#ThangaMeengal - 4.75/5
#ThangaMeenkal - (Golden Fish)
Movie Review and *DETAILED ANALYSIS*
This man is just 2 films old, but the "RESPECT" that he commands as a director, from my heart is second to none. _/\_ He says that "films either entertain you or arrest you"... Well, I would say he belongs to the latter part, where the audiences completely submit before his story, mainly due to the manner in which he handles emotions on celluloid. And his name is - Director Ram.
First things first, I would like to convey my heart-felt thanks to Gautham Vasudev Menon, the man without whom this noble project would not have commenced and found takers! Hats-off!!
The title credits roll, and the first thing that captures your attention is the background score by Yuvan Shankar Raja. The music is simply too good, and I can't wait for the OST/BGMs to be released! This time again, U1 is going to command a humongous number of downloads for the tunes and interludes. Every bit, every sound of a musical instrument, every strike, every chord, lends to the depth of each and every frame. Riveting music bits start right after every lump-inducing dialogue. Yuvan has even used the sounds of trains and ships after certain dialogues, to give us a bang at the back of our head, resulting in a jerk that makes the scene reach out more into our subconscious mind! "Aanandha Yaazhai" is already among the chartbusters, and I will not miss this song if anyone would ask me to make a list of 5 best songs of Yuvan. As I was thinking last week's "Aadhalal Kaadhal Seiveer" had the best of Yuvan's background score, this film has surpassed every one of his past gems!
The picturization of all the songs, are works of art that must be preserved for a long time. "Aanandha Yaazhai" is an experience. Simply the best visuals for song in 2013. The translation of the lyrics to celluloid is just mesmerizing... "Nadhi Vellam" is another touching song, shot in an excellent manner. All the songs have been placed at the right situation and perfect timing!
The film begins with a short prologue that introduces us to a fairy tale in Kalyani and Chellamma's world, that speaks of "Thanga Meengal" (golden fish). Then we have the goosebumps inducing dialogue - "Nee mattum sethu poga koodadhu pa". Ram's reaction will make the hair on your hands go straight up! Sends chills down the spine... Enough to assure you that this is not going to be any ordinary film.
The characters are etched so perfectly, that their hands will pop out of the screen in the form of their smiles, tears and emotions, and pull your heart close to their's. Not even one character has been portrayed as completely negative (Except Stella Miss maybe)... Now this is a rare feat indeed! Every person watching this film will be able to relate to at least one of the characters. "Poo" Ramu's conversations, Rohini's double-sided nature, Padmapriya's genuine character, Vadivu's companionship with her husband.. all masterstrokes when it comes to the writing!
Ram's acting is so REAL, that you will forget you are in a theater, watching a work of fiction in the celluloid medium. The scene where he questions the teacher, deserved a standing ovation! Simply brilliant writing and dialogue delivery! I need not talk more about his performance, as you will realize it for yourself... Baby Sadhana, has indeed given a performance worth a national award! Her innocence, her smiles, her pouting, her giggles, her cries, all reach out to the audience in the best possible way. The moment she says "Naan Appa kooda ye cycle la varen", you will feel Kalyani's happiness pierce the happy side of your heart! "Oru kelvi ku oru badhil na dhan pass poduranga", "Appa nallavuru", "Unaku Christmas Tata number theriyuma" are few of her heart-warming dialogues. A class act. The rest of the cast have also lived their characters to the fullest! Especially Kalyani's wife, Vadivu... "Enge yavudhu velila kootitu ponga... Engeyavudhu..." - a dialogue with such deeper meanings, delivered and acted out to the "T"! Rohini and Poo Ramu as Kalyani's parents are excellent too.. Padmapriya appears in a cameo role, that has such a beautiful genuine nature. So the casting gets full marks, on any given day!
The editing is top class. The cuts are seamless but add a whole new meaning and weight to every sequence. For example, the lock at Kalyani's friend's house and the dance class are shown simultaneously, without disturbing the viewers mind! Absolutely wonderful work!
The locales are beautiful. Bright, green and.. just beautiful! Ram has used such locales to shoot both sad as well as cheerful scenes. Though these locations are jaw-dropping, seldom do they distract us!
The interval block is gut-wrenching, and I mean it. The second half is longer than the first one by about 20 minutes. But these numbers will not bog you down at all, as I found no problem with the screenplay! Each and every scene/sequence shows a new facet of life, in the most touching way possible. I will not recommend any tinkering to any shot... This is just perfect.
Ram's direction, needs no introduction/explanation from me. This one is as good as Katradhu Tamizh, in its own way. Enough said! \m/
The film asks a lot of questions, and also puts forth many messages. A girl’s father is one of the most influential persons in her life, from infant to toddler to teen. A Appa's involvement in his daughter's life is a crucial ingredient in the development of her character and personality. It also affects her maturity, represented very clearly in the film.
Bad teachers can affect the minds of their students by cornering/insulting them in front of the class. Their words can be truly nasty and can have deadly consequences in the minds of young ones. But are such teachers going to redeem/correct themselves after watching this film? NO. They will clap for the film, and get back to their own insane methods and mannerisms. This is the harsh reality. But it will be great if at least a handful of teachers/professors change their mindset towards teaching, after seeing this film. The way Kalyani teaches Chellamma the difference between "W" and "M" shows the maturity of a father figure and the wavelength of the bond that they share between them, as she grasped it 2 minutes, much faster than the past 2 years that she did in school!
The pug, Baby Sadhana's smile, Ram's tears, all complimented by Yuvan's BGM make it one of the best penultimate scenes of Tamil Cinema! The last dialogue comparing teachers with the "Thanga Meengal" fairy tale is one hell of a masterstroke!
Now those who call this "melodrama", slap yourselves after you go home like Ram does on-screen. I simply do not know how people could not have liked SUCH a film? Yes, this is Tamil Cinema's answer to "Taare Zameen Par"! It does what "Abhiyum Naanum" and "Saattai" failed to do. Please shower your love to Thanga Meengal by watching it in the theater!
The marks I have given are just for the sake of it... this film is simply beyond giving a rating!
Author : Akilan Nagarajan (Reviewpuram)