Director: Roshan Andrews
Cast: Jyothika, Rahman, Abhirami, Nassar, Amrita
Rating: 3 stars
36 Vayadhinile is the comeback vehicle for Jyothika after a long hiatus. And fittingly choosing to remake the Malayalam blockbuster How Old Are You with a tailor-made central character, Jyothika with her outstanding performance has arrived in her second innings.
‘Who puts the expiry date on a woman’s dream?’ is one of the significant questions that 36 Vayadhinile asks, around which the story revolves.
Vasanthi (Jyothika) has just turned 36, when she is introduced to us on the screen. She is an upper division clerk in the revenue department and age is a matter of growing concern for her. She is a devoted wife to her husband Tamizh Selvan (Rahman), a doting mother of Mithula (Amrita) and a dutiful daughter-in-law. Tamizh who works as a radio jockey wants to migrate to Ireland along with daughter Mithula for better fortunes, but much to their disappointment, Vasanthi was unable to find a job in Irish companies due to her unemployable age. While Tamizh feels that she is a stumbling block to pursue his dreams, her daughter is least appreciative of her genuine efforts, which adds to her woes.
One day, and all of a sudden, Vasanthi’s routine life changes completely. She becomes a VIP in her circles, and she is summoned to meet the President of India, who wanted to have a conversation with her over breakfast. The reason being her daughter Mithula had impressed him with a question when he made a visit to her school. But it turns out to be disastrous as she faints in front of the president and becomes the subject of jokes on Facebook. She is all the more shattered when her husband and daughter fly away to Ireland leaving her behind and promising to catch with her on Skype. Enter Susan David (Abhirami), an old college-mate of hers who holds a big post at a corporate company. She rekindles their past and reminds her of the firebrand that she had been once and inspires Vasanthi to reinvent herself. The rest is how Vasanthi – who now is a changed person – wants to prove her worth and chase her dreams to reach greater heights.
Jyothika shines in each and every frame with her matured and mellowed act and is incredibly appealing. With her myriad expressions, she simply excels, be it in handling humour in the beginning or insults with husband and daughter, or in regaining her confidence. It is her sheer screen presence that holds your interest intact, despite the pace at which the movie moves. Rahman is just about adequate. Abhirami in a cameo does her part well. All others like Delhi Ganesh, Nassar, Sujatha, Prem, Devadarshini, and Kala Ranjani lend their support in a limited scope. The sharp and inspiring dialogues of Viji are noteworthy.
Roshan Andrews has faithfully remade his original version and tried to recreate the magic in Tamil. On the flipside, the film reminds you more of a fairy tale stuff, especially the way in which Vasanthi becomes triumphant overnight and even gets an invitation from the President to meet her at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. The film’s biggest plus is Santhosh Narayanan’s songs and background score, which go well with the flow of the film. The director should be lauded for conveying the positive message that age is not a constraint for women to achieve success in life. Then there is also a message about the perils that people face by consuming artificially grown vegetables and food poisoned by fertilizers and chemicals.
Overall, despite few shortcomings, 36 Vayadhinile produced by Jyothika’s husband and actor Suriya is a clean family entertainer worth a watch....