Film: "Ponmaalai Pozhudhu"; Cast: Aadhav Kannadasan, Gayathrie, Kishore, Anupama Kumar and Arul Dass; Director: A.C. Durai; Rating: **
Within a span of two weeks, Tamil cinema has witnessed two films -- "Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer" (AKS) and "Ponmaalai Pozhudhu" (PP) -- addressing a more or less similar issue openly. The former was lauded for its swift screenplay and the sensitivity with which it handled a domestic issue, while the latter has earned stiff criticism for messing up a promising story in its execution.
Both the films pretty much deal about the attitude of modern-day youth in love, friendship, sex and their relationship with their parents.
"Ponmaalai Pozhudhu" is a lazy attempt on a theme that needed mature performances and equally good screenplay. Despite trying to not sound preachy, it fails to keep the audiences hooked due to its dragged narration.
The film highlights the thin line that divides infatuation and love. It highlights how an increasing number of today's youngsters consider infatuation and love as one and the same. Simultaneously, the film also focuses on the role of parents in their child's upbringing, especially their teenage sons and daughters.
I loved the fact that the film subtly gives more importance to parenting than merely focusing on the teenage romance of its protagonists. It points out that most youngsters resort to doing what they are not supposed to do since they have been opposed by their parents. It instantly reminds us of our days as youngsters and when we did things that were considered taboo by our parents.
To underline the importance of parenting, director Durai creates two extremely opposite father characters of the boy and girl, respectively. Aadhav's father is an understanding parent who satisfies every small need of his growing son, while Gayathrie's father doubts every action of his teenage daughter.
Unfortunately, PP lets its viewers down with a flawed execution. The time it spends to make its lead characters understand their emotions and come to terms with themselves, is a long wait and so not worth it. One wishes the film was shorter. The songs could have been done away with as they were not just a distraction, but a complete turn off.
Aadhav and Gayathrie hit it off as an aimless young pair, but miss the energy to create ripples with their performances. Kishore and Anupama Kumar as Aadhav's parents are the best characters in the entire film. Scenes between them were a treat to watch, while the scenes featuring Kishore and Aadhav, despite being melodramatic, were powerful.
Music by C. Sathya doesn't even qualify to be called average. The jarring background score only added to the woes of the viewers, who were already bored by the film's narration.
Sadly, "Ponmaalai Pozhudhu" would only be remembered for its flaws even though it has some plus points.