Pakkiri Review & Rating
Pakkiri Review: Dhanush's Magical Act Keeps You Entertained
Dhanush is one actor who has that easy air of charm that can endear him to almost anyone. Be it as a guy next door with loads of understated intelligence like Raghuvaran in VIP or as the shrewd gangster in several of the genre films or even as a lover boy. That nature has given him a universal appeal which pushed him to succeed in Bollywood and now in the international arena with The Extraordinary Journey of The Fakir which hits the screens today as Pakkiri in Tamil.
The Extraordinary Journey of This Raja
Rajakumaraguru Lakshmipathy aka Raja is an extraordinarily common sight of a streetsmart trickster disguised himself as a magician. He lives in Mumbai and was rose by his mother who did everything in her capacity to keep him trouble free. For a kid who grows up in Mumbai slums.
By the time he grows up to be a man, Raja understands what it takes to live comfortably in this world. That is money. He loves to earn money through hook or crook. But not by harming or terrorizing others physically. Of course, there is a thin line between... Suddenly, one day his mother dies and he comes across the fact that his father lives in Paris and his mother wanted to meet him. He takes the mortal remains of his mother and wants to take them to his father.
The search begins. And an adventure of a lifetime. He earns a fake 100 Euro note and goes to Paris in his inimitable style. There he encounters what we think of as the love of his life. In actuality, he gets attracted to this American lady Maria, after he swindles her. Before his budding love story takes a major turn, he finds himself in an Ikea store and then gets accidentally transported to London in one of the wardrobes. And then he goes to Italy. And in between to Spain. And finally even has to stay in an African refugee camp.
Raja (Ajatashatru in the International version) has an adventure of his life. He meets a host of colorful characters. Some help him. Some chase him away. Some want to harm him. Some try to catch him because he tricked them. And some want to nab him. And some strike a friendship with him.
All these accidental things appear not staged but organic thanks to the infectious charm Dhanush exudes. You have to see to believe how good he was while examining the furniture in the Ikea store. He had that childlike quality that makes us fall for him. His dialogue delivery in Tamil is impeccable and help us overcome the thought that this is a dubbing film in Tamil for Tamil audience starring a Tamil hero. The translation work headed by Varsha Bharath, Jayaram Sankaran, and Vikrem Vybhav is far superior to what we generally get.
Writing and direction
Erin Moriarty is magical as Maria the girl who bowls our protagonist. Barkhad Abdi who played the friend of our hero (that guy is an African refugee) is terrific. Berenice Bejo who played the role of a popular actress who is in search of true love is lively. Rest of the actors did a great job. The actress who played Raja's mother is good.
The narration of the film is magical but lacks the whimsical feel the films of this genre generally have. The direction is adequate. Ken Scott has done a great job of keeping the fairytale spirit in the film. The screenplay aided by Romain Puertolas, the man who wrote the book The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe on which this film is based on moves at a rapid pace and keep the flow without bumps.
The music by Nicolas Errèra and Amit Trivedi (helped Indianizing) is fantastic. The cinematography is rich in colors and has a lustrous quality pertaining to fairytales. The editing is sharp and the runtime is perfect. The production design is first class and the production values are grand worthy of an international film.
All in all, Pakkiri is an enjoyable film that appeals more to the family audience and kids. Dhanush's charming performance and the fairytale-like premise makes it a great choice for a weekend watch. Just go and enjoy it without too many expectations. You'll feel good coming out of the theatres.
- Dhanush's performance
- Fairytale-like narration
- Efficient direction
- Lack of depth in proceedings
- Too many coincidences )but if you ignore logic it's not a problem)
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5
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What is Pakkiri About?
Though basically comedic in nature and lighthearted in spirit, The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir aka Pakkiri is about the problems of immigrants and people who are unlucky to be born in places where they don’t know what freedom means. Pakkiri tells the story of Ajatashatru a street magician and trickster and his unintended adventures when he goes to find his father when his mother dies.
Pakkiri starring Dhanush is a globe-trotting adventure and is based on the acclaimed novel The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe written by French author Romain Puertolas. The Ken Scott directorial has won accolades from international critics just like the novel and won the Ray of Sunshine Award in Norwegian International Film Festival. Now dubbed into Tamil with an added attraction of a Tanglish song crooned by Dhanush himself, Pakkiri hits the screens tomorrow.
A hilarious but thought-provoking adventure
Imagine this. The protagonist who goes to Paris gets trapped in a wardrobe in an Ikea showroom. A journey starts. Then he inadvertently gets trapped in a suitcase. He is dumped in Italy. And gets into a hot air balloon. From there he goes to Libya. Essentially it is a journey of self-discovery in the form of a fantastical misadventure. He meets a host of colourful people and befriends an unfortunate Sudanese who’s an illegal immigrant named Wiraj. All this points out to a seriously thought-provoking but an entertaining ride. A different kind of cinema.
Dhanush in an international film
Dhanush is one of the highly rated actors in South Indian Cinema right now. Capable of playing any role in any genre film, he even rocked in Bollywood with a couple of high profile films which have now become cult classics. Now, in Pakkiri, he surely mesmerised international audience and is expected to do the same in his native land. Though positively reviewed, the international version underperformed at the box office. But that doesn’t stop it from being a popular film.
Experience the joy ride guided by Ken Scott
This is not an everyday film to pick out highlights by normal methods. That Dhanush gone international itself is a lucrative premise for his fans and the film had won international awards mean something to Tamil audience. The Canadian filmmaker Ken Scott is a comedian at heart and he sure knows how to handle this highly acclaimed quirky source material. He also won multiple awards for his work.
Bollywood composer Amit Trivedi composes a song which already went viral. The original score is composed by Nicolas Errèra. Made to international standards, the comedy-drama adventure has magic realism as an added flavour. Get ready to be mesmerised by Dhanush in an international setting.
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