The film prizes quantity over quality when it comes to humour, leaving you with an indifferent, uneven experience.

Peechankai Review The film has a great premise but could have been funnierScreenshot/ Youtube
Flix Kollywood Friday, June 16, 2017 - 15:31

The problem with basing a screwball comedy on a complicated concept like ‘alien hand syndrome’ is that it’s hard to keep the laugh-a-minute gags and the unique storyline running smoothly side by side.

That’s the difficulty with Peechankai, which has a concept that promises a lot more than the film can deliver.

The film tells the tale of Smoothu (RS Karthik), who’s a pickpocket with a heart of gold. Running from the cops, he meets with an accident, and his left arm takes on a life of its own. But, surprise surprise, it decides not to be his evil alter ego but rather his conscience.

With his righteous left hand throwing a spanner in the works at every possible opportunity, can Smoothu defeat the web of politicians and criminals he gets entangled with, win over the girl (Anjali Rao) and become a better man?

Unfortunately, Peechankai wanders around its plot like a vaguely curious child, picking up and dropping narrative pieces in a frustratingly whimsical manner. So, at one minute the alien left hand grows alarmingly hyperactive, dwarfing all the characters on screen. In the next minute, you could completely forget that there was a plot point involving the left hand. It’s the same with the relationships and character arcs that play out in the film.

What really seems to derail the film is that director Ashok isn’t content with eliciting a chuckle or two from the audience. No, he wants to have his audience rolling on the floor with laughter from start to end. This means that the film takes some rather needless twists and turns just to make room for more gags.

And the problem is that this quantity versus quality approach leaves the film packed with a very uneven set of jokes. From a fun sequence about masturbation and some very likeable throwaway lines to some seriously juvenile duds, this film has it all. Unfortunately, that takes away from the film rather than adding to it.

The mostly-newcomer cast is inoffensive, but not spectacular. None of them really spoils the film. And some of the characters like Vinay Prasanna’s Nallathambi are actually extremely fun to watch, bringing the right mix of menace and silliness to the screen.  

But unfortunately, the possibilities that the premise and performers like Prasanna and MS Bhaskar offer get wasted because Peechankai tries too hard to be funny and ends up falling short.