A passable horror comedy that interests in patches!
Director Rohin Venkatesan’s next film after Adhe Kangal is the horror comedy in the form of Petromax starring Tamannaah, Munishkanth, Kaali Venkat, Sathyan, Prem and TSK. The horror comedy genre, is a tried and tested formula that works for a particular set of audience in spite of numerous similar attempts. Has the team of Petromax managed to cover their crowd?
Petromax, which is touted to be a remake of the Telugu film Anando Brahma is about a house that is on the verge of being sold by its owner (Prem) to a businessman (Mime Gopi). Tamannaah and her family of four try to stop this due to a past incident touched upon in the flashback. There is also Munishkanth, TSK, Kaali Venkat and Sathyan who are all in need of money and agree to stay for a period of 4 days in this house to prove that it does not have any ghosts. What happens to the house eventually forms the rest of the story.
On paper, this is a story that is more than sufficient to make a 2 hour long horror comedy film. Director Rohin does exactly that as he sticks to the basics and does not overdo any element. Right from the start, there is a calm about this film which keeps you interested. However, a lot of characters being introduced one after another in the first half makes it a little predictable and boring till we understand the motive of each of these characters. This is followed by a fairly engaging second half with Munishkanth, TSK and Kaali Venkat keeping the humour levels up and Tamannaah is seen in a well played extended cameo.
The choice of casting, though not very different for a horror comedy flick, is an interesting one. Tamannaah’s screen presence in her limited time is good. The one-liners by the comedy team of Kaali Venkat, Munishkanth and Sathyan do a good job. But it is TSK who shines with his mimicry in the second half. His Suriya voice is a steal and it will keep the audience entertained. Yogi Babu does well in his couple of scenes as usual and there are a few other comedy actors who help the purpose of this genre.
But what goes missing are the elements of fear. Since we are majorly dealing with a comical film, the lack of fear brings in less suspense throughout and what we get is a very predictable set of scenes. In fact, the pre-climax and climax portions are the only ‘tough to guess’ sort of scenes as a few twists are entwined into this portion. A dosage of such elements through the course of the film might have made things more interesting and intriguing.
Technically, Petromax is a decent film. Music by Ghibran is not his usual best but he delivers a noteworthy track here and there. Cinematography by Dani is quite apt and edit by Leo John Paul could have been a tad bit crisper. The sound design is extremely profound and many a time, it is safe to say that this department saves the game.
Overall, Petromax by director Rohin is a genuine attempt at a horror comedy film remake that has a decent dose of comedy. If for a few alterations in the story from the original, we may have had a slightly more unpredictable experience. The last 30 minutes are very engaging and one might wonder why the rest of the film does not fall under this category of entertainment. A watchable horror comedy experience from team Petromax.
Bottomline: A decent mix of comedy and horror, with a sensible plotline that accounts for a watchable film!