Thirupaachi Review – Punnaku Pandi and the Capture of Bin Laden

If you concur with us that the success of a movie reflects the citizenry, then the South Indian state Tamil Nadu is a lost cause.

Beyond redemption!

You see, SI blog readers who should know inform us that the 2005 Tamil film Thirupaachi featuring Vijay alias Punnaku Pandi met with a stupendous reception at the box office.

Peerless Trash
Excuse us if we’re late for the festivities marking the ‘1,800th day‘ celebrations party of Thirupaachi and couldn’t share in the heady excitement.

After all, we finished watching this movie just a few moments ago.

In our not-so-humble opinion, Thirupaachi is peerless trash. An asinine story made worse by mediocre acting, commonplace music, bizarre stunts and ridiculous dances.

We’re still reeling in shock and awe at the carnage ‘Young General’ Vijay inflicts on the screen, both figuratively and literally.

Seldom do movie-goers get to come face to face with such a stellar cast of characters weirdos:

* Patasu Baalu – A thug played by Pasupathy.

Guns and sickles are so passe for our Patasu Baalu (Cracker Baalu). His modus op is to string a long necklace of firecrackers around the neck of his unfortunate victims and set fire to the crackers. When he’s not behaving like he just had a nasty encounter with a pack of rabid dogs, you can find Patasu mumbling:

Indhu Baalu pesamatan, Patasu thaan pesum (This Baalu won’t speak, only the firecrackers will).

Patasu also gave us the cheeky headline for this trash with his timeless, sui generis taunt to the hero that while

even Bin Laden may be captured by the Americans but his hideout is forever safe from all prying eyes.

* Shaniya Sakadai – Telugu actor Kota Srinivasa Rao is cast in this horrid, over the top role of another Madras thug.

* Pan Parag Ravi – A no-name clownish thug, seemingly years-late for his appointment with a barber.

* Sivagiri – This main character is played, of course, by Vijay and inflicts the maximum agony with his mediocreΒ  acting, comical dancing and awful stunts.

In a nutshell, Thirupaachi is the account of a young man who comes to Madras with his just-married sister and single-handedly (well, almost since he does have inside support from an old buddy in the police force) takes on the nastiest and meanest looking thugs in the big, bad city after painting his face yellow with a red pottu and gray holy ash on his forehead.

Sure, he comes out on top after killing ’em all and living up to the ludicrous boast that he is more than the sum of 11,550 police personnel in the city.

As if the sick shit on the screen were not bad enough, there’s the bizarre yana, yana, yana noise in the background.

If ever there was a non-story story, it would be Thirupaachi nonsense.

The violence is utterly gratuitous, particularly the breaking of the old Iyer’s arm or the gory murder of the hero’s sidekick Kannappa over a movie-ticket queue.

Lest we forget, a complete cretin by the name of Perarasu is not merely the director of this unendurable ordeal but also claims responsibility for the story, screenplay, lyrics and dialogs. Bet even Steven Spielberg and Jim Cameron can’t lay claim to such breadth of talent.

You call this Drivel Song & Dance
When he’s not torturing us by moving his limbs at all funny angles or pushing bad guys into electrical transformers (we counted at least two instances but do let us know if we missed any), our hero Sivagiri is tormenting us with his zany dances lip-synching to nonsense like the irritating Nee Endha Ooru or the nauseating Vadu, Vadu…Appan Panna Thappula or the sick Kumbida Pona Deivam near the temple.

Barely is Vijay on the screen for a few seconds in the opening moments of the movie when he bursts into the stupid Nee Endha Ooru number at the village function for the Tamil God Ayyanar.

Every single song/dance in Thirupaachi is designed with simply only one motive – to impose the maximum suffering on the viewers.

Trisha & the Beach
Remind us never to go to the Marina Beach between 5PM and 7PM on a Sunday.

For we’re sure to find this creature lurking in the area waiting for her beloved, if you go by Thirupaachi. πŸ˜‰

Mercifully, our bete noire Trisha has a minuscule role, sparing us of further agony.

Guys, Thirupaachi is a horror show like few others.

