Deiva Thirumagal is a well-made crowd pleasing family entertainer with a developmental disability that gets mentally taxing for the audience towards the end.
| Rohit Ramachandran
Get the facts right first. Deiva Thirumagal isn't a drama film. It's a fantasy film. It is unrealistic in every sense of the word. The basic premise itself is laughable. A young man, Krishna, with the brain of a seven year old (attributed to a developmental disability) somehow manages to impregnate a young woman, Banu. Banu dies a maternal death leaving Krishna with the responsibility of the newborn girl. As if living wasn't difficult enough, he's given the uphill task of raising a young girl. Further steepening the task are his vengeful in-laws who skillfully abduct the girl telling her everyday that her father is unwell and will return 'tomorrow'. Add more retards as his friends, a chocolate factory as his work place, a sympathetic lawyer and a bucktoothed man suspicious of his own wife committing adultery to the concoction. Now we have enough constituents to work in enough ways to keep the audience hooked, the film's one and only objective.
If you're going to remake a Hollywood film, at least remake a good one. But no, Vijay and co, understand the Tamil audience's intellectual capacity and they are in full accordance with it. Makes it easier for them too, doesn't it? And yes, Deiva Thirumagal is a remake of the Sean Penn film 'I am Sam'. I am Sam was self-indulgent soapy junk. Deiva Thirumagal doesn't believe enough in the premise to come off as pretentious. Not that it has any soul either. The film is just as superficial as its original. Vijay's way of staying true to original material is by leaving every glitch untouched.
In the acting department, there are both successes and failures. Vikram's performance is one of uninhibited audacity but I don't like the way the character has been treated. Whether it was Vijay's perception of the character or Vikram's, we'll never know; filmmaking is a collaborative process. Nevertheless, Krishna was an overgrown kid and overgrown kids are instantly obnoxious. Why sugarcoat him and make him likeable? Oh yeah, you need the audience to root for him. A seven-year old mind doesn't just initiate one to help, smile and laugh. It also initiates one to bully, be insensitive and throw tantrums. Hell no, they won't go there. Child artist Sarah, Anushka Shetty and Amala Paul do their respective duties at supporting the film. However, Nasser repeatedly draws up strange expressions with his cheeks and throat making you wonder if they are subtle cries for help.
The talented G V Prakash Kumar's music enraptures the film by unveiling Krishna's pure, childlike innocence. Going the distance with the film ends at the usual selflessness propaganda. I find it funny especially because a man's disability is the butt of every joke in the film.
All in all, Deiva Thirumagal is a well-made crowd pleasing family entertainer with a developmental disability that gets mentally taxing for the audience towards the end.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Okay
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good
Other Critic Reviews
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By D.I. Aravindan