Angadi Theru

T.Nagar is synonymous with mind numbing traffic/crowd, sweat, shops, pollution, commotion. One factor viciously paving way to the other. This Tamil flick Angadi Theru, (Market Place) is based on the lives of the young & vulnerable salespersons slogging at the multi-storey one stop shops in Ranganathan street.

The hero of the movie (remarkable performance for a debutant), forced to shoulder responsibilities after his father's sudden demise, discontinues his education and joins as a salesperson in such a shop. He is accompanied by his friend. [With the dhoti-clad, Lord Murugan worshiping owner of the shop being addressed as annachi, all sales people speaking Nellai Tamil and actress Sneha modelling for the adverts, it wouldn't take long for anyone to guess which shop is focussed here actually.]

The hero and his friend are thrilled to work in the air conditioned premises of the showroom after a brief stint of godown work. Their child like enthusiasm is checked by their greedy supervisor, who sqeezes every bit of energy from all the boys in the form of work, not to mention making passes with the girls in the name of punishment. With young boys and girls around, would Cupid's strike be far off? Another check in the form of seperating the boys from girls, by making them work in different floors. However the hero who by now is in love with the vivacious heroine (co-worker), decides to walk off from the job and decide to work along with the street vendors. How they pull off, and what kind of fate is instored for them forms the remaining part of the story.

There are 2 sub plots in the movie. One is how a jobless youth, cleans up the public toilet, collects money from every user (although that may not be legally right, he atleast makes it usable) and makes a living. The other is a lame person marrying a prostitute and sheltering her from trouble makers. Though a bit deviating (with the heroine's sister story etc) and a bit more gloomy than necessary, the movie spells optimism.

The movie is surely not one of those family entertainers. But its a revelation. Something on the lines of the inside story of all those big shots, who get away with everything, even after a film is made of it and all the stark realities beneath the flowery exterior are exposed. If not anything, one could learn what NOT to ask in an "annachi" shop. That you could get from pencil to pattu podavai far more cheaper than rest of India, is in itself an indication of how poorly the staff are paid. I really hope some social organisation (not the ones who cry foul at the venue of a fashion show) steps in and does the needful. As for the common public, I SO wish everyone could boycott the shop atleast as much as possible.

The hungry, tired and sullen faces of the sales staff, the strict vigilance of the supervisors in the real shop )on which this film is based) makes one believe their trials shown in the movie are not exaggerated.

Couldn't stop adding : when a Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya manages to make this much noise, why doesn't a movie showcasing the hardship of a meagre wage earner make a similar mark? Also, I have a problem with the phrase "movies for masses/classes". Though not an assiduous movie-goer, I do understand what that means. But, I think the phrase is a kind of double entendre too. Cool movies appeal to the creamier part, while "uncool" hard to believe yet true movies fail to register the required accolades.


kanagu said...

Nice thoughts about the movie Bouncing bubble...

Me too loved the movie and moved by it... I have never given a thought to the workers there but the way its captured is really heartening, as we came to know the truth and haunting, again the same reason :( :(

for the last part of your post... Many people see the movie as a past time and they don;t want to come out of movie hall with heavy heart... After seeing the poster of this movie where the hands of the nero and heroine were tied back.. my friend said that he will avoid this movie... :)

bouncingbubble said...


Welcome to my blog!

I have heard few things about the shop, the movie was a proof of colective conjectures, well directed.

In all honesty, I too avoid movies which don't hv the feel good factor. But what I intended to say was, there aren't many rave reviews for the movie by the ones (journals) who hv watched it.

Bedazzled said...

u beat me to it with the review.. i looved the movie and it's been declared a hit in Tamilnadu .. the positive thing from the movie is that labour courts are now looking into the work conditions..thou knowing our country,i know nothing will come out of it.. The owners of the "shop" have many criminal and civil cases against them .. and money has ensured that they go scot free..Also,i hope u heard abt the hungama abt Jeyamohan(the writer of this movie). He made a comment on his site that Sivaji and MGR didn't have great acting talent and managed using mass mkt formulae.. the whole film fraternity roared in rebellion and Jeyamohan was stripped of credits for the movie .. such spineless people,no?

bouncingbubble said...

I was not aware of the Jeyamohan episod, thnx for sharing that.. as for the shop in question, I have read of how easily they have their way.. I only hope some human rights orgn pitches in, before the spark created by this film dies down.. with raavan's release date just round the corner, that is bound to happen.. I hope someone looks into the parking space woes as well! it was said that panagal park would become a multi level car park zone. Hope I live to see it, sigh!

avdi said...

This sounds like an interesting film. South Indian film industry seems quite advanced in some ways. There are a lot of hindi films that are remade from a tamil or telugu hit.

Smita said...

Though the movie sounds interesting but my chances of seeing it are bleak :(

As far as the last para is concerned I totally agree with you! A movie should be never be termed as for classes or masses it is totally unfair. In fact this is done much before the movie releases which is totally unfair for the effort that has been put in.

bouncingbubble said...

Avdi-Tamil movies hv come a long way from the red/green shirt flaunting heroes. Alongwth with the commercial flicks these kind of quality cinema comes as saving grace.

Smita-classes as in the supposed posh who devour the cool flicks & stay silent abt these films and masses as in those who go ahead and tk hard hitting films to heart is another definition of class/mass I feel.

WhatsInAName said...

Heyyy! I have seen the trailers of this movie. Could guess that its about sales boy and girl. I would surely like to watch it as soon as I get a print here.
About the class/mass classification, prob its because general mass loves a masala flick. seeing and accepting realities is not everyone's cup of tea!

bouncingbubble said...

wian-since I've frequented the "shop" few times, I was able to relate some incidents. Try Vasanthabalan's "Veyil" which is also a must watch.

pal said...

Oh yes, this was an excellent movie. I didn't manage to see the last few minutes but on the whole, I was happy to see someone had taken the trouble to make a movie on people who work in these big stores. Made me feel sorry for them. So the next time I go to a store, I won't crib about them being 'slow/lazy'. Haven't managed to see Vinnai thandi varuvaya though!

bouncingbubble said...

pal-Once I ordered around 50 boxes from such store to be given away as gifts, but, when I went the bulk arrived, I was unsure if that's the one I ordered. The salesgirl pleaded not to make it an issue, now I know why!