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Director: Vishnuvardhan Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Jackie Shroff, Anjali, Sarah Jane Dias, Ali, Brahmanandam A year after Puli fell flat, Pawan Kalyan is back with his Panjaa (literally, tiger's paw). And, the hunter is in familiar terrain with a few novel tools as well. But alas! the terrain is a tad too familiar to give his legions of fans their long wished-for catharsis. The plot is simple. Jai (Pawan), an orphan, is a loyal lieutenant of a don Bhagwan (Jackie Shroff) and when not making a mince meat of his godfather's rivals, he's busy basking in the lap of nature at his own nursery which he runs with his pal Chotu (Ali). Life turns upside down with the arrival of Munna (Adivi Seshu), son of Bhagwan, who covets Jai's childhood friend Jhahnavi (Anjali Lavania). Meantime, Jai runs into a green peace activist Sandhya (Sarah Jane Dias) and sparks fly between the duo. The plot thickens when a jilted Munna batters Jhanavi to death and is dispatched to hell by an enraged Jai. The ungrateful act has the don turn his ire against Jai and the rest of the story unfolds along predictable lines. Director Vishnu Vardhan of Billa fame, who has also scripted the film, lives up to his reputation with his stylish frames but the story, a mash up of Pawan's old movie Balu and Sai Kumar-starrer Prasthanam , is at best old wine in a new bottle. Action sequences by Shyam Kausal, cinematography by Vinod and music by Yuvan Shankar Raja breathe life into the film. The comedy track involving Pawan Kalyan and Brahmanandam, who plays a cop, is insipid.What's refreshing though is the absence of in-your-face dialogues with which Pawan has come to be identified in recent years. The star, sporting a beard, plays a subdued character who exhibits controlled aggression. Though welcome, the characterisation veers off track during his comic scenes with Brahmanandam. The rest of the actors deliver decent performances. The director and editor ought to have used their scissors more liberally as the supposed action thriller drags at a snail's pace. It's surprising and in fact, it is a cardinal sin to have omitted the racy title song from the film.It's another lost opportunity for Pawan but definitely an improvement over his films since Khushi. One cannot but sympathise with the star who seems to be nostalgic as are his fans about his glorious days. Panjaa is set in Kolkata, an obvious journey back in time for Pawan. But then, nostalgia doesn't compensate for novelty. Tweet