Deiva Thirumagal (2011)
Created: Sun Sep 4 10:07:53 2011 | Last modified: Sun Sep 4 13:32:07 2011
Starring: Vikram, Anushka Shetty, Santhanam, Baby Sara
Deiva Thirumagal is a wholesome family entertainer and drama that is based on the love between a mentally challenged father and his normal six-year old daughter. The theme is said to have been copied from a Hollywood movie, I am Sam released in 2001 or thereabouts, but I haven't seen that one to make up my mind and therefore I won't comment on that aspect.
The story is quite simple: Krishna (Vikram) is a man whose mental development stopped at the age of six years. He has a daughter through a marriage of love with Bhanumathi, who dies immediately following childbirth. Krishna lives in Ooty and works as a helper in a chocolate factory and with the help of his co-workers and boss raises his girl child, named Nila, and even gets her enrolled at school. However, one day, the school's correspondent, the young Swetha (Amala Paul) finds out that the child, Nila (Sara) is the daughter of her elder sister. She immediately decides to separate father and child and raise Nila as her own daughter with the help of her millionaire father. Krishna is tricked into giving up his child by Swetha's father, and is abandoned on the roads of Chennai where he eventually finds his way to court. With help from an up-and-coming lawyer, Anuradha (Anushka) he fights for the custody of his daughter. What eventually happens to Krishna and his child is what makes up the rest of the movie.
This is a particularly heart-warming movie and fit for family audiences as there is little violence, gore or sex. Even the budding romance between Anuradha, the lawyer, and her client, Krishna, is not developed; thankfully, since that aspect would have ruined the whole movie's innocent charm. Baby Sara, as Nila is cute, child-like and extremely good at emoting and the relationship as portrayed between father and daughter is the heart and soul of this movie. Unlike most child artistes, Sara comes across as fresh and innocent and doesn't act beyond her years. The movie's flow, particularly in the early stages, is helped in good doses by some light-hearted moments, especially the scenes featuring Vinod (Santhanam), Anuradha's junior and Murthy (M.S.Bhaskar), a truck-driver in the chocolate factory. It has to be said that the pacing of the movie is uneven and not helped by unwarranted song sequences, but the background score is what helps the movie's overall mood and feel. Vikram's acting is a little over-the-top at times and slightly cringe-worthy on occasion; but in the end, his on-screen chemistry with the kid, Sara, is what makes the movie worthwhile. Nasser, in his role as the strict, fearsome senior lawyer, Bashyam, is decent while other actors support the main characters well.
I would rate this movie 3.5/5 as it is worth watching once. It is a tear-jerker of sorts, but since the overall mood is lighter than most sentimental dramas, it is manageable. But the real emotional moment comes right at the climax. I won't spoil it here, but it is a moment that would bring a lump to the throat of all but the most unemotional among us.