It’s not often that you get a film made on the life of an actress. Veteran director Bheemsingh made Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkiraal way back in 1978. The film, which starred Lakshmi in the lead, was a successful affair though it was criticized by many inside and outside the industry for being too ‘blatant’. After more than three decades, here comes another film on the similar lines.
The only difference is that unlike the 1978 version, Oru Nadigaiyin Vakkumoolam (ONV) has been directed by a debutant film-maker and stars an actress, not known for doing substantial roles, in the lead role. Debutant Rajkrishna has boldly taken on the job of narrating, albeit in a haphazard manner, the travails of an actress who overcomes several hurdles to become a star.
Let’s now take a peep into the story: Anjali (Sonia Agarwal), daughter of a poor villager Devarajulu (Yogi Devaraj) and his wife Girija), is brought to Chennai by her mother who wants to make her a top actress in Tamil films. At the beginning, she gets ticked off by many producers, directors and by studio managers. Anjali’s mother learns soon enough that unless her daughter made some unethical compromises, she might not get any breakthrough at all and manages to convine her daughter to do so.
‘Actress’ Anjali is born out of a naïve village belle Anjali who delivers one hit film after another. Slowly but in a clear manner, the attitude of Anjali’s mother towards life changes for the worst as a result of which Anjali finds herself nothing better than a money-making machine. Along side, she is also forced to undergo physical and mental abuse much against her own will.
After tolerating all the tortures, Anjali ultimately comes to a decision that it’s high time she acted to save her life from hitting a deadlock. Watch the movie to find out what she does.
The film gets off in a brisk manner but loses steam soon enough as the events which unfold on screen are vastly predictable and clichéd. Even the dialogues appear to be too lengthy at times. Though Raj’s basic idea of foraying into vastly non-tread territory is quite appreciable, the way it has been executed lacks proper planning and foresight on his part. ONV, however, succeeds in showcasing vividly the emotional upheavals, compromises and professional pressures an actress has to go through to make it to the top of her field and sustain her longevity.
Lack of a watertight screenplay is what bogs the film down. Given her limitations as an actress, ‘comeback queen’ Sonia Agarwal does deserve accolades and bouquets. The boldness to take on the role of an actress, knowing very well that criticism would be unavoidable from her peers, is itself an appreciable trait in her. She has no doubt essayed her portion quite well. The pain, agony and the mood-swings of a struggling actress is brought out nicely by Sonia. Girija, who plays Sonia’s mother, does deserves a pat for a neat portrayal. ‘Yogi’ Devaraj as a too has done his bit as a desperate father commendably.
Whie others like Raj Kapoor, Manobala and ‘Ganja’ Karuppu have done their respective parts admirably well, for some reasons, the likes of Kovai Sarala and Nicole have been entrusted with not-so-significant characters. Kovai Sarala, who rocked a few months back as Lawrence’s mother in Kanchana, doesn’t have much frames in this film.
Cinematography by Naga Krishnan and the music by newcomer Aadhish are soothing to the eyes and ears respectively. Aadhish, however, has miles to go.
Rajkrishna has tried his best to handle sensitive theme as deftly as possible but in the ultimate analysis, it is to be said that his effort hasn’t been up to the mark. He could have done away with some extra-dose of sexually explicit sequences and dialogues but these are to be expected from a newcomer.
Watch it for Sonia, if not for anything else!