Personally, there is something we always admire about ‘Fatherhood’. Irrespective of favourism for genders, a ‘Dad’ is always an icon of inspiration for sons and daughters. First few minutes into the film, a famous quote by Shannon Celebi strikes your mind that reads – When I was twenty-something, I asked my father, “When did you start feeling like a grownup?” His response: “Never.”
Yes, Dads never grow up and they’re still the kids as their newborn kids, especially daughters, even when they have them married. Previously, we had Radha Mohan making a flick ‘Abhiyum Naanum’ that was loosely based on Hollywood film ‘Father of the Bride’. Coming again to this genre, director Ram brings in producer Gautham Menon’s favourite friend – a Hollywood movie as his inspiration for Thanga Meengal. It’s not a long guess if you are familiar with Will Smith-his son Jaden Smith starrer ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, which gushed forth a stream of invigoration into our souls. Yes, it’s not an absolute replication, but a source of inspiration as a father strives to keep his child happy amidst of all turmoil.
There are certain things you’ll find quite unconventional or odd with what the father (Ram) does here. It looks perhaps silly in many places for few group of audience, especially the unmarried ones. Maybe, it’s an inexperienced zone for them. A father’s emotion and love is always unconditional and this has been very well depicted in this drama. Daughter Chellamma (Baby Sadhana) is a God’s gift to Kalyani (Ram) and he pampers her so much that the entire world means nothing to him. The story doesn’t end up with complications, but on a good note.
The performance of everyone in this film that includes Shelly Kishore, Rohini and others are remarkable. Padmapriya in an extended cameo role does perfect just to the character. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score and rich greeny exotic locales in cinematography become the major asset in keeping us intact in spite of sluggish screenplay in the second half.
On the flip side, Ram clutches the psychotic aspect of human to an incredulous extent, which becomes a slight disappointment. Why can’t an emotional drama be normal much like avant-garde films? Why should one always behave abnormal to showcase their emotional identities. What turns out to be a little spoiler is director Ram trying to impose all his image upon the girl. It gives a blatant impression, who’s really abnormal here – father or daughter? A filmmaker can drop his ideas upon the screens, but projecting one’s own personal thoughts to a greater extent might not reach the audience properly. That’s one thing that doesn’t work out things perfect for this film.
Overall, it’s a good attempt, but if these elements were rectified, the film would have hit straight into the list of best international movies of 2013.
Verdict: Emotional, but unintentional drama in few places.