Hollywood: Mere pass Hot Shots hai, Scary Movie hai, Naked Gun hai! Tumhaare pass kya hai?
Thamizh cinema: Mere pass Thamizh Padam hai.
As spoofs go, this one is about as good as it gets. From the gender switch on Karuththamma right at the beginning to an acknowledgement of A R Rahman’s Golden Globe win right at the end, Thamizh Padam packs in-jokes into its running length like passengers on 12B at Panagal Park. And while we’re busy trying to juggle our laughter with our memories of the films and filmi cliches we grew up with, it even sneaks in an oblique reference to — would you believe it — Manoj Night Shyamalan.
Spoofs don’t lend themselves easily to reviewing. So I’m not even going to bother. Let me leave you with just a snippet, so you can decide whether or not to watch the film.
A little boy sees a bunch of goons beating up a helpless man and is so appalled by the injustice of it and his own inability to fight for the poor man that he goes to his grandmother and asks her when he will grow old enough to fight. The wise grandmother advises him to get on the bicycle parked nearby and starts pedalling. And sure enough, as the camera zooms in on the boy’s legs, pedalling away, they morph into those of The Hero.