Good Remake, But Fails to Match the Original

Published: 16th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2015 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

36 female

Film: 36 Vayadhinile

Director: Roshan Andrews

Cast: Jyothika, Rahman, Amirtha, Abhirami, Prem ,Delhi Ganesh, Nasser

It was a comeback film for Malayalam actor Manju Warrier in How Old Are You, a role which seemed tailored for her. It brought her out of hibernation and successfully steered her to her second tryst with Malayalam cinema. Now, it has been remade in Tamil as 36 Vayadhinile, with Jyothika returning to screen after a hiatus. Comparisons are odious, but inevitable. While the Tamil version is helmed by the same director and the physicality of the theme has been almost faithfully captured, the feel and the essence is a tad diluted.

The film, which is simple in its plot and uncomplicated in its narrative style, has no frills, forced-in fights and inane comedy. And that is its strength — a theme, which women in a similar position as the protagonist can identify with. Vasanthi, a 36-year-old, is a clerk in the revenue department and has a mundane existence.

Her simplicity and lack of urban worldly ways invite deriding comments from her husband (Rahman fits in suitably) and the disapproval of her school-going daughter — all of which Vasanthi takes in her stride. These moments are close to real-life situations. But when a turn of events questions her very existence and identity, Vasanthi decides to turn the situation to her advantage. Jyothika looking slim and elegant in some tastefully designed sarees, has performed to the best of her ability. Her performance is more mature than what one has seen in her earlier films. But one feels a certain amount of artificiality seeping in at some moments. And one misses the various nuances of expressions that Warrier had been able to infuse into the character of the 36-year-old woman, bogged down by a routine job and domesticity. The film does its bit for a socially relevant issue, when the screenplay digresses a little with a long take on pesticide-generated diseases, growing of organic vegetables and healthy food. There is the satirical take on social networking sites like Facebook.

The scene where Vasanthi meets the President of India (Sidhartha Basu), is amusing. The bonding of Vasanthi with an old woman she frequently meets in the bus, touches a chord. There are some finely-penned lines, like the one where Vasanthi asks, “Who decides the expiry date of a woman’s dream?” reminding one of Sridevi’s come-back flick English Vinglish.

The supporting actors have fitted in neatly. Like Delhi Ganesh as Vasanthi’s father-in-law, Prem and Divyadarshini as her supportive colleagues, Amirtha as her daughter Mithula, and Abhirami in a brief role as Vasanthi’s old school mate who steers the self-effacing and low- on- self- esteem Vasanthi to a positive path of self -discovery. Taking just about 114 minutes of viewing time, the film (actor Suriya’s maiden production) about a woman’s age and her marital status being no barrier to chase her dreams, is cute, warm, motivating and inspiring.


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