Until I saw it, Angadi Theru was simply the name of a film that got critical acclaim. It was almost sent out as India’s official entry to the Oscars this year. But now that I’ve seen it, it’s a lot more than that. Just recalling the film puts in me enough positive energy to go on for hours about it. Let me first tell you what the film is about. It’s not an assumption, it’s not a possibility and it definitely isn’t reading more than there is. Anyone who’s seen it knows that the film brings to light, how employees of Saravana Stores are ill-treated.
Director Vasanthabalan has a lot he wants to tell the people. He believes that happiness and sadness are just phases in life. With that treatment, the film achieves the realism it deserves. He’s read about the events and mishaps at Saravana stores and his heart is aching for the employees. Each time there’s a signboard bearing “Saravana Stores” on the screen you know that burn is all that there is to it. He’s got great communication skill as a director. The cinematography is sly. It isn’t used for you to go “Wow, beautiful shot.” There isn't anything beautiful about the film's content. The shots shock, provoke and make you see eye to eye with the characters- just how you would’ve perceived it had you been in the characters’ shoes. The montages provide essence to the film and the acting is uniformly great. The store manager is played by A.Venkatesh with enough villainy to make you grit your teeth and feel pleasure even when the slightest hitch befalls him. It’s an award-worthy performance. The characters are well developed and the screenplay tells a lot within a small time frame. Not only is Vasanthabalan a brilliant director, he’s a raconteur. He makes it an exclusive experience for the viewer. You don’t feel like this is a film made for everyone to see, you believe it’s a story that Vasanthabalan is narrating directly to you. Even the characters that aren’t relevant to the story of the film have been given identities.
Angadi Theru is a message against capitalism. Those of you sitting in front of the computer screen and reading this are beneficiaries of capitalism. Angadi Theru says nothing for or against capitalism; it merely shows the plight of the people who’re at the suffering end of capitalism. There’s no way you won’t ache for them. Their plight is shown with so much power and realism. Just that is enough to convince you. You’re a rightist? So am I. But it did make me sway, as long as the film stuck to me. It’s definitely one of the years best and the most compelling film of 2010.
Rating – 10/10