Balusamy, a communist by heart, is the leader of a group which takes on the Indian Government by raiding trains, banks for the benefit of people. During a suicide mission to take on illegal dumping of arms waste & other e-waste, Balusamy gets captured by the police, and is sentenced to be hanged until death by an experienced hangman. The task of coordinating his execution is with the jailer, Macaulay, while Balusamy’s group led by Kuyili is trying their best to break their leader out of prison.
Running Time:
160 min
Release date:
15 May 2015
Directed by:
SP Jananathan
Produced by:
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Written by:
SP Jananathan
Karthika Nair
Vijay Sethupathi
Shaam Ibrahim
Music by:
Shot by:
NK Ekambaram
Editing by:
N Ganesh Kumar
Distributed by:
UTV Motion Pictures

What’s Hot

  • It is generally tough to make multi-starrers in Tamizh cinema as it a difficult task to make sure everyone gets enough screen space. Jhananathan has solved that problem with his script giving equal space to all the stars. Also, a political film, where the characters are so sure of themselves with respect to the law, is rare to see.
  • Vijay Sethupathi proves his acting skills once again by acing his part of a Hangman who is affected psychologically. He brings out the much-needed humor to the otherwise serious film. His character brings out the perspective of the hangman which is a rarity for Tamizh cinema. Arya as the Communist leader, Balusamy looks the part with respect to dialogue delivery & body language. That his characterization is entirely believable is mainly due to his efforts in modulation.
  • It is good to see Karthika taking up a role where she cannot be strictly called as a Heroine who has a love-track & woos the hero. She emotes well and looks convincing as the leader of a Communist group. Shaam after his last Tamizh release 6 Candles, takes up a refined role. His characterization of a law-abiding yet clever & manipulative jailer gels well with the film.
  • The jail setting looks very authentic & it is refreshing to see the research that must have gone behind the protocols observed within prison & how the inmates are treated.

What’s Not

  • That the film tries to say too many things is evident from the first 30 minutes itself where the plot goes from India being used as a dump-yard by the developed countries to the hazards of capital punishment. Throughout the movie, multiple law points are being thrown off but nothing elaborated. It becomes a study of the existing laws rather than a feature film.
  • The engagement quotient of the film suffers due to the film trying too many things. It becomes better when there is a focus on the prison escape in the second half only to again disappoint by using techniques like QR Codes & Sanskrit as a medium of communication. On the surface, the usage of such techniques seem to be brilliant ideas, but the execution really leaves a bad taste with the audience openly ridiculing it.
  • The background score & the songs impede rather than aid in the flow of the film. Not sure if the problem was due to the theatre or the sound mixing, but the Vijay Sethupathi introduction song was so loud that it was extremely difficult to sit through it. Also, in spite of his good demeanor as a Police Officer, Shaam loses out in dubbing with his pronunciation of Tamizh words showing him up starkly.



Verdict Stamp

‘Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai’ has its moments when the inmates & police officers nonchalantly trade law points at each other and the cat-and-mouse game between the Jailer & the Prisoner with the Hangman playing the innocent foil. However, the engagement factor goes for a toss as the film tries to take on too many issues.