Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review: Jyothika starrer courtroom drama tries to be intriguing but ends to be a mediocre message 'padam'.Modified On: 29 May 2020 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
The director JJ Fredrick's had a great storyline that had a darker theme but he wanted to make a family-friendly film just for theatre audience but unfortunately released on the streaming platform.
Cast: Jyothika, Parthiban, Thiagarajan and Pratap Pothen
Directed By: JJ Fredrick
The film starts with an establishing shot showing a beautiful forest in Lovedale, Ooty which feels like it has come straight outta tourist brochure. And then we hear a gunshot. Soon the premise of the film is established.
In the year 2004, a double murder in Ooty took place. A woman named Jyothi is arrested for abducting and murdering children. Dubbed "Psycho Jyothi", she's shot dead in an encounter and the case is closed. Advocate Venba (Jyotika) decides to reopen the case, the first one that she's arguing in court. Bhagyaraj plays her father, Petition Pethuraj, a man who has the habit of filing petitions on just about anything under the sun.
Ponmagal Vandhan could have been an interesting courtroom drama due to its darker theme which is based on the real-life atrocities about child sex abuse. But the director was too busy to make a message 'Padam' laced with family drama. And that restricts the film to mediocrity.
The problem of the film is, unfortunately, its theatre format released in OTT. Some theatrical traits such as the protagonist's entry (slow-mo intro of Jyothika on a bullet and that's the only bike ride she does in the entire film). Unnecessary intro scene of Bhagyaraj as Petition Pethuraj.
The director has not taken the main theme of the film seriously and added things like meta-references of old films acted by Prathap Pothen hums En iniya pon nilave from his movie Moodu Paani or Bhagyaraj's ek gaon mein comedy from Indru Poi Naalai Vaa. For example, Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan, a courtroom drama talking about women consent and safety will not show a particular scene of Amitabh sitting on a chair and listening to kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata gain to give him a tribute by the makers, obviously the narrative will lose the grip which exactly happens to Ponmagal Vandhal.
Jyothika and Parthiban have given a fine performance. The film has some twists and turns which makes it somewhat interesting. Overall, Ponmagal Vandhal is an one time watch due to its laziness and conventional method of screenplay writing. In the end, you are watching a message 'Padam' in which the message just last till the end credits after that its just the regular day.
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