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36 Vayadhinile (aka) 36 Vayathinile Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, May 14, 2015 • Tamil ]
36 Vayadhinile (aka) 36 Vayathinile Review
Jyothika, Rahman, Abhirami
Rosshan Andrrews
36 Vayadhinile

When heroines make a comeback In Tamil Cinema, they seldom get a leading role, however popular they may have been in their heyday. Jyothika, however, with the backing of her home banner has a meaty role and performs it with ease in ’36 Vayadhinile’ which is tailor made for her return to the silver screen after an eight year hiatus.

’36 Vayadhinile’ is the story of Vasanthi (Jyothika) a devoted wife, mother and daughter in law who works as a clerk in one of the departments of the Collectorate. Her husband Tamizharasan (Rahman) a radio announcer and thirteen year old daughter Mritula (Amritha) want to migrate to Ireland for a better life, but much to their disappointment, Vasanthi keeps failing her immigration interviews mainly due to her unemployable age. All of a sudden Vasanthi’s mundane life changes drastically and she becomes a celebrity in her circles as the President of India wants to have lunch with her, the reason being her daughter Mritula had impressed him with a question when he visited her school and she had told him that her mother had taught her. Overwhelmed by the red tape at the Governor’s residence Vasanthi faints before the president and she becomes the laughing stock of her family, colleagues, neighbors and the butt of internet jokes. Tamizharasan and Mritula leave for Ireland and a lonely Vasanthi withdraws even further into her shell. Enter Susan(Abirami) a college friend who reminds Vasanthi of how she used to take up and fight for causes in her college days and this inspires Vasanthi to rediscover herself. There is a subplot involving a message about the dangers that the Indian population face by consuming artificially grown vegetables and food poisoned by fertilizers and chemicals. What Vasanthi does to regain her self respect and how she becomes her true self to reach the greatest heights forms the rest of the story.

Jyothika known for her myriad expressions is in her elements as Vasanthi and dominates every frame. Her eyes brilliantly express every insult and disappointment she experiences at the hands of her husband and daughter. She has some humorous scenes like the techniques she uses to take other peoples seats in the bus, her rivalry with her colleague Rani (Golisoda Sujatha). Jyothika excels when she displays a conceited body language as a short lived celebrity and the contrasting deflated look she puts on when she bungles that status. Sadly, other than the heroine no other character is well defined and due to this Rahman comes across as more of a filmi villain than an ordinary middle class husband. Amirtha as the daughter, Abhirami as Susan and Kalaranjani as the mother in law are adept. Actors such as Nasser, Devadarshini, Delhi Ganesh, Golisoda Rani, Prem, Jayaprakash, M. S. Bhaskar and Illavarasu give able support in limited screen time. Special mention is due to the old lady friend of Vasanthi who is the catalyst for the heroine’s victory.

The backbone of ’36 Vayadhinile’ is the songs and the background score of Santhosh Narayanan. Viji’s dialogues are as usual laden with humor, which evoke laughter as well as give food for thought. R. Diwakaran’s camera is adequate. Rosshann Andrews the director of the original ‘How Old Are You’ has tried to repeat the magic in Tamil and succeeds to a certain extent. Suriya’s 2D Entertainment has chosen a women-centric film as their first production, which is a clean family fare and may inspire a few.

The first twenty minutes are consumed by the set up with a few disjointed scenes which almost border on boredom. The pacing of the screenplay is noticeably uneven. In recent films heroes who want to achieve something participate in a marathon and so does Jyothika which is unconvincingly shot. The way in which Vasanthi becomes successful and reaches the Rashtrapathi Bhavan is far removed from reality. The husband’s character is forcefully depicted as selfish, manipulative, spineless and does not change during the course of the screenplay. Because of this, in the climax the very purpose of the theme of the story is defeated when Vasanthi thankfully accepts her husband's hand when he is obviously there only to share her moment of glory. One gets the feeling that maybe this version of the film lost a chunk of its soul in translation.

Verdict: '36 Vayadhinile' is commendable for the effort it takes at reminding women that they can indeed break the shackles that society has put on them, Its’ attempt at warning about the poison we consume as food and its gentle reminder to everyone of the truth that Age does not matter to succeed in life. The three stars are for the above.

Rating: 3.00 / 5.0

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