PT Sir review: This tone-deaf film masquerades as a self-aware exercise

'PT Sir' feeds into the fear that society instils in us that women are inherently unsafe, by depicting most men as terrible predators.

ByS Subhakeerthana

Published:May 25, 2024

A poster of the film PT Sir

PT Sir (Tamil)

24-05-2024, Drama, 2 hours 10 minutes U
  • Main Cast:Hiphop Adhi, Kashmira Pardeshi, Anikha Surendran, Pandiarajan, Thiagarajan, and Munishkanth
  • Director:Karthik Venugopalan
  • Producer:Ishari Ganesh
  • Music Director:Hiphop Adhi
  • Cinematography:Madhesh Manickam



It never ceases to amaze me how a film like PT Sir, which lasts for more than two hours, can have zero honest emotional moments.

The makers promoted PT Sir as a “fun-filled entertainment with a message”. But I didn’t imagine I would be signing up for a “woke” message padam (film) that suffers from victim shaming and the male saviour complex.

There is neither fun nor entertainment in PT Sir. There is a message, yes. However, it has been conveyed in all the wrong ways!


Kanagavel (Hiphop Tamizha Adhi) is a physical education teacher in an Erode school, headed by a well-known educationist named Guru Purushothaman (Thiagarajan).

Kanagavel aspires to be simultaneously charming, naive, silly, serious, and strong. In one scene, he does cute things to win over a female teacher. In another, he flexes his muscles.

He is a typical easygoing man from the middle class.

The film isn’t interested in exploring those family dynamics; instead, it takes a detour.

The family astrologer warns his mother (an underutilised Devadarshini) that Kanagavel’s horoscope foretells tragedy and urges her to keep a tight eye on him to make sure he doesn’t pick fights with anybody.

The plot revolves around Kanagavel’s transformation from a fun-loving guy to a literal saviour (who rescues Anikha Surendran’s character from the clutches of a bad man).

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PT sir is a drama directed by Karthik Venugopalan

‘PT Sir’ is a drama directed by Karthik Venugopalan. (X)

PT Sir feeds into the fear that society instills in us that women are inherently unsafe, by depicting most men as terrible predators chasing their prey.

In another film, this would have served as the core plot to move things forward, yielding a lot of drama. But PT Sir seems to be least worried about the storyline.

Director Karthik Venugopalan is unable to make up his mind about the treatment he dishes out to the women in PT Sir, often building his hero into a character with a massive saviour complex.

Not to be forgotten is the modern rendition of “Kanda Sashti Kavasam”, which screams in the background to convey why there should be fear when the hero arrives.

How much of the cliché of the male saviour is necessary for this?

When will we start to think that women will stand up for themselves? Why is it that we require a “hero” to save a woman?

There is only one good thing that has happened to PT Sir, and that is Anikha Surendran’s character.

Despite being shamed for her trauma and told to stay indoors, she sticks her head out and emerges triumphant.

However, the script mostly focuses on Adhi’s journey as the hero, not her character.

PT Sir, oblivious to the weight and importance of these topics, is keener to check what it deems to be commercial cinema boxes.

Furthermore, a film promoting women’s safety or empowerment loses its basic intent when it centres on a man’s path.

Gallery: ‘PT Sir’ is a fun-filled entertainer, says Karthik Venugopalan

The male saviour cliché

Hiphop Adhi in PT Sir

Hiphop Adhi in ‘PT Sir’. (X)

This is not to say that films that attempt to tackle societal issues by using the masculine saviour cliché don’t make any kind of contribution to society.

Of course, there are excellent examples of how women’s issues can be accurately portrayed in cinema. Filmmakers who have mastered it include K Balachander and Mani Ratnam.

But, when a film uses the male saviour trope to discuss women’s empowerment or safety, it frequently results in cliched—if not caricatured—depictions of women as helpless damsels in distress who don’t even realise what’s best for them.

The “twists and turns” don’t matter, unfortunately.

Speaking of current films with a similar premise, English Vinglish (2012), Nerkonda Paarvai (2019), and so forth, have not only had a significant influence on the discourse but have also done quite well.

It makes sense that Karthik Venugopalan would want to talk about this crucial issue. But good intentions alone don’t make a good film.

When you don’t have the material to play with, why even touch a sensitive subject and attempt to uncork the tear ducts?

Contradicts the theme

Kashmira Pardheshi in PT Sir

Kashmira Pardheshi in ‘PT Sir’. (X)

A teacher character (played by Munishkanth) makes a joke about a boy’s private part in a film that talks about women’s safety and empowerment.

PT Sir has several issues that are largely related to the tone and inconsistencies.

The filmmaker seems unsure whether to take the subject lightly or not, which results in a viewing experience just as confusing.

Further, PT Sir ventures into a zone of impudence that can be either argued as “morally problematic” or “intended irreverence”. The movie just plods on without eliciting any sort of response from us, other than the occasional yawn.

The screen chemistry between the lead pair Kashmira Pardeshi and Hiphop Tamizha Adhi is zilch.

The comedy too largely falls flat, despite having seasoned actors like Prabhu, Pandiarajan, and K Bhagyaraj, around.

We get a scene between Kanagavel’s mother and him that essentially spells the film’s message. This should have been a heartwarming scene, but everybody tries too hard to sell it, and fail.

But don’t let all that fool you, for this is a poorly-written film that infuriates us by taking itself too seriously.

Even when it desperately wishes to be a message film, PT Sir does nothing worth remembering.

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Final take

Karthik Venugopalan tries to stretch a flimsy knot to an unmanageable length, stringing a series of gags and linking a chain of characters to it.

PT Sir made me truly go “Podhum sir” (please, enough)!

(Views expressed here are personal.)