After the critical and commercial success of “Veyil”, Vasantha Balan strikes once again in this reality drama “Angadi Theru” - the market street. Definitely the movie sans the essentials of a commercial potboilers but what is rendered is a serious cinema which is quite raw and real. Mind that the truth is bitter. For all those who are in Chennai, needless to say about this busy street which is the epicentre of the movie. The story evolves around the salespersons, revolves around their lives and atlast convolves to the basic theme “Whatever happens, life must go on !!”
Hmm.. in a ways the movie is quite a parody on one of the famous shops in Ranganathan Street. It’s been chirstened as “Senthil Murugan Stores”.Hope you all guessed the real name ;). hmm.. now to the story..The sudden demise of his father makes Jyothilingam(Mahesh) as the next breadwinner of the family though being a school topper who aspires higher education. He comes to Chennai along with his friend to work in the shop. It’s in here Jyothilingam meets Kani(Anjali), a salesgirl with whom he often locks horns with. After a few instances love blossoms between the two.
The magnificient facade of the shop is a direct irony to the pathetic conditions of the salespersons within it. From restroom visits to falling in love, the salespersons are refused even the barest humanitarian treatment leading to a suicide of one of the salesgirls. This leaves the lead pair thinking about their future. Did the couples unite ? Did they start a life together ?? hmmm.. watch the movie to find the answers for yourselves. :)…
Alongside the main storyline, there are quite a few interludes involving street vendors in the busy street. These are carefully etched to tingle your thoughts about the lives of lesser-privileged people we could witness around us. Infact the plight of the salespersons were depicted in their true sense. Quite a few of them move your heart. Scenes involving Marimuthu(Pandi) render some slapstick humour and take-off a little in an otherwise gloomy screenplay.
Plaudits to the director for parodying one of the famous shops and the omnipotent owner ”Annachi” very boldly. The lead have done their parts well and Anjali is definetely an actress who could join the league of serious performers. The ‘director Venkatesh’ who comes as the ruthless supervisor ‘karungali’ is worth mentioning. The cameo by Sneha is again good and quite sticks to the base storyline. The music is adequate and “aval apadi ondrum…” is a breezy melody. But the ‘karangali’ song was an unsolicited add-on which could have been avoided.
The biggest strength of the movie happens to be it’s crude reality potrayed in it. The cinematagrapher has captured this reality in the very same rawness of the ever bustling market street.(i still wonder how the crew managed to shoot in that street :) ) The dialogues which are slang laden are another positive but are tepid at times when the lingo goes overboard. “Ela vanga la.. ela ponga la..” were lavishly used all along the movie.
On the flopside, the slower pace of the movie, certain deliberate inclusions and too much of rawness add to the demerits.
Go for it, only if you have a taste for reality cinema..
On a personal note i liked the movie :)