Cast– Jyothika, Parthiban, K Bhagyaraj, Thiagarajan, Prathap Pothen
Genre – Legal Drama
Rating – 2.5/5
Synopsis – A father-daughter duo known for pulling up irrelevant and non-sensical cases for publicity shock everyone as they file a petition to reconsider a 15-year-old case that once shook the nation.
The courtroom becomes a stage of tense drama and suspense as many dark secrets unveil. Venba (Jyothika) a feisty young lawyer fights hard to bring the truth to the people and serve justice to the falsely accused.
Review – Ponmagal Vandhal did offer discussion on a rather critical subject of child sexual abuseand victim framing by the megalomaniacs. But in the attempt of force-fitting this message, the film suffers from a considerable lack of execution.
Starting off as a legal thriller, we see Jyothika as a crusader(like in many of her recent films) who is on a mission to bring the truth to the people.
The film becomes successful in arousing curiosity in us about ‘psycho Jothi’ and everything about that case. The film does maintain a pace until the first half after which the film becomes monotonic.
The court tussle between Jyothika and Parthiban boosts up the energy and compromises for the lag. R Parthipan does a fantastic job and is vehement in his arguments. He is extremely convincing as a well-known and successful lawyer who has a bit of a darker side. We need to see more of Parthipan.
Apart from Parthiban, none of the supporting actors make a remarkable score and remain just in the sidelines. However, they are just fine in their respective roles.
In the second half, the movie becomes all about the sentiments and emotional monologues. It loosens itself from the core idea of legal thriller and gradually slows down, becoming monotonic.
Things become pretty predictable towards the end and we are out of any curiosity for the plot. Even Jyothika fails to offer variations in her emotions in the second half of the film. Though she started off well, her expressions become monotonic in the end. However, it is always a delight to see Jyotika back on screen. She is undoubtedly one of the finest actors in the Tamil film industry.
Though some scenes were supposed to arouse us with grief and a pinch of disgust at the sight of young girls being molested, we feel nothing much in particular. Unfortunately, our emotions don’t trigger as much as Venbu’s emotional monologue. There are certain points where emotions become clichéd and a bit boring. But nonetheless, the thriller pace arouses curiosity among viewers driving them eager to know the truth.
Overall, Ponmagal Vandhal is not a bad film but could have been better just by proper structuring of the script and filmmaking. We feel satisfied in end (though not completely) but are left with a series of questions and what-ifs about the whole story.
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