Ponmagal Vandhal, with Jyotika, on Amazon Prime: This courtroom drama needed to be much darker, but it’s content to remain “family-friendly”

Posted on May 29, 2020


The director doesn’t trust his material. He doesn’t trust the audience enough to feel that this “issue” is enough, and doesn’t need to be cheaply sensationalised.

Spoilers ahead…

J J Fredrick’s Ponmagal Vandhal opens beautifully. We are in a forest in Lovedale — a misty picture that could be on a tourist brochure. And then, gunshots! The who and why are revealed through a series of news reports and accounts by cops, intercut with wailing mothers as the bodies of little girls are dug out from the earth. The credits appear in gentle dissolves, without disturbing the mood. It’s a solid, no-nonsense stretch that establishes the premise and drops a hint that this may not be your typical Jyotika vehicle. Watching these scenes at home, I was happy there were no cheers when the title card for the producer appeared (it’s Suriya) and when the heroine is introduced, riding a motorbike. Immersion and atmosphere are everything in crime thrillers/ courtroom dramas and nothing kills one more than an ear-piercing wolf-whistle, or the blinding flash from a smartphone screen two seats away.

Read the rest of this article here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/reviews/tamil-review/ponmagal-vandhal-on-amazon-prime-review-this-courtroom-drama-starring-jyotika-needed-to-be-much-darker-but-its-content-to-remain-family-friendly-baradwaj-rangan-jj-fredrick/

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