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Movie Review: Sokka Thangam (2003) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (27 votes)
Movie Still Bagyaraj, who has been quiet after the debacle of his last directorial venture Vettiya Madichu Kattu, goes behind the camera once again with Sokka Thangam. But the hero here is Vijayakanth, with Bagyaraj content with handling things behind the camera. But as we have seen in their innumerable movies, the two have contrasting styles that don't gel and consequently, their union results in a movie that is not likely to make either of their fans happy.

Muthu(Vijayakanth) adores his younger sister Maragatham(Uma) and is in the process of selecting a groom for her. He falls for Pavazham(Soundarya), an orphan who moves into their village with her grandmother. After rejecting several potential grooms, Muthu finds a suitable match for his sister in Sundaram(Prakashraj). The marriage goes on well but a bombshell is dropped when Prakashraj's family announces that Muthu, in return for Sundaram marrying his sister, should wed Sundaram's sister Gauri(Swatika). Obviously Muthu refuses but Sundaram's family refuses to accept Maragatham into their family.

Considering current standings in the Tamil cinema field, it is natural that Vijayakanth holds a lot more clout that Bagyaraj. This is obvious from the movie since in the attempt to merge their divergent brands of films, it is Bagyaraj who has lost out. The movie is not much different from other movies where Vijayakanth stars as the village do-gooder and has all the usual ingredients found in his movies like a squeaky clean image for him, duets in bright costumes and a bunch of fights. On the other hand, Bagyaraj's trademarks of a humorous screenplay, sprinklings of double entendre dialogs and a close look at marital issues are all but absent. The opening scene, where Vijayakanth finds a simple but clever solution to a mad woman who bares herself in public everyday, reminds us of Bagyaraj of old but the scene flatters to deceive.

Soundarya livens up the proceedings initially and her portions are the only scenes where Bagyaraj makes his presence felt. Her verbal duels with Vijayakanth and his sister and her antics at the photo studio are immensely enjoyable. Goundamani and Senthil come together after a long time but unfortunately, their comedy track does not evoke many laughs. The other weak aspect of the movie is its bad guys. Ponnambalam and his brother do nothing of note and the plan they execute to take revenge on Vijayakanth is laughably silly and weak. In fact, their villainy is frequently turned into comedy as they unsuccessfully pursue Goundamani.

Though Vijayakanth is in the center of all the action, it is the characters around him who make the movie watchable. Prakashraj's character is well defined and provides most of the interest in the movie after the conflict is created. We are never sure about where his loyalties lie - with his wife or his family - and this adds a sense of unpredictability to the movie. And there are several instances where he comes off looking better than Vijayakanth. The other impressive character is that of Uma. Her loyalty to her brother, trust in her husband and outbursts at her husband's family make her character strong and likeable. Sure Vijayakanth has a couple of noticeable scenes(like his thrashing of Prakashraj's family and regret for it later) but it is Prakashraj and Uma who carry the movie along.

Vijayakanth proves that Ramanaa was just an aberration as he reverts back to his usual brand of movie. Soundarya looks old but makes up for it with a spirited performance. Prakashraj and Uma perform well and add strength to their characters. Goundamani and Senthil struggle to evoke memories of their comedy tracks of the past. Deva does his part with some unremarkable songs.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam