes him join an underground fight club run by a thug where he becomes a bommai (doll) fighting to make some extra bucks. But to win in these fights called ‘pandigai’, he has to lose and that’s another twist in the tale.
Eventually he ends up carrying out a heist to get back the huge amounts he and Mani (Saravanan) have lost on betting on these underground fights. Is he successful? Is it a pandigai (festival) forthem finally?
Kreshna is very convincing as the hotel management student and fighter. In the fight scenes, he looks a natural with the moves.
Director Feroz makes his debut with Pandigai and has tried to give the audience a new plot on screen. While he has taken pains to give a strong characterisation, the narrative doesn’t follow suit. The first half is quite slow and focuses on Velu’s romance before it quickens in the second half with the heist plan.
One of the highlights of the first half is the fight between Kreshna and Arjai which is well-shot and packs a solid punch!
The heist in the second half grips the audience’s attention and is nail-biting. What pulls down the film initially is the romance between Kreshna and Anandhi. Some of the scenes where they interact are pretty déjà vu and the scene where pretty Anandhi acts drunk is a total miss. The director could have just cut down the scenes between the two and focused completely on the ‘pandigai’ and heist aspects.
Similarly, a few songs in the film (like the item number) seem to be forced into the narrative because it’s mandatory and don’t add any value to the film. In fact, it breaks the flow of the film.
Despite its flaws, Pandigai is a good start for director Feroz who look set to bring new tales in future as well.