But telling that to you schmucks is of little account since you are the putzheads that made this garbage a success. πŸ™

Related Stories:
Sura Review – Colossus of Nonsense
Vettaikaran Review – Punnaku Pandi & the Dysentery Before Sura
Madurey Review – Punnaku Pandi and the β€˜Negro Problem’
Sivakasi Review – Punnaku Pandi and the art of Nonsense
Kuruvi Review – Nonstop Nonsense
Villu Review – Revoltingly Bad

14 Responses to "Thirupaachi Review – Punnaku Pandi and the Capture of Bin Laden"

  1. vjcool   April 29, 2010 at 2:52 am

    you won a lottery of punnaku pandi films, did you? or some ‘friend’ gifted you these classics?

    Netflix has more..

    Enjoy. Responds:

    Punnaku, here we come! πŸ˜‰

  2. shadowfax_arbit   April 29, 2010 at 3:05 am

    LOL you can make a series of this Punnaku Pandi posts like Incredible India. With Sura releasing this Friday, you can add one more to the list.

    Btw, I highly recommend you read ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Just completed all volumes of the Tamil version and found it really intriguing. Narration was brilliant, characters riveting, overall mind-blowing. The Tamil version gives a lot of nativity feeling. I know you are puzhavar but still if you are not that comfortable reading the old Tamil, may be you can try ‘Ponniyin Selvan – the first floods’, a good enuf English translation of Vol 1 and 2. Responds:

    At the bottom of the Wiki profile of Ponniyin Selvan, there is a link to an audio version. We plan to download the podcasts to our iPhone and listen to it starting in a few weeks.

    There are also a few PDF English chapters at Project Madurai with translation by by Indra Neelameggham.

    It’s called New Floods. Please take a quick glance at this link and tell us if this indeed the starting point.

    • shadowfax_arbit   April 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Yes that is translation for half of Vol 1. is a better translation by Narayanan Karth, I guess it is complete Vol 1. Will send you an e-copy if I find it somewhere. Responds:

      Will buy the Amazon sellers’ version then in a day or two. About $17 for the used copy, if we remember right.

    • racer44   April 30, 2010 at 10:23 am

      I’m back. Though only briefly. I see you’ve been with keeping yourself busy with vijay films, both old and new. I shudder to imagine the toll this must be taking on your frail constitution (which, I suspect, could only worsen with the regular drinking bouts that, I suppose, you indulge in by way of pick-me-ups after sitting through these crap-fests).

      Notions of acting are strange to this vijay fella, not that others in the tamil movie industry have exactly mastered the art, but this ass sucks so bad he’s good. In fact, I still find it hard to believe you liked pokkiri a lot. While you are at it, I suggest you rewatch Pokiri as well so that you can come to a more balanced conclusion regarding this film, which I thought you rated much higher than it deserved. It doesn’t after all, vary hugely in form or content. Perhaps a more polished screenplay, but that would be all I guess.

      Well, let me lay that by the side, and press on with what I wanted to tell.

      I agree 100% with shadowfax_arbit. This Ponniyin Selvan is a gem of a book. I have read it many times over, and still wouldn’t mind re-reading it.

      Mind you, I read the original, in Tamil. I suggest and sincerely hope you do the same, since much of the story is deeply rooted in Chola-Pandiya-times Tamil culture and there are a fair few beautiful tamil poems and songs along the way, which would sound horribly quaint (maybe even downright stupid) if read (or, as you planned) heard it in English.

      And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, Kalki Krishnamoorthy has a beautiful literary style (or nadai, as they say in Tamil), which, I doubt, any translation could do justice to. I hope you can read tamil (fairly well, not like interpreting each letter
      painstakingly) and buy a tamil copy of the book. Don’t worry, his style is very simple, but elegant at the same time. Reading an English translation of the book is not the right way to go, especially if you plan to review it.(merely speculating, of course)

      There, I have put my views as I felt duty-bound to do as an ardent fan of the great Kalki. Hope you consider my suggestion in earnest. Responds:

      1. As we promised, we’ll read Ponniyin Selvan soon in English.

      Great literary works do not lose their magic merely because they are translated.

