Ponmagal Vandhal is a mystery thriller which digs deep into the death of a girl and how another female fights against all odds to find out the real truth behind her death and how she brings justice to her death forms the crux of this movie.
Police says a woman, Jyothi, has abducted a 10-year-old girl in Ooty and shot two youths who was trying to rescue that kid and is looking for that psycho killer. They later say that they had caught the Psycho couple who had to flee to Jaipur from Tirupur. Police further said that when the couple was recreating the crime scene to show where they kept the child, the woman shot the police and hence police had to kill them for self protection. According to police reporters, the woman is from the North and this entire incident happens in 2004.
Prosecutor Venba (Jyothika) takes up the case after 15 years to find out the truth. Father Petition Bethuraj (Bhagyaraj) helps and inspires her. The public is upset and insults Jyothika for advocating for a murderer who kidnapped children. Jyothika is subjected to various humiliations, such as curses and the typical south indian way of humiliation. Infact this is the first case in which she argues as a lawyer and why she is taking up the case, beyond these insults forms one of the main subplots of this movie.
The screenplay for the film ‘Ponnamma Vandalum’ is how everyone ridiculed the case for publicity while she brought to light the facts behind it.
Jyothika’s second innings as actor came through the film in ’36 vayadhinile. Despite the fact that she has acted in six films since then, the meaning of the comeback has been fulfilled by the film ‘Ponnamma Vandhal’. Jyothika brings to mind all the emotions of pain, agony, grief, powerlessness, crying, tension, certainty, courage, resistance, love. She has shattered the criticism that she usually does exaggerated performances and have always been rusty. As a lawyer she has proven herself to be a perfect choice for the role, with verses and body language.
Pratap K. Bothan, Bhagyaraj, Parthiban, Pandiarajan and Thiagarajan are the five main characters of this movie. Bhagyaraj has given a rich performance to his character in h his usual way. Parthiban uses sarcasm in his usual style and that has worked well in this movie. Pratap, who politely calls Parthiban as Rajaratnam sir, shows his power as a judge.
Parthiban scores in many places. It is interesting to argue every time as an opposition lawyer. When he seems annoyed, he goes into a silent mode which appears to be unique trait of this movie. As usual his one liners are very good to hear.
Pandiarajan has no major work in the film. But has few scenes in which he proves his acting skill as a judge. Thiagarajan is a regular character but intimidatingly flawed.
VJ Ashiq’s performance as an assistant to the opposition lawyer, however, is appealing. Subbu Panchu, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, Akshara Kishore, Vidya Pradeep, Crane Manohar, Kajaraj have done their parts well in this movie. They were all well utilised in this movie in their own characters.
Ramji’s cinematography and Govinda Vasantha’s music and background add extra strength to the film. The culmination of Ruben’s editing elegance. Applauds to Lashmi Saravanakumar, JJ Friedrich, Murugasan Ponti Paripan and others who have strengthened the storyline by writing verses like Justice. Beyond these, director JJ Brodrick’s focus on commercial cinema is not limited to a twist during interval and also there is a climax within Climax. On two occasions at the same time, Friedrich has broken the common denominator. North Indian male and female who are usually portrayed as bad people in Tamil cinemas is broken in this movie. Parents who teach a girl how to behave, dress, and talk should to teach boys too on how to treat women in the same household.
Apart from the grievances, ‘Ponmagal Vandhal’ stands out as one of those Tamil films that focus on child trafficking and child sexual abuse due to a brilliant screenplay.