Rating: 3-1/2 stars

That there exist feuding families in our small towns and villages with uncontrollable desire to kill anyone from the opposing side is a subject that has been beaten to death by several movies. What sets Andhappuram apart is the human element in the middle of all the blood and gory, in the form of a child and mother, who get caught in the conflicts suddenly and have to cope with this alien world and its unreasonable demands. It is a movie with an interesting theme and a gripping screen-play, one that is bound to keep you glued to your seat till the finish. It is definitely a big relief in the middle of all these "kadhal" movies and idiotic comedies.

Not that it is a perfect movie or anything. There are moments when the pace seems to slacken a bit, there are some emotional scenes that sound hollow and totally unconvincing (for example, the scene where Prakash Raj's wife tries to self-immolate herself and gives that big dialogue about her husband's bad deeds), there are scenes that are too cinematic (like the scene where the child fetches water to save the mother), and there are scenes that are downright formulaic (like the way Parthiban Prakashraj in Anthappuramshows off like a macho and careless hero in his fights), etc. The movie is still worth watching because of the basic theme it has dealt with.

Prakash Raj has done a good job in his role as the eccentric village patriarch with an iron heart. Soundarya has done a wonderful job as the mother struggling for the welfare of her son. The director has portrayed her character well, as she transforms from a happy-go-lucky girl to one who is willing to step into a physical fight to save her child. Some of the showdowns between Prakash Raj and Soundarya are quite stark and chilling. Parthiban is a casual thief who gets into all the mess in the later part of the movie, and gives a helping hand to Soundarya. Although irritating a bit in the beginning, he made me enjoy his character with all those amusing one-liners and wise-cracks. His character single-handedly lightens up an otherwise heavy movie, while not taking anything away from the pace and intensity of the movie. There is a lot of violence in the movie, but I do not consider it a negative. A couple of scenes may be a little tough to view for some. IR's music is average. Looks like IR's musical slumber has continued through Andhappuram. The background score was nice, as always.


Original Photograph (Amarkkalam): Thanks to Cinema Express, Kumudam
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Krishna