‘PT Sir’ movie review: Hiphop Tamizha Adhi bats for empowerment in this dull entertainer

Hiphop Tamizha Adhi featured in ‘PT Sir’
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

At its core, PT Sir, with Hiphop Tamizha Adhi taking the lead, presents itself as a standard hero-centric flick — one that’s built on familiar tropes such as an unlikely hero’s rise, interspersed with romantic subplots, formulaic adversaries, dynamic action, and snappy one-liners. To the uninitiated who tune in about 20 minutes into the film, director Karthik Venugopal’s second venture seemingly attempts to breathe new life into a well-worn narrative.

Our protagonist, Kanagavelu, also known as Velu, captivates audiences as the affable physical education instructor at GP Matriculation School. Depicted with vivid visuals and evocative lyrics in ‘Nakkal Pudichavan da Kanagavelu’, Velu is portrayed as a lovable character, though he’s somewhat innocuous, engaging in dance with his students while championing the importance of their physical education period.

An intriguing subplot involves a ‘Magic Wall’ where students can write wishes that mysteriously come true. Aside from some cringe-worthy attempts at humor, where Velu finds himself in ridiculous romantic rivalry with a student for the affections of fellow teacher Vaanathi (Kashmira Pardeshi), these scenes are quite endearing.

The film delves into Velu’s character development, revealing an astrological prediction that cautions Velu against trouble before marriage, purportedly to set the stage for his romance with Vaanathi as a turning point in his life.

PT Sir (Tamil)

Director: Karthik Venugopal

Cast: Hiphop Tamizha Adhi, Kashmira Pardeshi, Devadarshini, Thiagarajan

Runtime: 130 minutes

Storyline: When a young woman experiences assault, a gentle gym teacher becomes an unlikely champion for women’s safety.

As one might predict, Velu inevitably encounters trouble, but not the usual kind one expects in a school teeming with teenagers. The film undergoes a tonal shift when young Nandhini (Anikha Surendran) is attacked at a bus stop and subsequently blamed, igniting Velu’s crusade against the formidable GP Institution’s Chairman, Guru Purushottaman (Thiagarajan).

To present the film as family-friendly and justify some of Nandhini’s actions, the plot references the Magic Wall again and introduces a neighboring college to mistakenly designate Nandhini as an adult college student rather than a high schooler — a disservice to the theme, which emphasizes that sexual harassment affects women across all age groups.

Sadly, the astutely crafted script that set the stage for Velu’s transformation into a ‘White Knight’ falls short in execution. The transition from a timid gym teacher to a formidable hero takes just one powerful background song — a stark contrast to films such as Thiruchitrabhalam or Maaveeran where such metamorphosis is more nuanced. Velu’s approach to solving complex social issues through brute force undermines the very sophistication needed to handle them, especially when he discovers that this is an endemic problem for women in society.

PT Sir does bring to light significant social messages, yet it opts for straightforward resolutions rather than diving deeper into the complexities of its themes. Even if one overlooks the oft-criticized ‘male savior’ trope, the film’s approach to the classic ‘underdog versus powerhouse’ battle offers no novel insights.

At best, PT Sir serves to capitalize on the discourse around women’s empowerment, enabling the protagonist to deliver memorable catchphrases destined for social media virality, and attempts to move past Adhi’s ‘Clubbula Mabbula’ reputation. One can only hope that amidst this, any anti-victim-blaming narrative might resonate with the audience it’s meant to reach.

PT Sir is currently being screened in theaters.

Leave a Comment