The movie was recently tangled in a controversy after the makers decided to release it on Amazon Prime Video as theatres are shut owing to the pandemic.
The film begins at the scene of the crime and the impact of these horrifying murders on the hill station. Flash forward to present day, we meet Venba and her father, ‘Petition’ Pethuraj (K Bhagyaraj), who constantly takes up several issues by filing cases in court.
Together they put in over 10 years of work on this case, Venba is determined that she will make it her first case. Though director and writer, JJ Fredrick give Venba a strong enough reason to pursue this case, the film misses the opportunity to make the film into intense courtroom drama. Instead it veers towards getting preachy, with a slightly predicable ending.
Jyothika carries the entire burden of this movie. Having done similar female-centric roles in movies like Raatchasi, Kaatrin Mozhi, she is at ease playing the protagonist.
Parthiban as Rajarathinam, her rival lawyer is a perfect casting choice, as both play off each other’s lines. Unfortunately, the other supporting characters stumble as their motives are unclear.
Karpooram (Pandiarajan) has little to do while the judge’s (Pratap Pothen) hidden motive towards the climax is left unexplained. Varadharajan (Thiagarajan), the antagonist, hardly proves to be a threat to Venba (He can only raise his voice or throw a glass of water in a fit of rage).
Even though there is an unexpected twist in the intermission, the plot becomes predictable by the final act, despite the director trying hard to make the story look like a smart whodunnit.
Despite the plot’s shortcomings, in the final showdown has strong performances and that is what makes Ponmagal Vandhal a watchable affair.