'Oru Nadigayin Vaakkumoolam' (Tamil)
Director: Raj Krishna
Cast: Sonia Agarwal, Jittan Ramesh, Geetha, Yogi Devaraj and others
'Oru Nadigayin Vaakkumoolam' traces the struggle of a simple, rustic girl who wants to make it big in films, the sacrifices and compromises she has to make at every step, and the humiliation and trauma she is 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 betrayals and games of survival take precedence over human values and relationships.
It’s a bold and gutsy take on the film industry. However, the script could have done with more punch and fizz, and the characters with more depth.
It's Sonia Agarwal’s comeback film after a brief appearance in 'Vaanam', and that too, in a heroine-oriented subject. Her soft angelic looks are appealing and she portrays the character’s innocence and vulnerability convincingly. It’s her performance in the later stages of the film that could have been done with more intensity and involvement.
The film opens promisingly, though. A TV reporter (Geetha, who is also the film’s producer) decides to do a feature on actress Anjali, who mysteriously disappears at the pinnacle of her career. The search leads her to the diary of the actress and then the whole story is narrated in a flashback.
The early scenes depict Anjali’s simple life in the village where her father (played aptly by Yogi Devaraj)is a small-time drama artiste. It also narrates the circumstances that bring Anjali and her mother (Urmila from the Malayalam screen) to Chennai to try their luck in films.
The duo takes shelter in Kodambakkam, which is the refuge of many a struggling artiste. And then begins their journey, the mother, the aggressive one, is willing to pay any price, while the daughter is a reluctant participant. The sexual exploitation of women in a male dominated industry is also well depicted.
The dialogues are sharp and some of the scenes boldly depict the murky side of the glamour industry. But the characters appear stereotyped, and intensity and depth are missing in some of the scenes. Hence, though we understand what Anjali has to go through, we don’t quite connect with her trauma. Also, the director seems to lose his plot midway, as comic interludes take precedence over the main plot.
One didn’t expect the film to be as boldly ‘revealing’ as 'The Dirty Picture'. But a more coherent screenplay would have turned the film into an engaging watch.