Payanigal Gavanikkavum Tamil Movie
"Payanigal Gavanikkavum" hit the OTT screens at the right time. It's a rap on the forehead for all the social media aficionados (and addicts). There have been films in the past showcasing the silent societal malaise that is being triggered by social media. This one, however, takes a more nuanced stand on how a harmless picture taken by a social media addict can lead to tensions between the victim as well as the perpetrator. It also shows how the same social media is being leveraged to undo that harm. This movie is a remake of the Malayalam original, "Vikruthi".
Ezhil (Vidharth) is a speech and hearing-impaired simpleton who leads a humble and peaceful life with his family. Antony (Karunakaran), who returns from the Gulf to visit his family, is a social media-obsessed individual. An act that Antony does to improve his social media mileage shatters Ezhil's life. How Ezhil recovers and makes Antony pay for his mistake forms the rest of the film.
The movie proves to be an ideal OTT candidate. It had a very simple and familiar cast. Also, it had a simple story that was impactful and spoke about one of the pertinent issues of today. It had a climax that was both meaningful and happy. I am reminded of films from the stables of Radha Mohan and Vikraman as I write this review. The characters were simple middle-class people whom we could relate to in our day-to-day lives.
The movie had a good supporting cast in Lakshmi Priya, who plays Vidharth's wife, who is also hearing and speech impaired. Kavithalaya Krishnan, who plays the charming landlord. Sarithiran, as the caring friend and well-wisher to Karunakaran, was refreshing. Both Vidharth and Karunakaran have carried their respective roles very well. Special accolades to Vidharth and Lakshmi Priya, who have managed to convincingly pull off their characters.
The technicalities were nothing noteworthy. Cinematography, music, and editing were par for the course. Also, the story gets predictable after a point. The movie exposes the power of social media. However, the incidents that take place on screen seem to be rapid and certain key plot points were quite over-the-top. The legal angle for social media crimes was scary but gives a good reality check that any individual is liable to be legally charged if one is not careful enough about what they share online.
The movie should be watched by everyone. This is especially true for the ones who are obsessed with social media and attempt to engineer a "make-believe" identity online. It is a good reality check from director SP Sakthivel! "Payanigal Gavanikkavum" streams on Ahaa OTT.