Passable for A Digital Watch
2 hours 3 mins.
What Is the Film About?
Venba (Jyothika) chooses to re-open a fourteen-year-old case of a Female Psycho Killer and defend her. The entire world is against her as the Killer is involved in the abduction and killing of five girls. But when she begins to pursue the case, she finds the entire system dragging her down. Rest is all about what happens to the case.
How Is Jyothika’s Performance?
Jyothika is one of the best female performers we have in Indian Cinema. She walks through the roles of a lawyer, daughter, and mother effortlessly. There is too much drama in the story. If it is worth the film or not is a different story but she does justice to that.
Direction by JJ Fredrick?
JJ Fredrick has chosen as a film with two relevant subjects – the flaws in our judicial system and child abuse. These are very touching subjects but he may have lost the trick in deciding what to do about the film. He has two options – making a courtroom drama or making an emotional drama. He tried to balance the things between both and lost his way.
The movie is right into the subject in the first scene itself. The first half has two tracks – the Courtroom drama and the parallel track of Venba’s struggle. The courtroom scenes are interesting while the other track bores us a bit. Finally, it is a passable first half.
The second half needs to have the steam with a good number of twists in the process of the arguments in the court. But every such scene (the director may call it a twist) falls flat and even gives you a feeling that the director did not try to keep it a surprise or secret. We find courtroom dramas interesting when the protagonist lawyer is intelligent but for the major part of PonMagal Vandhal, we feel Jyothika as weak. At places, she goes too preachy. The final touch to the case is also kept simple. A little twist that comes towards the end adds no value to the film.
Having said that, PonMagal Vandhal is not a bad film. It is a passable fare but an effective treatment would have made it a good watch.
Bhagyaraj and Others?
Senior Actor Bhagyaraj is seen as Petition Pethuraj and he is fine. R Parthiban as the Public Prosecutor and Thiagarajan in a central character are good fits. Prathap Pothen does what is expected of him as a judge. The film has limited characters and the rest of the characters do what they are expected of.
Music and Other Departments?
Govind Vasantha took care of the music. There are two songs which come in the backdrop of the story and they are fine. The background score gels with the mood of the film. There is nothing remarkable about the music but it is how it should be a film of this genre. Ramji’s camera work is good. There are some sequences with mist and hue which are handled really well. The tint of the proceedings compliments the story. The writing becomes preachy at times but fine. The movie is good at two hours but the drama gives it a lengthy feeling.
Too Much Melodrama
Lack of Proper Twists
If Ponmagal Vandhal releases in theaters, we would have a different yardstick to rate. It may not be easy to bind audience to their seats with this kind of content and execution. But since it is a digital watch, it is worth giving a try laying back on your couch or bed. But then, keep your expectations in check.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, For A Digital Watch.
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