Director Radha Mohan has chosen a hijack drama this time, the delicate emotions of passengers of the plane and the delay of bureaucracy in dealing with the terrorists and how the passengers are saved. Read on for Payanam review.
A flight from Chennai to Delhi gets hijacked within five minutes of its take off from Hyderabad. The hijackers wanted to take the plane to Rawalpindi in Pakistan, but the pilots insist on an emergency landing due to the mistake of one of the hijackers ,who spoiled one of the engines of the plane. So, the plane makes an emergency landing at Tirupati on the grounds of technical snag. However, after its landing, the authorities come to know that the plane is hijacked. Then, the top officials of the government, like secretary to government, police authorities and NSG commandos reach the airport. There are married couple, unmarried youth, elderly people, a politician, an astrologer, a Christian father, and a child who is operated upon for a heart surgery. They are returning to Pakistan. As the trauma continues, one of the passengers gets killed by the hijackers, who demand that the government release a notorious terrorist called Yousuf Khan and Rs 100 crore money. Central Cabinet discusses the issue for about two days even as the trauma of the passengers continues. The NSG chief Ravindra (Nagarjuna) pleads for a commando operation but the authorities refuse. Finally, a decision was taken to release Yousuf Khan. However, while bringing Yousuf Khan to Tirupati, the truck stuck by an avalanche and he dies in that accident. With no option to handover Yousuf Khan, the authorities give permission to Ravindra to take up a commando operation.
Meanwhile, a television scribe (Harshavardhan) with over enthusiasm sneaks into the airport as a police officer and shoots the flight picture. He comes to know that Yousuf Khan met with an accident and calls up the studio and leaks the information. So, the hijackers demand to see Yousuf Khan alive. Then Ravindra uses his mind and brings a film artiste, a director (Brahmanandam) and a make-up man, who recreated a similar scene in a recent film. With the help of the director, he shoots a clipping and transmits to the hijackers that he is alive but is in hospital. What happens next should be seen on-screen.
Radha Mohan's ability is clearly visible on the screen and has made the film worth watching. He has not concentrated on action but he has highlighted the mindset of passengers. Nagarjuna too has not gone overboard at any time. He has dominated certain scenes and makes the audiences involve in the film and has given a feel that they are watching a real life incident. Dr Bharat Reddy, Prakash Raj, Melkote and others has given their best in the film. The way how the present day channels are complicating certain incidents with their attitude to increase their TRP ratings are perfectly portrayed through Harshavardhan’s character. Brahmanandam gives a relief with his comedy. Poonam Kaur is apt as an airhostess, while Sanakhan is good as a passenger. Cinematographer KV Guhan needs should be complimented for capturing the emotions of the artistes and the art director should also be patted for erecting a plane set in Ramoji Film City, replicating the interior of a plane exactly. Umerji Anuradha has penned good dialogues for the film and the typical conversation of bureaucrats and passengers has helped the film-maker to drag the passengers into the movie and immerse in the movie. The incidents that touch the hearts of audiences is a doctor’s attitude to treat a terrorist, when he falls sick and one of the terrorists talk to a child in the plane with so much love.
The first half deals with the emotions and the attitude of the bureaucrats in getting a nod from the government and how delayed decisions would be taken in a tense situation. The film appears a little nagging and boring because the audiences continue to expect a big action scenes but the film continues to roll without any such incident. The interval twist gives a shock to the audiences. However, the film picks up pace in the second half. But for a little stretched first half, the entire film is worth watching.
You can watch the film for production values, camerawork, Nagarjuna and Prakash Raj’s performance and the drama run by the director in a perfect way. It is a really must watch film. Though, there is no heroine, no duets and other songs, the audiences would get a feel of watching a good movie and they would admit such films should not have such routine commercial elements.