Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review

Hype can kill your film or make it a must watch. Hype can improve your visibility or kill the interest on a film if it doesn’t hold up. Hype can be a good tool of promotion and marketing at the same time it can just be all about false promises. Hype can open up new avenues and bring revenues or it can just end it all! Bottom line is Hype is four letter word that works like a double-edged sword, if you don’t use it well, it will break you too.

Plot: Venba (Jyothika) takes interest in a 15 year old case about a lady psychopath killer, Jyothi, who was accused of murdering 5 girls in Ooty. She is shot dead in an encounter. As a lawyer, she wants to investigate into the case as she suspects police in the case of covering up the real criminal. Public Prosecutor Rajarathnam (Parthiban) takes the opposition to Venba in court and what happens next, watch the film on the OTT platform to know more.

Performances: Jyothika is good as the lawyer who raises issues of physical and mental abuse that women go through in their routine daily life. She starts the movie on a very different note from her earlier films as a performer but then falls back on the similar troupes. May be this character could have been more unique had she tried to inculcate some different body language to usual.

Thiagarajan from the first frame wants to scare you but even with scariest of close-up shots, he appears as a caricature than a character. Bhagyaraj tries to tickle your funny bone but misses the mark. Pratap Pothan is okay in few scenes.

Parthiban has a great screen presence and it is hard to stand in front of him for any other actor, especially when he is in good form. Here, he was in good form but the writing wasn’t sure about what do to with him.

Technicalities: Editing by Ruben could have been better as the film drags a lot. He might have suggested few things to director that he found not interesting but he might have been asked to retain them. Still, his level of technician should have been able to handle the drama well.

Music by Govinda Vasantha for this is not off the standards of his 96. May be it is wrong to even expect such score for this one but his BGM doesn’t really help the movie. Ramji captures Ooty well but doesn’t give the movie, mood it deserves.

Analysis: Writer and director, JJ Fredrick has many good ideas. He wanted to say that all in one film. He tried to show a healthy father – daughter relationship in contrast to what the story of the accused explores. In court room dramas, the meat lies in the conversations that happen in between well-established characters. Here the writing doesn’t support the characters or the material that they themselves have tried to touch upon. Hence, everything looks very plastic and unwarranted than a drama that is necessary like Pink.

Movie wants to drive home the point that Pink made, think about the consent and see what women go through from their point of view. But after a point, movie tends to go into a preachy zone and hence, we don’t feel the weight of the emotions, it hopes to deliver.

Bottom line: Ponmagal means Goddess Lakshmi and here her arrival was not upto hype!

Rating: 2/5

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