Vinmeengal, a debut directorial attempt of Vignesh Menon, grandson of late director K Shankar talks about different facets of love and affection with the backdrop of a physical anomaly in the lead character.
When a child is born with cerebral palsy, the cascading effect it has on the parents and the society they belong to and what happens when this child grows into a young man is Vinmeengal all about.
Through his work, Vignesh Menon conveys to the society not to alienate differently challenged people but to help them integrate in the mainstream world. “They are physically challenged alright, but don’t make them mentally challenged too” seems to be director’s maxim in Vinmeengal.
Plaudits are due to Vignesh Menon for his courage to take on such a serious subject while eschewing commercial elements in his very first film. And he has been ably aided by his crew both in front and behind camera.
The handsome Rahul Ravindran makes his appearance after Moscowin Kavery and the young man has utilized his opportunity and has delivered the goods well. After a cameo in Yuvan Yuvathi, Anuja Iyer is seen in a substantial role in Vinmeengal and the understanding of her character is evident from her portrayal of Ila. The sequence where she comes in support of Rahul when her dad offers him biscuits to eat is one such example.
Shikha after Kola Kolaya Mundirikka takes on a role of the mom of Rahul Ravindran and the maturity in her performance adds to the depth in her character. Viswa as the doting and sacrificing dad of Rahul is adept and brings out the emotions well. Despite knowing he has a cardiac condition, Viswa running in a race, pushing his son in wheel chair just to keep him happy is one small example. The surprise package is Pandiarajan who has donned on a different garb that brings tears from audience’s eyes not from laughter but from heavy emotions.
The scene by the lake with Anuja, Rahul and Pandiarajan in serious confrontation is noteworthy of the performance of the artists involved. The confidence boosting dialogues like “we should not abstain from playing for fear of losing” help the main idea well.
On the other hand, the scene where Vishwa uses cuss words at the school principal to show that his son is not hearing impaired appears implausible.
Debut music composer Jubin impresses with his melodies and soothing RR. Ariyaadha Paruvathil is a pleasant ditty which is likely to stay on in the charts. Cinematographer Anand Jeeva does a neat job with his beautiful visuals of Ooty.
As the subject is a serious one, the film is down on entertaining factors and it travels on a very somber path. It could be disturbing to see the lead man in wheel chair with his physical condition throughout that might need a brave heart to sit through the film. The genre demands a slow unraveling of the plot but this may not go well with the mainstream populace.
Vinmeengal is likely to work with the audience who would patronize serious and emotion laden films but not for consumers of commercial cinema.
Verdict: A serious theme, well handled