Muddled writing and emotionally packed phrases for court room drama: Ponmagal Vandhal
One of the reasons why Ponmagal Vandhal deserves a mention is its selection of the social issue. Today, child sex abuse although very highly prevalent, is never talked as much it happens. The theme of the film, child sex abuse is almost always brushed under the carpet and is adequately talked and discussed in the court room of the movie. The movie has some intense scenes, and the crime thriller has made a good choice of lawyer to fight the case. But, how efficient is this lawyer with her evidence?
There was quite a healthy buzz about the movie before its release. For that, we need to applaud the audacity of the producer and its director JJ Fredrick for taking the bold step in releasing the movie on OTT, Amazon Prime, despite the threats Suriya received from the theatre owners association. A feisty lawyer Venba (Jyothika) appears in the court room to fight her maiden cause involving ‘Psycho Jyoti’. The case unravels after fifteen years and now becomes the talk of the town. Venba represents the voice of the victims, is a the sole strength of Ponmagal Vandhal. Parthipen plays the opposition lawyer and impresses the audience with his puns and effortless acting. Fredrick seems to have spent a lot of time on lapping up the emotions of the viewer. Supporting stars do their job just as told and nothing more. Thayagarajan as the villain, seems very unconvincing and his extreme act of threatening is knocking off a glass of water in force.
There is lack of coherence in presentation of the case. There is no evidence to support Venba’s claims or findings, despite knowing that the justice system needs ‘hard evidence’ and not mere truths that are unsupported. Here, the movie efficiently brings in the flaw of our justice system. Together with this, the movie makes us believe that what she claims is indeed the truth with strong motherhood sentiments of love, background scores that ring affection and some tears to top it all.
The message of the movie is good and is indeed a welcome step. But, for a film to find its audience, strong presentation with a good storyline is a must. The movie makes a good attempt at finding misogyny and patriarchy where the villain patronisingly calls Venba ‘ma’, the regional bias that society makes is evident from the tag ‘Psycho Jyoti, a North Indian’ .
Overall, the movie is a better court room drama with a strong subject, but we might need more to call it a crime thriller.