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Pakkiri Movie Synopsis: Following the death of his mother, a young man from Mumbai goes to Paris in the hope of meeting his father and ends up having an adventure of a lifetime.
Pakkiri Movie Review: With dubbed films, the first few minutes are the most important. If a film can hold our attention and not make the aspect of seeing characters speaking a different language on screen (from what we are hearing) feel odd in these few moments, there is a high chance of the film working for us. Pakkiri, the Tamil-dubbed version of The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir, manages this feat quite effortlessly. While the fact that these portions are set in Mumbai helps, much of the credit should go to the two Ds – Dhanush and dialogues. Even if we know deep down that he is speaking his lines in English, we are used to hearing Dhanush speaking in Tamil that we are not put off by the lack of lip-sync. And the dialogues ensure that the lip movement of the actors isnt too out of sync. Varsha Bharath, the creative consultant for the Tamil version, and Jayaram Sankaran and Vikrem Vybav, Tamil script writers have done a good job.
The narrative device involves Rajakumaraguru Lakshmipathy aka Raja (Dhanush) narrating to three juveniles his life’s story – of how a poor but streetsmart youngster from Mumbai managed to have an adventure across most of Europe, touching lives and having his own life changed in return. When his mother breathes her last, Raja, a happy-go-lucky guy who’s so far been led to believe that he has no father, learns of his mother’s romance with a Parisian, and goes there to fulfill her wish of going to Paris. And there, he has a romance of his own, with Marie (Erin Moriarty), an American woman who is seeking that one thing that’s missing in her life. But before this romance can develop further, by a quirk of fate, Raja finds himself shipped to London, where he is taken for a refugee and sent to Spain, and then Italy. Will the lovers meet again? Will Raja get his mother and father together again?
The lighthearted treatment of such a plot and Amit Trivedi’s buoyant score ensure that Pakkiri remains entertaining even when its narrative momentum dips. The interesting characters whom Raja encounters, from a jolly, swindling cabbie to Wiraj (Barkhad Abdi), a Somalian refugee; Nelly (Berenice Bejo), a lovestruck, popular actress; also keep things lively.
But Ken Scott’s direction is somewhat vanilla-ish while such a subject, filled with quirky coincidences and humour, needed a more whimsical visual touch. Thankfully, the endearing performances and the humourous dialogues make up for it to an extent.