After a splashing debut in 'Kalavani', director Sargunam is back with Vimal with a strikingly different film in 'Vaagai Sooda Vaa'. It carries a strong message and is more a docu-drama touching up the economic struggles of the oppressed.
However, a shrewd Sargunam doesn't go preachy anywhere and chose to set the story in 1960s, thereby giving it a different and interesting look.
Education alone could bring change in the society. Providing knowledge to the poor and less privileged would do wonders for the nation. This forms the crux of the movie. With enough funny elements and innocent villagers around, 'Vaagai Sooda Vaa' makes an interesting watch. Sargunam has woven a story that others fear to tread.
The movie is set in a remote village. It is about Veluthambi (Vimal), who is born and brought up in Pudukottai. His father Annamalai (K Bhagyaraj) wants him to take up a government job.
To prepare him for it, he advices his son to go to a village and help educate children working in a bricklin. As Velu reaches the village, he is greeted by innocent faces who fear that he would spoil children who are into work.
Initially the students resist and their parents too don't want to send their wards to study and rather prefer to make them work in bricklin. A sequence of events results in Veluthambi winning the hearts of the people and he insists that only education would bring sea change in the lives of children, who otherwise would have to toil like their parents.
As it happens, he incurs the wrath of bricklin owner JP (Ponvannan). And he also falls for Madhi (Iniya), a tea vendor. When all goes well, fate comes in the form of a government job for him. Did Velu take up his father's aspirations or he embark his own forms the climax.
Vimal is good and he reminds the role played by Arya in 'Madrasapatinam'. He is good in comical sequences. Iniya is impressive. She is bubbly and innocent. Thambi Ramiah, Bhagiyaraj, Ponvannan and the rest display their best.
The highlight of the movie is Gibran's musical score. The songs are tuned differently and strike a chord with the listeners. Cinematography adds strength to the story. Omprakash's lens has captured the dry lands of Pudukottai at its best.
On the flip side, a docu-feel and slow unfolding of events may mar the proceedings. However it is a good attempt indeed.