36 Vayadhinile: Film Review – Jyothika brings her groove back!

 How do you make the best comeback movie for an actress? Pick a popular heroine and cast her in an already superhit regional film. After a hiatus of 8 years, Jyothika is back on the big screen with 36 Vayadhinile. Comeback films often come with a huge expectation meter. But Director Rosshan Andrrews doesn’t entirely deliver a mighty film. The film offers high scope of performance for Jyothika, who brings her sparkling groove and makes you cheer for her. But the lack of depth in the script makes you wonder if it was worth it.

In an industry where hero-centric and mass hero subjects rule, this Jyothika-starrer is a welcome change. 

The filmmaker tries to delve into familiarity by portraying incidents of day-today-life. A simple story of a middle-aged woman, who tries to rediscover her passion and how she follows it. Much of this film is predictable, but calling it formulaic would be a lie. The film certainly surprises with its unusual turn of events. The scene in which social media has played a role in ridiculing a person’s failure has been highlighted well. Giving us a few memorable and note-worthy moments that’ll leave you smiling and teary-eyed. The scene where Vasanthi bids goodbye to her daughter at the airport, is definitely gold. The dialogue in which she says – Nobody in this world cares for you as much as your parents do. Nobody. These lines spoke much about the emptiness Vasanthi is facing, which is why the dialogues of this film add depth to the character. Credits to writer, Viji for that. One of the few writers who adds depth to the role of a female character.
The film works on a similar theme of English Vinglish – A woman ridiculed by her husband and child. But English Vinglish stood out because it was rooted in the familiar. We fell for Gauri’s character because she was so vulnerable, relentless and determined. She was often subjected to humiliation and we could empathize with her. And that’s where the character stood out. The beauty of the film also lied in its smooth and neatly written script. All these elements are certainly missing in 36 Vayadhinile. She’s educated, sensitive and confident and has sacrificed her dreams to take care of the family. All she needed was a little push, and motivation to do it but this wasn’t established well.
But the problem lies in the film’s overall execution.  Seemed too incoherent and incomplete, the placement of scenes is just random at one point. It makes you wonder, is there is any depth? Or is it trying to be preachy? The film effortlessly delivers an engaging first-half, but looses fizz in the second half. That brings us to a few unanswered questions: Why did Vasanthi’s husband detest her so much? What was the background issue, and why did he bring this up after 14 years. He says he is bored of the mundane life, and expresses it, but the this impact wasn’t strong enough. Another puzzling moment was when Abirami appeared in the film. She was brought on board just to give you a little push in life. Sure, we all need a little motivation in life. Somebody who can help us understand our real potential. But including this new character in the film seemed contrived. 
The aim of delivering a simple plot lies in the reliability of the characters, and this wasn’t entirely achieved in this film. Although Vasanthi’s in-laws and friends seem like simple and motivating people, they are all projected to be good people. Santosh Narayan’s composition Rasathi worked well. But the background music seemed a little too dramatic. Jyothika gets her groove back on and delivers a vibrant performance that makes you adore her. She definitely doesn’t look like she’s been on a break from the industry. Her chemistry with Rahman wasn’t convincing. Juggling motherhood and a family at the same time can make several mothers sacrifice something they care about. Although this film isn’t hard-hitting, it tells us the plight of the woman who undergoes such a change and leaves us pondering. A family’s support in definitely one of the strengths for a woman, and this film tells us how.
Why you should watch the film:
One of  the cleverest things about the film is its title. It indirectly signifies that age is just a number in one’s life. But the main reason you should watch this film is to witness Jyothika’s vivacious and graceful performance.
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