Vaagai Sooda Vaa

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Review by : Tamilstar team
Vimal, Iniya, K. Bhagyaraj, Ponvannan
A. Sarkunam
M. Ghibran
S. Muruganandham, N. Puranna

“Vaagai Suda Vaa” is the second directorial venture of “Kalavaani” fame Sargunam. Though his first venture was a commercial flick he has opted to touch the social issue of child labour in his second venture. Vimal plays the protagonist who tries to become a government school teacher and is posted as a trainee in a school situated in “Kandeduthaan Kaadu” a hamlet consisting of illiterates where children go to work in brick kilns instead of going to school.

Vimal braves to go against the protests of the elderly people of the village and educates these children. In the due course he happens to fall in love with Iniya and also bags the government job which he had been dreaming for. Whether Vimal takes up the job he had been dreaming of or opts to stay back in the village for the sake of the students forms the rest of the plot handled by Sargunam.
Though the storyline bears the shades of the film “Thirumathi Palanisamy” we are able to comfortably forget this as this story is happening way back in 1966.

Vimal plays the role of Veluthambhi who eagerly waits for the job of a school teacher after passing out P.U.C. and teacher training courses. He comes to the village as a school teacher to fulfill the wish of his father Bhagyaraj. The trouble he undergoes thro’ Iniya who runs a tea stall in the village makes interesting moments. The way the parents who are employed like bonded labourers in brick kilns and their children look at Vimal with fear at first and start trusting him later on and come forward to send their children to the school is brought out in a natural manner.

Vimal attracts attention with his typical style of walking and his hairstyle and tugged in shirt and trousers. We naturally feel pity on him when he is beaten up by the aides of the village head and is threatened to leave the village. Kudos to Vimal’s performance. New comer Iniya from Kerala has made her debut as the heroine in this film. She plays the role of Mathi who runs a tea stall in the village. The way she voluntarily calls Vimal to have food in the eatery owned by her and milks money from him and fails to give him enough food and later on falls in love with him and cooks a variety of tasty dishes for him brings out the penchant she has for acting. Her costumes are very simple and her attire in the song sequences reflect the fashion of the 60’s.

Bhagyaraj plays the role of Annamalai the father of the hero Vimal. Annamalai who once wished to become a school teacher but was perived of the wish aims at making his son Vimal a school teacher at any cost. He carves a niche for himself when he suggests his son that he would be able to get the job as a government school teacher if he stays for six months in a village and takes up teaching thro’ the “Gram Seva Sadan” and gives other valuable advice to his son.

In a brief appearance Ponvannan cuts a cameo role. “Thambhi” Ramiah has also played a significant role in this film. Seenu the art director of this film deserves an award. He has wonderfully brought out a village of the 60’s thro’ his hard work. He has created “Kandeduthaan Kaadu” village near Aruppukottai in a budget of two crores with houses to accommodate sixty families et al with perfection. He has concentrated on minute details like old model radios, Idli steamers made of clay, buses, lorries and a lot more. His contribution towards this film goes a long way.

The art director’s hard work comes to life thro’ the eyes of cinematographer Omprakash who has opted to use natural lighting. His work is another commendable advantage to the film.

Music director Gibran who is another debutant in this film has shown enterprise both in song composition as well as in rerecording. The title number “Senga Soolaikaara…” rendered byAnita is a gripping number. The auditorium echoes in claps as a man stylishly tosses a brick onto his head at the end of this song. The composition, scenic settings and the cinematography of the number “Saarai Kaathu Saarai Paathu” is very poetic in nature. Fifty different varieties of village food and the way the village belles pull away the banana leaves using strings while their uncles are eating are all brought out in an amazing manner. The number “Poraaney Poraaney…” is of the melody genre.

Sargunam has to be lauded for giving such a wonderful period film. The lifestyle of illiterate people of those days and the way they ignorantly turned their children into laborers has been etched out by director Sargunam in a poetic manner which proves his mettle.

“Vaagai Suda Vaa” turns out to be an interesting experience.

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