Producer: S.P. Murugeshan
Cast : Uday Kiran, Meera Jasmine, Rambha, Vivek, Richard, Radha Ravi
Director: Bali Srirangham
Script: M. Karunanidhi
Cinematography: Vijay Ragav
Special screening of new Tamil films for VVIPs is a popular phenomenon in Kollywood. When this happens, it means the movie is of great importance! Director Bali Srirangham's new Uday Kiran-Meera Jasmine starrer Pen Singam is the latest to have such a special screening at Four Frame preview theatre in Chennai and you can surely guess why! The film is based on legendary writer and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi's novel 'Surulimalai'. Superstar Rajinikanth, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin were present at the special show and the superstar was all praise for the Pen Singam team, saying this film would surely roar at the box-office as it is all about a woman's fight for justice. This film has already evoked huge anticipation among moviegoers.
Who is in it?
Pen Singam, one of the much-awaited movies in 2010, has National award winning actress Meera Jasmine playing the role of an IPS officer for the first time in her career, while Uday Kiran enacts the role of a forest officer. Yesteryear heroine Rohini plays Uday Kiran's mother and a judge. Veteran Vivek handles the comedy. Richard and Radha Ravi are the villains. J.K. Riteesh and Rambha make cameo appearances, while Lakshmi Rai and Lawrence appear in an item number.
What is it about?
Pen Singam begins with Suriya (Uday Kiran) trying to escape from a jail. As we anticipate, he goes on a journey down memory lane. In the flashback, we see Suriya as a newly appointed forest officer with a mission to wipe out corruption from the forest department. Naturally, he faces threats from forest product smugglers, led by Simha Perumal (Radha Ravi) and a police officer Parasuraman, but he rides roughshod over them. Meghala (Meera Jasmine), a girl from a poor family, is a computer operator in Suriya's office and her dream is to become an IPS officer. Suriya and Meghala gradually fall in love. Meghala passes the IPS exam and goes for training.
Meanwhile, Suriya's intimate friend Nagendra (Richard), a young Tamil scholar, goes to a women's college to deliver a speech. With his stunning speech on the dignity of women and their rights, he impresses girls there, especially Prabha, daughter of a rich business man (Vagai Chandrasekhar). Moved by his character and ideology, Prabha proposes to Nagendra and gets married with the consent of her parents. Nagendra soon starts revealing his real character by demanding huge amounts as dowry and engaging in extramarital affairs. Prabha is unable to assimilate the reality, but to her surprise, the intoxicated Nagendra alleges a romantic link between Prabha and his friend Suriya. Irked by this, Suriya has a physical clash with Nagendra and in this fight, Prabha is shot dead. The top murder suspect is Suriya who is arrested. Now Meghala is back as an IPS officer. How she saves Suriya from the case foisted on him forms the rest of the film.
Though Pen Singam is based on a novel by Karunanidhi, it offers little scope for the lead actors (including National award winner Meera Jasmine) to display their best performances. Uday Kiran's role is limited to mere romance and stunts, while Meera Jasmine excels only in the drama scenes as Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar. She plays the role of an IPS officer for the first time in her career, but unfortunately, the role does not suit her. In the uniform, she looks too young and tiny. Vivek as Thirupathi is average. The film has two villains Richard and Radha Ravi, but they do not make any impact. J.K. Riteesh and Rambha make cameo appearances as an advocate and Parasuraman's wife respectively.
Unlike his period film Uliyin Osai which released two years ago, Karunanidhi's Pen Singam is a contemporary movie, which features song sequences shot overseas. It has six songs by 'Thenisai thenral' Deva, but most of them are neither impressive nor foot-tapping. The makers have placed the six songs in the post interval section which extends to 1.5 hours, and this untimely placement has reduced the tempo and interest level. Though the title gives an impression that the film will be heroine-centric, in reality, it revolves mostly around Uday Kiran's character. There's nothing much to talk about the tech side. All in all, go and watch Pen Singam if you are a Karunanidhi fan.