Ponmagal Vandhal, the first-ever Tamil film to have the direct OTT release has recently premiered on Amazon Prime. The legal drama, which features Jyothika in the lead role is written and directed by JJ Frederick. Ponmagal Vandhal is bankrolled by the popular actor-producer Suriya, under his home banner 2D Entertainment.
Did the Jyothika starrer meet the expectations of the audiences? Read Ponmagal Vandhal movie review here to know…
Jyothi, an Ooty-based woman is accused of abducting and killing children, and the investigation team encounters her when she tries to escape. The case is reopened after 15 years by ‘Petitioner’ Pethuraj (K Bhagyaraj) and his daughter Adv. Venba (Jyothika), who claim that Jyothi was falsely accused. Prosecutor Rajarathinam (R Parthiban) creates challenges for Venba in bringing justice to Jyothi. The rest of the plot depicts how the young advocate proves Jyothi’s innocence.
Script & Direction
JJ Frederick, the writer-director makes a decent debut with Ponmagal Vandhal. The movie has dealt with the sensitive topic and hits hard at parts. The movie stands out with its honest attempt to showcase the harsh realities behind the fight for justice in the cases of sexual crimes. It also throws light on the sexism that women deal with in everyday life, which is a very rare sight in Tamil cinema.
However, Ponmagal Vandhal doesn’t succeed in keeping the audiences hooked to the screen, apart from certain portions. The screenplay lacks the much-needed crispiness and leaves way too much of loose ends (like the protagonist’s family background and sudden transformation of certain characters).
Also, the old-school, highly predictable narrative which majorly depends on the lengthy courtroom scenes and monologues play the major spoilsports. The occasional comedy sequences struggle to make a mark and look forced. The violence sequences that involve the children might not go well with a certain group of audiences, as they are clearly over the top.
Jyothika, who plays Adv. Venba, amazes with her controlled, mature performance. The actress has totally come out of her bubbly onscreen persona to portray the calm yet fierce Venba, and carried the film in her shoulders with absolute ease. It was a delight to watch K Bhagyaraj, the veteran actor-filmmaker as Venba’s father Pethuraj. He has simply excelled in both the lighter and emotional sequences.