Ponmagal Vandhal Review- Does the film rise above all pre-relase hype?
Cast – Jyothika, Parthiban, K Bhagyaraj, Thiagarajan, Prathap Pothen
Genre – Legal Drama
Rating – 2.5/5
Language – Tamil
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 (played by Jyothika), a young, feisty lawyer, fights hard to bring the truth about the case to the people and serve justice to the falsely accused.
Review – Ponmagal Vandhal does offer a discussion on the critical subject of child sexual abuse and victim framing by the megalomaniacs. But in the attempt of force-fitting this message, the film suffers from a considerable lack of execution.
Taking off as a legal thriller, we see Jyothika as a crusader who is on a mission to bring the truth to the people. The film is successful in arousing curiosity among the audience about the ‘Psycho Jothi’ case. The film maintains an impressive pace until the first half, after which the film becomes monotonic.
The courtroom tussle between Jyothika and Parthiban boosts up the energy and compromises for the lag. R Parthiban does a fantastic job and is vehement in his arguments. He is extremely convincing as a smug and successful lawyer who has a bit of a darker side. We need to see more of Parthiban as an actor.
Apart from Parthiban, none of the supporting actors make a remarkable impression and remain on 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 left with very little curiosity for the plot. Even Jyothika fails to offer variations in her emotions in the second half of the film. Though she started well, her expressions too, like the script, become monotonic towards the end. However, it is always a delight to see Jyothika back on screen. She is undoubtedly one of the finest female actors in the Tamil film industry.
Though some scenes were supposed to fill us with grief and an extreme sense 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 in the second half. There are certain points where emotions become clichéd and a tad boring. Nonetheless, the thriller pace does its job of maintaining a sense of interest among viewers, driving them eager to know the truth.
Overall, Ponmagal Vandhal is not a bad film but could have been better by proper structuring of the script and filmmaking. We feel satisfied in the end (though not entirely) but are left with a series of questions and what-ifs about the whole story.
Ponmagal Vanthal Crew
Directed by – J J Fredrick
Produced by – Suriya
Edited by – Ruben
Watch on – Amazon Prime
Image Courtesy: YouTube