Subramaniapuram – Movie Review


The movie begins with somebody being released from the Madurai Jail sometime in 2008, only to be almost immediately stabbed in the stomach just after taking a few steps to freedom. What follows is a recounting of the incidents that took place at Subramaniapuram in 1980, 28 yrs ago.

The story deals with Azhgar (played by Jai of ‘Chennai 600028’ fame), Paraman (Sasikumar, a debutante), and their 2 good for nothing friends who pretty much do nothing but while away their time performing odd tasks for their political mentor, ex-councillor Somu and his brother, Kanagu. All the while Azhagar has an infatuation with Tulasi (played by Swathi, a Telugu TV anchor) which is reciprocated by the girl also.

The first half of the movie almost exclusively deals with developing two stories in parallel – the budding love story between Azhagar and Tulasi which involves both of them stealing glances at each other without actually speaking to each other with a beautiful song ‘Kangal Irandal’ thrown in. And the other angle deals with how these 4 guys get pulled into various fights, squabbles as a result of Somu’s and Kanagu’s political ambitions. How Kanagu uses the opportunities that present themselves to him to use these 4 guys as a pawn is subtly but surely developed well in the first half of the movie.

What starts off with Azhagar and Paraman trying to help Somu by killing a political rival, ends up being the start to a long list of crimes that these guys get around to committing. The guys realize that they had just been used as pawns by Kanagu to fulfill his brother’s political ambitions, when they are left high and dry in jail after the first murder. They befriend a fellow inmate who bails them out, in return for another murder that they have to commit.

The fact that your crimes always return to haunt you is aptly portrayed in the scene where Azhagar is caught unawares without any weapons with a group of guys who want revenge for one of these murders he committed. Although the 4 guys are seething for revenge for what Kanagu did to them, what follows in the last 15 minutes of the movie is something that I will not reveal here as it pretty much kills the enthusiasm to actually see the movie itself.

In any case, this movie has the usual memorable characters – the polio afflicted friend, the good for nothing hero, the sweet but sensible heroine, the one friend who is always the scapegoat when it comes to paying for booze, the friend who doesn’t quite approve of the hero’s love, the slimy villain who uses people to make his ends meet, all of these characters are present. However, what makes this movie watchable is the fact that these characters are so clearly written which etches them in the audiences’ mind.

Plus the fact that the director of the movie has set this movie in the 80s, peppering almost each and every scene with props, settings from that decade in such a manner that the audience has absolutely no way of pointing out any anomalies in this particular aspect of the movie. The Art Director, Cinematographer and the Director need a special mention for the entire look and feel of this lovely 80s aspect of the movie.

This would have to be one of my most memorable Tamil movies of 2008.

Cheers……….Jam

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3 thoughts on “Subramaniapuram – Movie Review

  1. True… nice settings, no anachronisms et al. Definitely different, but was very, very violent.. particularly towards the end. I got vexed a little bit. But hey, you are watching this one pretty late!

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