Aadukalam Murugadoss and Saishri Prabhakaran deliver notable performances, while child artiste Hamaresh makes an impressive debut as a protagonist.
In Rangoli, director Vaali Mohan Das comes up with a simple story that is in tune with the times. The film tells the story of a schoolboy from a lower middle-income group family who has trouble adapting to a private school.
What makes the film work is Vaali Mohan Das’s treatment of the story. But before we discuss the story and its making in detail, here is its synopsis:
Sathya (Hamaresh) is an intelligent student who tops his class. He is the pride of his government school.
Though he is sharp, his father Gandhi (Aadukalam Murugadoss), a dhobi by profession, and his wife Kaliamma (Saishri Prabhakaran) are both under the impression that they should put him in a private school to make sure he makes it big in his life.
However, getting Sathya admitted to a popular private school was beyond their means of Gandhi.
Nevertheless, Gandhi was willing to take loans and work overtime to get his son into a private school.
The whole family — which includes Gandhi, his wife Kaliamma, and their daughter Vembu Lakshmi — work to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, Sathya finds it tough to adapt to the new school where most students are from well-to-do families. At the same time, he is burdened by the fact that his entire family slogs to make him study in a costly private school.
What happens then is what the film is all about.
Initially, Rangoli does not look like it has anything interesting or significant to offer. However, as the story progresses, you realise that this story is different from those made in the genre.
Slowly, but surely, director Vaali Mohan Das gets your attention and keeps you interested with his unexpected developments in the plot. What makes the story work is the fact that it is rooted in reality.
Unlike films that portray boys as irresponsible, this one showcases how boys from the lower income group are intent on proving a point and staying focused on their goal, no matter what distractions come their way.
By the time the movie ends, it makes an important point about education and bonding in the family.
The film also wins your heart for showing romance the way it happens in school. Since there are no awkward or obscene moments in the flick, it comes as a clean entertainer.
Hamaresh, a child artiste who acted in several films, makes an impressive debut as a hero through this film.
Prarthana Sandeep, who plays his romantic interest Parvathy, comes up with a promising performance.
But Aadukalam Murugadoss, who plays the hero’s father, steals the show with his spectacular performance. He showcases brilliantly the pain and the struggles of a father who does not disclose his overwhelming challenges to his family members but looks to meet all their needs by continuing to slog day and night.
Initially, you find it difficult to accept Saishri Prabhakaran as Sathya’s mother. However, she delivers a commanding performance and convinces you that she owns the part.
Akshaya, who plays Sathya’s sister, also delivers an impressive performance. Together, they breathe life into a film and help it make a mark.
It is not that Rangoli does not have lapses. It does and the most significant of them is in the casting department.
Most of the teachers don’t seem to fit the role which dents the credibility of the plot.
Also, the movie takes its time to get you interested in it and this could impact footfall in theatres.
Despite its slow start and weak casting, Rangoli has its moments and is worth a watch.
(Views expressed here are personal.)