By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 26 March 2010
The film is set in Chennai?s main market place for the middle class masses- Ranganathan Street in T.Nagar. The street has some of the most popular textile showrooms in south India. Vasanthabalan takes a hard look at the work force mainly the sales girls and boys in these shop their dreams and anguishes, and you can feel the wetness of their tears.
Where the glitzy textile showrooms of Ranganathan Street do get its workforce from and the ghetto like conditions these poor people live in, the torture both physical and mental that they have to bare is told in a daring and shocking manner by the director.
Jyothi Lingam (Mahesh) is a bright student and son of a mason who leads a happy life in his village near Tirunelveli. One day tragedy strikes as his father the only earning member dies in an unmanned railway gate crossing accident, and young boy now has to look after his mother and two sisters.
Due to circumstances, he is forced to abandon his studies, though he came first in his school in the board exam. Through a canvassing agent he gets a job along with his friend Marimuthu, as a sales boy in a textile showroom in Ranganathan Street in Chennai.
Mahesh, along with hundreds of others are employed at the Senthil Murugan Stores run by the big Annachi. In every floor in the textile showroom there are 50 to 60 sales boys and girls who have to work in pitiable conditions from early in the morning to late night, without any rest.
He meets Kani (Anjali) a fiery independent girl. The difficult and harrowing times in the store bring them together as they face up to a cruel and lewd store supervisor Karungali (director A Venkatesh in a stunning cameo), who beats up the boys and molests the girls when they play around during duty hours. As Mahesh says there is no escape from the ?Jail like? atmosphere in the shop where employees are treated more like slave labour in a concentration camp than with any human dignity.
Vasanthabalan?s film is all about how young people barely out of their teens are fighting for survival for their daily existence under inhuman conditions, with basic human rights violated on a daily basis. The director puts the audiences through an emotional wringer with heartfelt dialogues of Jayamohan, and some scenes like a love struck sales girl jumping out of the fourth floor of the shop, the tearful climax which leaves a lump in your throat. The film has a positive ending that the human spirit will survive any crisis and life will go on.
The drawbacks of the film is that the story plods at a leisurely pace in the second half as the tempo slacks, songs are thrust into the narration, and at times it is too depressive. Five songs out of which two melodies written by Na Muthukumar GV Prakash?s Kadaigalai Pesum? and Vijay Antony?s Aval Appadi Ondrum Azhagillai? are the pick of the lot.
One of the highlights is Richard M Nathan?s camera, with superb night effect shots of Chennai streets and Muthuraj?s realistic art work especially the interiors of the textile shop.
It?s an overdose of emotions, yes, but you don?t mind it: simply because the characters have handled the scenes so skilfully. Mahesh as Lingam and Anjali as Kani are simply outstanding, they hold the film together. Shorn of any artifice or nervous energy Mahesh for a newcomer is a revelation. Anjali in a typical girl next door type role without any makeup is a natural. The guy who plays the hero?s friend and director Venkatesh has excelled in their short roles.
Angadi Theru is an honest film. Full marks to Vasanthabalan, he has his heart in the right place. Ayngaran International, has guts for backing such a bold and brave film.
Verdict: Very Good