Cinematography: Om Prakash
Cast: Vimal, Iniya, K. Bhagyaraj, Ponvannan, Thambi Ramaiah and others
After watching Kalavani and enjoying it, i knew i wanted to watch Vaagai Sooda Vaa… Vimal and Sargunam seems to be a good combo…
As the screen came to life and the movie began, it was obvious this was a movie set in the 1960s or 70s… Bhagyaraj is seen making a promise to his wife that he will get his son a Job with the Government office, that of a teacher atleast and have the family name held high among his clan….
While waiting for the Government job to fall in place, Veluthambi[Vimal] joins the Grama seva and aims at spreading the value and importance of education. He is sent on an assignment to the desolate village called Kandeduthankaadu near Tanjore. Though he is reluctant, his father[Bhagyaraj] urges him to take it up atleast to gain experience as they cannot afford the 100Gms of Gold asked as bribe for the Government job. He lands in this village that is filled with families who are into Brick making.
He is offered the shack that was used to store the goat, much to the chagrin of the man in charge of the goats[ few scenes where the goat is sent to chase him around are so howlarious]…Anyways, back to the story, he then seeks out Madhi[Iniya] to offer him meals daily [she is quite the cheeky one, gives him pot of ragi porridge with green chillies and when he goes complaining to the women of the village, sneaks in and replaces chillies with some meat only to take them away again as soon as the women leave]… Madhi falls in love with him, dreaming of their life together….
With time, he realises the kids in the village would rather play around or go work in the Brick stacking unit than come study.. he tries to lure them by offering to tell stories, but he is unable to come up with an interesting story….
And in between all this, there is one man [Elango], who looks insane , walking around chanting “i hear birds, i hear them all around me” living near the entrance of the village.. One night he comes to visit Velu telling him “you should not go, i shall leave” and the next morning passes away…
There are powerful enemies lurking about… The local bigwig JP (Ponvannan) who treats the villagers like slaves and demands they repay him if they say a word against him… and the last thing he wants is for them to learn and become educated. It is only when Velu puts out a challenge to the villagers on the number of bricks laid out that the villagers understand how they are being conned and the women instantly agree to send their children to study…
The movie has quite a few touching scenes and moments…It has been set in a village that is in the middle of nowhere and is completely barren…. It is a slow movie, but gains momentum in the 2nd half… I enjoyed the movie immensely… Do watch it!