22 Oct, 2014 2 hrs 40 mins
Vishal, Shruti Haasan, Sathyaraj, Radikaa Sarath Kumar, Mukesh Tiwari, Soori
Synopsis
Poojai is closer to Vel in Hari’s filmography — not as powerful as Saamy but at the same time, not tedious like Seval
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: Anna Thandavam, a big shot who arranges for contract killers, plans to murder Sivakkozhundhu, a cop. His plan goes bust after Vasu, a heroic young man, rescues the ADSP. Meanwhile, Thandavam also gets into problems with Vasu's family...

Movie Review: Hari's films hew to a certain formula. The hero will be a daring, rustic-looking young man with brawns and brains, his family will be so huge that it will include most of the supporting actors in Tamil cinema, the heroine will be a girl who switches from modern clothes to traditional ones during the course of the film, the villain will always be a step behind the hero, he will have an army of henchmen whose only job is to keep cruising on SUVs, the hero will lose someone very close setting up the stage for climax, the BGM will be deafeningly loud, there will be more ramp shots than steady ones, there will be songs and comedy tracks whose only purpose is to be some sort of breather between the hyped up visuals.

Pooja is no different. It is closer to Vel in Hari's filmography — not as powerful as Saamy but at the same time, not tedious like Seval . Anna Thandavam, a big shot in Pollachi, fixes contract killings and he wants to finish off the new ADSP Sivakkozhundhu. However, the cop escapes thanks to Vasu, a young financier who is also the heir to one of the biggest industrial families in Coimbatore district. Meanwhile, Thandavam has a tussle with Vasu's family over their temple land and Vasu has to intervene to put him in place. An enraged Thandavam vows to bring down the entire family. Can Vasu outwit him?

Poojai is quite lengthy. Much of the fluff is songs and comedy sequences, which, if removed, could easily have reduced the running time by at least 30 minutes but Hari is not after a thriller but a masala movie. And Poojai is commercial masala done well. There is action (punchy), sentiment (effective but not affecting), humour (silly but funny once in a while), romance (ludicrous and strictly functional), and the director manages to keep things ticking —the action is often relentless, and the nondescript songs and the comedy scenes (Soori and Pandi doing a pale imitation of Goundamani and Senthil) are breathers for us.

But the film does take a while to get going. Every major character gets its own introduction scene. Vishal gets a fight and a song (with a special appearance by Andrea), Soori a comedy scene, Shruti Haasan gets a crazy scene where she wakes up to Kallai Mattum Kandaal from her dad Kamal Haasan's Dasavatharam , Sathyaraj and Radikaa get a scene each and all this only feels redundant once the plot kicks in. Hari reveals the plot in three strands — we are introduced to Vasu, who is a small-time financier in a vegetable market; then, there is the ADSP, who is after the contract killers; and finally, we have the enmity between the Rajalakshmi Rathinasamy family and Thandavam. These three tracks intersect at one point and from then on, the film just keeps a frenetic pace (no, we don't mean the hyper editing and the camera work) that we are hooked till the finish.
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