      Who having read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ classic Love in the Time of Cholera or Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary can ever complain or feel cheated because they were not read in the language they were originally written in.

      2. You write: Notions of acting are strange to this vijay fella, not that others in the tamil movie industry have exactly mastered the art, but this ass sucks so bad he’s good.

      Nice line. πŸ˜‰

      3. BTW, would you like to review the complete Tamil version of Ponniyin Selvan for readers of The review has to be in English, of course.

      $30 for the book review. Two reasonable conditions – Content must be original and exclusive to

      More than just the moolah, you’d also be exposing this (supposedly) fine work to a wider audience.

      • racer44   April 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

        Due to lots of work at present, I am unable to devote any time at all to keep up continuous correspondence with you (which is why I mentioned briefly in my last comment), much less do full justice to a great saga like this one involving 6 thick volumes.

        I am still keen to take up your offer,but I can start only some 3 weeks from now. Would you still like me to do it? I would love to, especially considering the cultural cesspool that the tamils have descended to in these modern times, which is in marked contrast to the sophisticated interplay of emotions and characters that we witness(albeit fictionally) in those times.

        P.S. Just wondering, those works you mentioned. They are all European aren’t they, and don’t european countries share a lot of cultural traits in common, for example christianity. Their differences are surely not as stark as those between the occidental and the oriental. And wouldn’t a translation between two european languages, therefore be much easily appreciated. But perhaps you have a point. After all, Gitanjali did win the Nobel prize for Literature. I will concede that point.

        P.P.S. πŸ™‚ Could you make it a round 50? 6 volumes take up a lot of review-space. So…. Responds:

        We’ll think about it.

        Strike when the Iron is hot is usually our credo.

        • racer44   April 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm

          “Strike when the Iron is hot is usually our credo.”

          Nah. Ponniyin Selvan is as old as the hills, and the time of the review really shouldn’t be all that much of a hindrance.

          Anybody who hasn’t read it so far ain’t likely to rush to their bookstores before they at least read a review.(and even after reading, not all people are motivated enough to read a book, only some).

          So what say you?


          OK, $50 for the ultimate Ponniyin Selvan review (Tamil version of the book with the review in English) delivered to SI no later than June 1.

          • racer44   May 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

            June 1 is fine. I’ll take it. Send the money to my paypal account as usual.

          • racer44   May 1, 2010 at 11:03 am

            Tell me when you’ve sent the money. Waiting for your reply.


            Payment just before delivery.

  3. kaleshgopi   April 29, 2010 at 3:58 am

    An overdose of punnakku film reviews on SI, I expect tomorrow a Sura review Responds:

    Odu, odu, odu, odu, varan paru Vettaikaran. πŸ˜‰

  4. shiva84   April 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Would you rate this as the worst movie that you have ever seen in your life.

    BTW do u plan to review punnaku pandi’s competitor ajith films. Responds:

    1. You write: Would you rate this as the worst movie that you have ever seen in your life.

    One of the worst. Tamil movies provide solid competition when it comes to bad movies. πŸ™

    2. You write: BTW do u plan to review punnaku pandi’s competitor ajith films.

    Who knows. πŸ˜‰

    • The Mahatma   April 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      @shiva BTW do u plan to review punnaku pandi’s competitor ajith films.
      ada paavi! SI is already raving mad.. Responds:

      We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.
      – Winston Churchill, Address to House of Commons, May 13, 1940 in Words That Ring Through Time, P.251

      • vjcool   April 30, 2010 at 1:54 am

        @ The Mahatma

        I second that.

        A sad day for SI blog readers.. now that SI has reviewed Vettaikaran and Sura!!. and watching older movies like they were ground breaking.. Brave but mad nonetheless.

        BTW.. watch RAN, netflix has it and it can be a strong antidote. Get well soon. Responds:

        You write: Get well soon.


  5. samneo   April 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Guys, just started watching a show online, infact, my first tamil show am following after lollu sabha…

    Naalaya Iyakunar, the guys making short films there are simply amazing, hope these guys get an opportunity to go on the big stage.. Responds:

    We’ll s see tomorrow if YouTube has it.

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