Oru Nadigayin Vaakkumoolam film traces the struggle of a girl to make it big in films, the sacrifices and compromises she had to make at every step of her journey, and the humiliation and mental trauma she was subjected to. Debutant director Raj Krishna makes a scathing commentary on the ‘murky goings on’ in an industry where everything seems to have a price; and where betrayal and games of survival take precedence over human values and relationships. It’s a bold and gutsy take on the film industry. Only, the script could have done with more punch and fizz, and the characters with more depth.
Its Soniya Agarwal’s come back film after her brief appearance in Vaanam, and in a heroine oriented subject too. Her soft angelic looks are appealing and she portrays the character’s innocence and vulnerability adequately. It’s her performance in the later stages that could had more intensity and involvement. The film opens promisingly enough. A TV reporter (Geetha, the film’s producer too) decides to do a feature on Anjali the actress who had mysteriously disappeared at the pinnacle of her career.
The search leads her to the diary of the actress — Anjali’s whole story narrated in flashback. The early scenes depict Anjali’s simple life in the village where her father (Yogi Devaraj apt as the helpless father) was a small time drama artiste, and also sheds some light on the circumstances that brought her and her mother (Urmila from Malayalam screen) to Chennai to
try their luck in films.
The duo takes residence in Kodambakkam, the refuge of many struggling artistes. And then begins their journey — the mother the aggressive one willing to pay any price, the daughter a reluctant participant. The sexual exploitation of women in a male dominated industry is also well brought out. The dialogues are sharp, some of the scenes boldly depicting the murky side of the glamour industry. But the characters appear more as stereotypes as intensity and depth are missing in the scenes. Although we understand what Anjali had to go through, we don’t quite connect with her trauma. Also, the director seems to lose his plot midway through, goes off track, and sadly comic interludes take precedence over the main plot.
Kovai Sarala as the mother trying to push her daughter Nicole as a heroine, provided some light moments. But when the character is extended, it becomes jarring. One didn’t expect the film to be as boldly ‘revealing’ as the Dirty Picture. But a coherent screenplay would have turned the film into an engaging watch.