Release Date : Aug 30,2013
Thanga Meengal
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board
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Production: Gautham Menon, Reshma Ghatala, Venkat Somasundaram
Cast: Padmapriya, Ram, Sadhana, Sally
Direction: Ram
Screenplay: Ram
Story: Ram
Background score: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Arbhindu Saaraa
Dialogues: Ram
Editing: A Sreekar Prasad
Singers: Alphons Joseph, Baby Sadhana, Baby Sanjana, Rahul Nambiar, Sriram Parthasarathy
Lyrics : Na. Muthukumar
PRO: Nikhil Murugan
Distribution: Photon Kathaas

Director Ram is back with his brand of intense cinema and this time he has based his tale around the relationship between a father and his daughter. Thanga Meengal has had its share of release issues but the buzz for the movie in the social media space was high, thanks to Ram’s proactive and impactful promotions. 

Ram's first movie, Kattradhu Thamizh was noted for its mesmerizing music score by Yuvan Shankar Raja and its brilliant visuals. Thanga Meengal also retains the ‘Little Maestro’ and the cinematography has been handled by Arbhindu Saaraa.

In Thanga Meengal, Ram plays Kalyani, a self-respecting man who isn't always practical and wears his heart on his sleeve. His world revolves around his exuberant and sometimes over-enthusiastic 8 year old daughter Chellamma and he wishes to keep the child within her, alive at any cost. His rational family members aren't welcoming of his ways and philosophies. The rest of the movie is about the struggles that he has to undergo in order to keep his daughter's pristine happiness intact.

First things first, a big round of applause to Director Ram for his vision, unflinching passion on his subject, his writing and of course his performance. He has literally given life to the character that he has written. Though he comes across as over-dramatic and hyper-emotional at times, it suits the story.

Baby Sadhana plays Chellamma, a kid who lives in her own world and is a really slow learner at school. Her mind is brimming with fantasies and one such is about ‘Thanga Meengal’. The title has been justified very well and poetically in fact.

Chellamma has issues in concentrating on her lessons and is more interested in having enthusiastic and typically childlike conversations with her little friend Nithyashree. These conversations are a big highlight in the movie as they make the mood light. Baby Sanjana as Nithyashree is a darling.

Coming back to Sadhana, her's is an unbelievable performance and not for one moment, do we see any cinematic traces in her. Ram has extracted the best out of this prodigiously talented child. The scenes involving her conversations with Santa Claus and with her ‘soft doll’ illustrate the kind of innocence and purity that she exhibits.

Shelly plays the mother of Chellamma and she shines in the scenes when she releases all her pent-up frustrations. Looking at Shelly and Sadhana, they really do look like a mother-daughter pair. Great casting.

Padmapriya is really dignified as a teacher and lights up the few scenes that she appears in. Rohini and 'Poo' Ram as the lead protagonist's parents are realistic and natural. The younger sister character is another sweet addition to the proceedings and the brother-sister bonding has been brought out subtly.

Yuvan Shankar Raja has again delivered his best for Ram and you will have plenty of hair-raising moments as he weaves magic with his instruments, for the movie's BGM score. Yuvan continues to grow by leaps and bounds with every passing year. The legendary maestro Ilayaraja can indeed be proud of his son.

The much-loved Aanandha Yazhai is a visual delight while the other songs such as Nadhi Vellam and Yaarukkum Thozhan Illai are well-placed. The riotous ‘School’ song could have been placed earlier in the movie's narrative, one feels.

Thanga Meengal is a visual treat as well, with Arbhindu Saaraa capturing all the scenic locales in the movie well and particularly shining in those surreal night scenes. The DI, colouring and other post production work on the movie's visuals are splendid during these night scenes.

One must laud the passion of the producers too and Gautham Menon, being an ambitious filmmaker himself, must have understood what Ram was up to, and his contributions to the final output of Thanga Meengal mustn't be undervalued.

Verdict: Thanga Meengal brims with heart felt heavy emotions, has lifelike performances and is a brilliantly made film.
( 3.75 / 5.0 )



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