What: Legal Drama
The story of Ponmagal Vandhal
A resident in Ooty named ‘Petition’ Pethuraj (K. Bhagyaraj) reopens a case from 2004 that involved a serial killer ‘Psycho Jyoti’ who was convicted for the kidnapping and murder. Venba (Jyothika) his daughter and a lawyer, seeks to unveil the truth. Venba is challenged by the prosecutor Rajarathinam (Parthiepan). Will the justice deliver this time? Who is Pyscho Jyoti?. All the questions get answered in this engrossing, hard hitting and relevant court room drama.
Ponmagal Vandhal movie review
Bang on target right from the word go, Ponmagal Vandhal sees Jyothika entering the territory of male lawyers like Amitabh Bachchan in Pink, or Akshay Kumar in Jolly LLB or Sunny Deol in Damini fighting for justice for female rape victims. Jyothika does it with elan.
Writer director J. J. Fredrick opens the movie like a picturesque thriller, displaying good control and conviction as ordered by the doctors of escapist cinema with subjects that are real and disturbing. Here its rape and exploitation of women. J. J. Fredrick does fall prey to the OTT (over the top) elements in mainstream cinema in this first major OTT movie premiere for Prime during this lockdown due to corona covid - 19 scare.
The issue hits at the right place having the required punch. J. J. Fredrick is successful in making us emote as per the demands of the story and behaviour of the characters.
Jyothika in her emotionally heartfelt cry for womanhood and respect for girl child. The actress creates a neat frame around her character and lets her acting chops fit in to fill the required emotions with subtility and grace. We end up with watching Jyothika in something at par with her previous brilliance like 36 Vayadhinile, Kushi.
Like a quintessential courtroom/escapist drama, J. J. Fredrick applies all the tricks/gimmicks like a twist right before the interval, a pre climax and then the climax – they all work.
Govind Vasantha’s soothing music adds to the emotional chord. Ramji’s elegant cinematography adds value and Ruben’s editing is neat.
Supporting cast comes with solid support where R. Parthiban as Rajarathinam is quite good. K. Bhagyaraj as 'Petition' Pethuraj is fantastic. Thiagarajan as Varadharajan has his moments.
Later during the second half the narrative seems to be losing its way and threatening to end this powerful and relevant courtroom drama into an average fare and committing the crime of attempting a suicide. Further Ponmagal Vandhal predominately has a set single agenda and stays away from adding other nuances.
Ponmagal Vandhal is a must if you have a heart for women and human in general. Jyothika proves her mettle as a crusader for women empowerment and motherhood in this powerful and emotional court room drama