Ponmagal Vandal is a legal drama. It is directed and also written by JJ Frederick that has Jyothika in the lead role. At the same time, Bhagyaraj, Parthiepan, Thiagarajan, Prathap Pothen, Pandiarajan, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, and others play crucial supporting roles. Suriya produces it under the banner 2D Entertainment. Govind Vasantha and cinematography set the music of the movie by Ramji.
Ponmagal Vandhal (2020) Tamil
|Stars||Jyotika, Parthiban, Bhagyaraj|
|Initial release||29 May 2020|
A woman named Jyoti is implicated in the kidnapping and destroying many children and doomed by the court. The case is reopened by ‘Petitioner’ Pethuraj (Bhagyaraj), and Venba (Jyothika). Prosecutor Rajarathinam challenges the Jyoti, played by Parthiepan. She brings justice to Jothi forms the rest of the story.
One of the film’s significant advantages is the OTT release, which means there need not be any commercial compromises. It stays adjusted right from the first frame and gets into the scheme of things pretty quickly. However, Jyothika powers the film with her performance, the promoting cast chip in with strong performances, especially the likes of Parthiepan and Bhagyaraj.
The first parts of the film are a pleasure to watch, and they are crafted beautifully. The famous ‘Ek gaon mein, Ek Kisaan Raghu Thatha’ joke from Bhagyaraj’s own Indru Poi Naalai Vaa recreated, we see Venba amusing kids with magic, and also teaching them safe and unsafe touches through a lot of activities. Till the end of the first half, the court proceedings are brisk, and there is no lag. The second half’s foundation is also set up beautifully, with a big twist right before the interval. However, due to the screenplay issues, the film loses steam in the second half.
Till the midway point of the second half, the film sticks to the courtroom genre. Still, suddenly we see Venba delivering an emotional monologue highlighting the pain victims of rape undergo. This can be compared to Ajith’s speech in Nerkonda Paarvai. Still, the difference is that it is the closing argument in the latter, whereas, in this film, it comes before we are legally convinced that Jyoti is innocent. Had the monologue been placed in the climax, the impact would have been more significant.
This film is set in Jyothika’s universe, where she turns into a crusader for the victims of the system and the oppressed women. She follows suit and the plan subtly points out the instances of sexism we witness in everyday life. It also shows how the lawyers in courts invariably resort to character assassination while arguing against female lawyers, which is entirely novel. It is not every day you see a female lawyer fighting for justice in Tamil cinema, which is a welcome change.
Govind Vasantha expertise in the violin is well-known, and he’s used it in the emotional scenes adds on to the drama so much. The songs don’t disturb the flow because of its pleasing to the ear nature, and also because they’re used as montages. Ramji has done neat cinematography, that works well for the genre.
The film carries an essential message against child sexual abuse, and when a woman speaks about it, it becomes even more hard-hitting. It is necessary to keep making films like these, where the society is educated about the nuances associated with taboo topics like rape and sexual abuse. Overall, a watchable movie for Jyothika’s performance and conveyed a strong message.