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Vinmeengal

Posted in Cinema, Reviews, Tamil by Suganth on March 17, 2012

Vinmeengal wants to be an emotional roller coaster of a film but ends up being a tad exploitative

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first born, Naren (Vishwa) and Meera (Shika), a loving couple, are crushed when they learn that the baby has cerebral palsy due to complications that arose during pregnancy. Going against the doctor’s advise, they decide to raise the baby on their own. The child grows into a young man (Rahul), who becomes a teacher. He also falls in love with Ila (Anuja Iyer), a divorcee. Will she accept his love?

Vinmeengal, the debut effort of Vignesh Menon, showcases the potential within this budding filmmaker and the fresh cast, but in the end, you are likely to be left with mixed feelings. The director gives you an emotionally-charged story in the film’s first half with characters that are immensely likeable, but criminally ignores them in the second half to deal with characters and events that aren’t half as engaging.

Watching Naren and Meera steadfastly raise their ‘special’ child amidst difficulties with only hope being their watchword is to experience the trials and tribulations that every parent undergoes bringing up their kids. The filmmaking also feels more mature here with shots that seem to have deeper meanings. Early in the movie, as Naren hugs his pregnant wife in the bed, Vignesh shoots it from the top and the manner in which the duo lie almost resemble the yin and the yang. These segments, at times straying into the realm of magic realism, speak to you directly and feel more personal.

Whereas, the romantic track between Jeeva and Ila is quite the run-of-the-mill kind; boy woos girl, she refuses initially but relents later seeing his oh-so-cute persistence, with the sole difference being that the boy is a ‘special’ person. The romance is never credible enough and in fact feels redundant by the time the film reaches it climax.

In Aadukalam, Vetri Maaran tried to switch his antagonist halfway into the film and was able to pull it off with élan. Here, Vignesh, in a bold move, goes ones step ahead and tries to switch his lead. For almost the entire first half of the film, we are lead to believe that Naren is the film’s protagonist but later, we are asked to root for Jeeva. Which would have been fine if Jeeva’s episodes had been as compelling as the former’s… But that is where Vignesh slips. Jeeva is nowhere as interesting as Naren, who, with his never-say-die attitude, love for his family and even his offbeat profession (he is a magician), has all the qualities you look for in a hero. Like Anuja says in a dialogue, you respect Jeeva for the manner in which he has held his head high throughout his life but are not able to love him.

Copyright ©2012 The Times Of India

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