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Bommai Nayagi Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, February 3, 2023 • Malayalam ]
Bommai Nayagi Review
Neelam Productions, Yaazhi Films
Yogibabu, HariKrishnan Anbudurai, Subatra, Srimathi, GM Kumar, Aruldass, Lizzie Antony, SS Stanley, Jayachandran, Rockstar Ramani Ammal, Sumaiya, Ishmath Banu, Dhamu, Indrajith, Jayavel
Sundaramurthy KS

Bommai Nayagi - An underprivileged father's fight against the system

Yogi Babu the character actor most often surpasses the comedian as witnessed in 'Aandavan Kattalai', 'Pariyerum Perumal', 'Karnan' and 'Mandela'.   His latest offering 'Bommai Nayagi' too is in that league and whether the viewers will give it the same love remains to be seen.

The story is set in the early 90s.  Velu (Yogi Babu) is a tea master who lives an ordinary but happy life with his wife Kayalvizhi (Subhadra) and daughter Bommai Nayaki (Sreemathi) a fifth standard student.   While his father belongs to the upper caste his mother is from a lower caste and hence they are ostracized by his rich stepbrother Senthil (Arul Doss).  Velu though has love and respect for Senthil who however treats him like a servant.   When the tea shop owner falls ill, Velu loses his job but the kind owner agrees to sell the shop to him if he can rotate one lakh rupees which is beyond his reach.  During a festival of the goddess Bommai Nayagi men belonging to the upper caste do the unthinkable to the child which her father witnesses.  The girl is trapped in a hospital belonging to her tormentors.  The rest of the screenplay deals with how the innocent and illiterate father saves his daughter going by the law as well as by breaking it.

Yogi Babu has once again performed a serious role with a lot of conviction.  His big plus is he expresses deep emotions very subtly and makes a big impact on the audience.  Even when he witnesses a spine chilling horror happening to his child his reactions are exactly what a peace loving powerless man would do.  Subathra Robert who made heads turn with her solid performance in 'Jai Bhim' is the perfect foil to Yogi Babu as the doting mother and wife.  There is innocence in her eyes and words that convey her vulnerability.  Sreemathi with her natural performance makes the audience root for Bommai Nayagi.  Its yet another memorable role for Hari (Madras Johnny) who plays a communist who takes up the issue and moves the judicial proceedings. G M. Kumar, Arul Doss, KPY Jayachandran and Lissy Antony have all made their supporting characters  noticeable with realistic performances.

What works best in 'Bommai Nayagi' is the realistic portrayal of the lives of the underprivileged during the 90s and how they had to cower down to the upper class even when a child is raped.   The best directorial touch is Yogi Babu constantly asking his daughter to show him Bharat Matha and she keeps telling him its her and when it finally comes true. Especially the place where Sreemathi speaks to the judge receives applause. It puts forward the strong message that women need education to fight injustice and should never allow the sexual abusers to escape in the name of honour and dignity.  It also stresses the role of the parents and the society to help the victims recover from the horrific wounds physically and mentally.  The dialogues are simple but hard-hitting such as 'If a girl studies in a society, the society itself has studied', 'The law and the court do good and bad' and  'When the upper class man tries to enslave, you have to become a weapon to show your resistance to him' 

On the downside there is inconsistency in the screenplay at a few places such as Arul Doss's sudden repentance and Yogi Babu's action in the climax to hoodwink the police which are artificial.   The run time also gives a feeling of becoming stretched in the second half.

The music, cinematography, art direction and editing by Sundaramurthy KS, Athisayaraj.R, Jayaraghu L and Selva RK respectively complement the screenplay.  Debutante director Shan has chosen a relevant subject and has done his best to present it in a natural and at the same time impactful manner.  Pa. Ranjith's Neelam Productions has once again bankrolled a meaningful film.

Verdict : Go for this well enacted socially relevant film

Rating: 3.25 / 5.0


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