Being a Chennaitie for close to two decades now, shopping to me means going to T. Nagar. Despite the mad crowd, my shopping always somehow had Ranganathan street in the list and I used to end up pushing and always finding a way to the things I wanted and in this street, you would find everything and anything that you need in life. The street can very soon may be called "Saravana Stores Street" for these shops shadow others day by day. Angadi Theru is a movie of this place, people working in big shops like Saravana Stores and their hidden lives filled with misery and tragedies. The little happinesses, solacing love stories, happy faces besides the most traumatic lives... is all bundled in this street.
To me watching Angadi Theru movie is just a recap of what all I witnessed in the past. In fact I had the opportunity to visit one of the top jewellery stores with its owner who was friend to my friend,.... and I was taken to his office which had a full wall fixed with CCTV camera focusing all the floors of his 8 floor shop. The 7th floor is the dorm where the people working used to stay with a dividing wall for men and women, a common big kitchen that looked like one I saw in a Jail, and the toilets were having queues always.............the story line was so similar to the one in the movie......
Teen boys and girls and youngesters come to Chennai with big dreams of the big glowing shops that are showed in the textile and jeweller advertisements in India. The story begins there .... when the youngesters driven by circumstances have to move chasing this money minting street and its so called aspiring jobs.... few things made my eyes wet many a times during the movie,,,, inadvertent reactions to the flow of the movie by a very ordinary movie lover.... few of the most touching moments in the movie where.... when Kani, the heroine says that they tolerate every molestation for they came in search of survival.... depicting the sex craving employer's representative.... very common in most of such workplaces ... the most disgusting way of treatment mented to the employees, one rupee grabbed for every one minute of delay to work,,,,, the girl jumping out of the window when her lover refused to confirm in fear of the job,.... the way a educated upper class woman throwing a little girl to a dungeon when she mostly needed the mother's care.... the man saying that after working for 8 years standing from 8 am to 11 pm made his legs look like logs.... wife of a disabled dwarf man saying that she is happy that her child is also disabled for she dont need to fear the ill-talk of the street....the place of stay of thousands of workers in such circumstances and the way they fight to grab the plate from those eating already and to fill up for themselves............ the package of heaviness is large.
For those who lead a peaceful lives and the comforts of an AC office and sweet decorum, this movie may look ridiculous...but to thousands of people who work day and night, all weekends and doubly during festivals, am sure this would bring in tears. Especially for their families back home in the remote villages this will be a real pain to watch the realities of their youngesters who have gone to the big city chasing their dreams....dreams of truth and dreams of false promises..
The most touching positive notes of the movie were, when a young man finding an oppotunty to earn in an other wise stinking toilets and making it usable and at the same time finding an living. The old blind man selling and also providing an opportuntiy to the hero and heroine of the movie at the end. The old street woman hawker guiding the couple to find a place to sleep for a night safely and askingthem to cover their feet with cement to avoid police questioning. Marimuthu, friend of our hero Lingu, finding a way to impress actress sneha during a shooting in the shop floor and later finding his way to work stating that no matter what, positive energy get you the right opportunities. One more touching scene was when the helpless father leaving behind her broken daughter whose legs got amputated just because she would be taken care by any NGO in his absence...one more shot was the when the 13 year old assures her sister that she would be fine working in a far off place shows that children grow fast in adversity. Best of all is when Lingu tells Kani that they should get married soon at the end and finally starting their own small business in the busy Ranganathan street.
I am sure the producers of the movie had lot of guts to bring in a reality to a movie at the times when commercial cinema needs glamour and comedy. Choosing such a reality and portraying is to be really applauded.
Hopefully our chief minister gets to watch this movie, and do something to bring in livable conditions for the people working in Ranganathan Street....making their lives out of misery and bring in some kind of peace for their families living away. Hope government takes some steps to bring in a regulation and union support for such employees and punish those greedy shop keepers who dont give a damn care for their employees and their well being..
The least we could do is to watch this movie in a theatre and give it the commercial success it needed...encourage such movies for awards and appreciate in public to encourage more film makers to bring in such subjects to the front end cinema that reaches the masses....and government giving some relaxation on the commercial taxes....to me this movie is 100 times more real and focused than Slumdog Milliorie which bagged so many Oscars......Every tragedy do not need a movie to find a relief but this reality defintely did and I am sure the film makers achieved what ever the good intentions with which they made this movie.
To me the new hero Magesh did a good job and looked lot more like Bharath in "Kadal" movie.... Anjali did a wonderful job as Kani and the villian Venkatesh really acted well... so did their friends characters .... though some may call this a Documentary film.... I found it natural and good. ***** Five Stars for this bold attempt to expose a reality in the heart of a bustling Indian City.....