Production: Village Theatres
Star-casts: Vimal, Iniya, K. Bhagyaraj, Ponvannan, Thambi Ramaiah and others
Cinematography: Om Prakash
Set in backdrops of 1966 in the village of kandeduthankaadu near Tanjore, the film revolves around Vimal, who ardently wants for Government Job. He joins Grama Seva that aims at educating the poor children in villages. Though reluctant at first, Vimal is urged by his father Bhagyaraj to gain experience here as they cannot afford 100Gms of Gold for the bribe. He comes to the village that is dominated by the occupation of Brick Manufucturers.
Parents don’t allow their children to take up education as they are not aware of its worth. Then he comes to have food at the shop of Iniya, who falls in love with him. He decides to get the salary of first month and then depart from the village. But during the intermission we see that the mentally challenged character (elango) saying that he wants to depart first and then breathes his last. Vimal then decides to get down the lane and enlighten the poor peoples, who are cheated by the owners. After knowing that they are cheated and they ask their children to take up education. The arrogant owner (Ponvannan) now locks horn with Vimal, but is saved by the opposite gang of Ponvannan. Meanwhile, Vimal gets a Government job and he promises them that he will come back again. But something stops him and he is back to village for teaching them again. But again a twist occurs as the Grama Seva sends a notice that they cannot afford for salary. Now the villagers come together paying him from their petty earning.
There are some beautiful scenes like the conveying Love through Radio (Naan Pesa Ninaipadhallem) and the scene is done at best. It’s something more off a different attempt by director Sargunam. The first half of the film is that it involves the ambience of 1960s’ village. It’s like taking us back to the past with a different ambience like Vijay delivered in ‘Madharasapattinam’. But the film gains momentum during second half as more conflicts pop – like- the girl is in love and the protagonist doesn’t understand, the problems undergone by the protagonist due to the baddies and whether he comes back to the village or not for educating them.
The most highlighting part of the film is that we are pushed into the feeling of desolation whenever the protagonist decides to leave the village and we develop pity for the poor children.
On the flip side, the art direction looks little artificial and the first half could have been little faster. The performance by Iniya is one of the biggest assets. National award winner Thambi Ramaiah in the role of ‘248’ (to indicate his characterization) has done what is required for the role.
Musical score by Gibran is awesome, but few songs are nowhere close to the film, which could have been avoided and they’re little illogical. Cinematographer Om Prakash has done a fabulous job for his spellbinding visuals.
On the whole, ‘Vaagai Sooda Vaa’ offers a different experience for the film buffs, who are regularly watching action packed masala films. Director Sargunam deserves special appreciations for maintaining his status that he earned with his debut directorial ‘Kalavani’.