A woman is the most beautiful yet a powerful creation in this world. One should never underestimate a woman’s capabilities. Conveying this, many films came on the screen but with a different kind of narration. Jyothika is a stupendous performer who came back on the silver screen after a lot of time with this subject, titled “36 Vayadhinile”. It is the remake of a Malayalam movie “How Old Are You?”, directed by Rosshan Andrrews who reprised his director role for this film. It was produced by Jyothika’s husband Suriya under his home banner 2D Entertainments. It’s one of the best Tamil movies I’ve watched till now.
This film portrays the life of a 36 year old wife cum mother Vasanthi Tamil Selvam (Jyothika), who suffers a discrimination in her family because of her age yet achieves a national recognition for providing a solution for a country’s bigger problem.
The film starts showing women working in different fields independently. Vasanthi is introduced attending an interview and getting rejected because of her age. I liked the act of Vasanthi to acquire a seat in a city bus. Though it’s a simple aspect to discuss, these kinds of things happen in a public place often.
A woman is a WOMAN always. Despite getting older, she wants to be more beautiful among her fellows. This should not be criticized. The director Rosshan Andrrews came up with a realistic scene to show this mentality but Jyothika had elevated this with her expressions. The scene where she feels happy when the beautician asks why do her hair turned grey at a smaller age and the way she walks in front of other woman in her street projecting her coloured hair showed her skill and portrayed a middle class woman’s mentality well.
The scene where Vasanthi’s husband Tamil Selvam (Rahman) acts smart to make his wife accept to take responsibility for his mistake, showed a selfish husband’s mentality well. It sounds exaggerating to somebody for supporting a woman to this extent but a middle class wife cannot think of anything more than her family’s happiness. She doesn’t hesitate to get herself into trouble for it. A dispute among Vasanthi and her husband also projects the same.
After receiving a call from The President of India, the way Vasanthi flaunts herself in front of everyone was quite funny and the way she tries to make others listen to her words though they are not interested, showed the innocence of the character and Jyothika handled it very well. I liked the slow motion shot where she fells down with high blood pressure in front of the president.
After the arrival of social networks, our emotions have become virtual. Whatever happens in the country, social networks either appreciate it or criticize it. The same happens with Vasanthi who doesn’t have a Facebook profile and faces a discrimination for not having one. She gained a huge sympathy when she was abandoned by her husband and daughter, especially when she says “NO” when her daughter tried to say what she asked The President. It showcased Vasanthi’s character who lost interest in life when her dearest people abandoned her. Her husband says he doesn’t want her daughter to become another “Vasanthi”.
The entry of Susan (Abhirami) in the second half reintroduces Vasanthi to us. From there, I felt an eminent respect towards her. Vasanthi offending those who criticized her on Facebook was executed very well. Then the film turns towards a social issue and screenplay turns inspiring yet there is no change in the actual mentality of Vasanthi. Leaving all her ambitions for the sake of her selfish husband and her needy daughter showed that a woman treats her family above all at any case.
Realizing “Who decides the expiry date of a woman’s dream?” she denies her husband offer to come with him, who stills humiliates her, was very good. This conveyed that a woman should revolt when against whoever underestimates her.
At the end, Person (her daughter) who wished that she should not become like her mother says that she wants to become another Vasanthi in her future. While sitting in front of The President at Rashtrapati Bhavan, The President asks Vasanthi what’s the best moment in her life till date during which her husband holds her hand. Vasanthi replies “This moment”. Only the people (audiences) who have been travelling with Vasanthi feels the significance of that moment.
Thus, “36 Vayadhinile” ends with Susan asking “How Old Are You? ” and Vasanthi replying “It doesn’t matter” giving inspiration to a lot of women and increasing respect towards women, in men. It conveyed a message to both men and women that “Your Dream is Your Signature“. This film stands as an inspiration to women that age cannot stop them from reaching heights in their lives.
1) Story & Narration. Roshan Andrrews came up with a realistic plot and tried to narrate it with utmost reality.
2) Jyothika’s Performance. Jyothika took Vasanthi character to a next level with her stupendous performance. It’s because of her I liked this film very much. It marked a respectable comeback for her to the silver screen at the age of 36.
3) Remaining Characterizations. Every character was designed according to the plot and executed well.
I haven’t found any lowland to criticize. I got connected to the middle class mentalities portrayed in the film well and couldn’t search for a lowland.
What should be learned from 36 Vayadhinile?
Never underestimate a woman’s abilities. Age is not a boundary for achievements in life.
– Yashwanth Aluru