Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two Stars)
Star Cast: Jyotika, R Parthiban, K Bhagyaraj, Prathap Pothen, Thiagarajan, and Vidya Pradeep.
What’s Good: Jyotika is a powerhouse actor who brings life to this not so fresh plot.
What’s Bad: inconsistent writing.
Loo Break: you can take a few but not in the first 15 minutes, they are the best.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for Jyotika, she wins the game with her acting. If you are looking for a wholesome experience, you should consider other options.
A quick google search tells you Ponmagal Vandhal translates to ‘The Precious Princess Has Arrived’. Used metaphorically in the film, is a story that revolves around a shocking incident that happened 15 years ago. A lady is claimed as a psycho killer and encountered. She is accused of kidnapping and killing young girls. A decade and half later, an advocate (Jyotika) opens the case yet again and claims that the lady isn’t a psycho killer, but a mother trying to save her daughter. What unfolds is a mysterious story with its fair twists and turns. You guys should start appreciating me for not giving away spoilers.
Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review: Script Analysis
Will not lie, the first 15 minutes of the film had me. When you are introduced to a rather confusing incident of a lady shooting two men with a gun. What followed the next few minutes with the tension at its highest gave me goosebumps. But that was it. That was the only portion that moved me. Ponmagal Vandhal though is subject that should hit hard, does not because it isn’t fresh. We have seen this.
And it is quite visible that writer-director J.J. Fredrick does understand that. So he tries to induce Drishyam (2013) style plot twist to this courtroom drama. (PS: not a comparison).
The writing isn’t consistent or let’s say it looks like pieces of different cakes put together to make one. What begins as a dark film that holds secrets and goose flesh, gets humorous for a while. Not underlined humour, but characters cracking jokes on your face. The set tempo is lost.
Also, there are loose ends. A judge played by veteran actor Prathap Pothen, gets a special side story as a layer to his character. But we never get to know more or the purpose of his parallel story. (If you want to understand the angle I am talking about watch Oscar entrant ‘Court’, you will get it).
The script does have a couple of twist that surely could have done wonders if they were supported by equal levelled writing throughout. The script also mentions real cases of child abuse and mob hatred, including Aasifa and the man lynched for stealing a handful of food grains. But as said, doesn’t hit as much it should.
Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review: Star Performance
Ponmagal Vandhal has some fine acting performances and they are the only reasons one could survive the film. Jyotika wins the show. She is the heart but in the wrong body (read film here). The actor gets her note correct and sets on to play it like her own. With the maximum screen time, she makes this journey bearable.
The cast includes some of the most veteran actors. R Parthiban as the prosecution, Thiagarajan as the politician who would go to any extent to save his position in the society. All play their parts with conviction. Performances deserve more marks here.
Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review: Direction, Music
J.J. Fredrick holds both the credits of writing and directing the film. With Ponmagal Vandhal, Fredrick goes the contemporary way. The surroundings are subtle and spacious as possible. He doesn’t crowd up the screen unnecessary. A lot of that credit also goes to cinematographer T.Ramji, who sets the tone high with his work in filming the crime scene (opening sequence).
Though my complaint is with the one who decided to put scenes with the narrator talking and the world around slowing down in like three scenes. We have come a long way, and this a courtroom drama, you killed my intrigue with that right there.
Music of the film is average. The song Vaa Chellam will make it to many playlists. As for BGM, it did not contribute at all to the complete experience, except in the opening sequence.
Ponmagal Vandhal Movie Review: The Last Word
Ponmagal Vandhal had all the perfect ingredients, also in the right quantity, but Fredrick failed to make a proper delicacy out of it. Watch it if you are Jyotika’s fan, even if you want to become one. Because this lady here knows how to lift a 2-hour film on her able back!
Ponmagal Vandhal Review Star Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two Stars)
Ponmagal Vandhal Trailer
Ponmagal Vandhal releases on 29th May, 2020.
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