Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Pa. Vijay, Sreedevikha
Direction: Jeevan
Music: James Vick
Production: Vil Makers
There need not be many reasons for a powerful love story, replete with everything necessary to leave you with a lump in the throat. However, the inexcusably sloppy direction that paves way to poor story telling methods leaves the end-product just another mediocre fare. Gnabagangal leaves a lot to be desired, actually quite a lot, and for starters, the way the story is handled.

The story is said to have based on a real-life incident and it’s easy to see why the fragile theme needs to be carefully handled. Gnabagangal has the kind of story that poses the risk of sounding way over-the-top melodramatic or just plain clichéd, if the treatment lacked sensibility.

After receiving the President’s award, Pa. Vijay, as lyricist Kathiravan, travels to Haridwar to meet Sridevika. As Pa. Vijay recollects his memory about Sridevika, the viewer is taken through a series of flashbacks that narrates how they were once in love. By then you pucker up and start guessing the subsequent scenes. As probably predicted by you, Sridevika is married off to a rich diamond
merchant, against her wishes, who dies after losing all he had in his business leaving a house and an insurmountable loan. Although she tries to hide the fact of her husband’s death from her old flame, Vijay finds that out soon enough that she is in penury.

Vijay comprehends that the house is in mortgage and will be gone from her hands in a few days. Distressed at the plight of the love of his life, he leaves behind a few gifts and a blank cheque to proceed to Tajmahal to write poetry in front of the monument, in a bid to find peace. But when Sridevika finds out that it’s not only poetry he’s up to, it proves to be a little late.

Although not a saving grace for the movie, Vijay tries his best to accommodate all the required emotions whilst on the job and succeeds to an extent. But it’s the movie’s predictability, a downer owing to the poorly written screenplay and the subsequent direction, that lets his performance making it a lost ball in the high weeds. The dialogues, interspersed with his poetic interludes, might go down well with his fans. They are often crisp, albeit most of them being soggy.

Sridevika’s character earns sympathy in a few scenes – like the one in the climax. But since they are very few and far between, her character also lacks the required credibility. The Gnabagam Illayo Thozhi song highlights the heartache and grief surprisingly well – better than the acting could do.

In the end, what could have been a heartrending tear-jerker tale of love and sacrifices turns out to be a trite fare that wallows in self-pity.

Verdict: Love, not as lovely!

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