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Ponmagal Vandhal movie review: Jyothika powers this powerful and emotional ode to womanhood

Ponmagal Vandhal (The precious princess has arrived) review is here. Starring Jyothika, the Indian Tamil-language legal drama has premiered digitally today

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Ponmagal Vandhal (The precious princess has arrived) review is here. Starring Jyothika, the Indian Tamil-language legal drama has premiered digitally today – 29 May 2020 on Prime Video. Written and directed by J. J. Fredrick in his debut and produced by superstar Suriya, the movie also features Parthiban, K. Bhagyaraj, Thiagarajan, Pandiarajan and Pratap Pothen in pivotal roles

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll
Jyothika proves her mettle as a crusader for women empowerment and motherhood in this powerful and emotional court room drama.

Also read: AB Anni CD movie review: An overwhelmingly emotional family heart render

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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 say Sunny Deol in Damini fighting for justice for female rape victims. Jyothika does it with elan, this phenomenon is exceedingly rare in Indian cinema, be it Hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc.

Writer director J. J. Fredrick opens the movie like a picturesque thriller and slowly and gradually the movie enters into its subject matter. 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.

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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.

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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.

Flaws
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.

Final words
Anchored by Jyothika’s stellar act, Ponmagal Vandhal that entertains, educates, and instigates a debate. A cheer for womanhood, a hug for girl child and a kiss to humanity. Ponmagal Vandhal is a must if you have a heart for women and human in general. The climax portions will make you emotional.

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Critic review
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