Actor Jyothika on Why Ponmagal Vandhal Releasing On OTT is a Boon

Jyotika’s Ponmagal Vandhal is set to release on Amazon Prime Video on 29 May. 

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Entertainment
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Producer: Smitha TK
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Jyothika’s Ponmagal Vandhal is all set to release on Amazon Prime Video on 29 May. The trailer is gripping and is centred around the protagonist who is determined to redeem a wrongfully convicted woman.

Talking about the film’s direct release on the OTT platform, a first for the actor, Jyotika told The Quint, “For small films, content-based films and women centric ones, OTT platforms are great. For my second innings, when I am picking only such films, I am seeing a huge difference in the way even the film’s trailer has been approached. We have had 20 million views in two days which is equivalent or more than what the hero films in Tamil Nadu make on social media.”

She plays Venba, a fiery lawyer in the film that is about the sexual assault and murder of children.

“It feels great to have that mileage for a content film or which has a woman as the protagonist. This proves that the audience in OTT platforms can give content films the respect it deserves, which is very much required.”
Jyotika, Actor

Why did you decide to pick Ponmagal Vandhal?

For the past many years, turning the papers and reading about all these child and women abuse cases, it had really disturbed me. One fine day, this young boy walks in and gives me this script and it underlines the same cause. And that made me really sit up and hear him. He had a great package - a thriller, a story to tell and an important social message. We are asking the law boldly why the delay in justice and I feel this needs to be said as cinema has a huge influence on people.

OTT platforms are a great space for entertainment today, especially during the lockdown. So how do you see the theatre experience change ?

Theatres are a great way to watch films. I remember while growing up, I would go to the theatre to watch films of my favourite heroes. And now as an actor it feels nice when others come to the theatre and appreciate your work. But in Tamil Nadu, we don’t have multiplexes or large crowds who want to watch such films.

We do not have a date on which we can release the movie as well. We need to come in a gap when there are no male films. So these kind of things make you get very frustrated. At the end of the day, you are actually delivering a better project than other films. And a lot of effort goes into content films as we don’t have an AR Rahman giving us music. We don’t have the budgets for the people doing their best for the film. Films like Sillu Karupatti did not have a release date for one and a half years . There are loads of films which don’t get a (release) date in the theatre.

What are your thoughts on theatres not being receptive of this switch to OTT platforms?

We are all are on the same side of the county. We are not opposing each other. We are all there to pull each other up and we are all there to get the best business out of our films. Right now, I don’t see there being any kind of a debate between them and us.

Indoor shooting with restrictions has been allowed for films and serials. What is your view on when films should resume shooting considering the present situation?

As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, we are seeing that the COVID statistics is just rising by the day. I think for another two months, nothing is going to happen. Post that, indoor shoots might start and I think we can really take a call only by July end on where we actually stand.

Can we see you and your husband, actor Suriya, on stage together ?

Yes definitely! But we have not had the right scripts come our way and we wanted it to be more than what we’ve done earlier. When it does, we will definitely work together.

Can we expect a Kushi or a Jillunu oru Kaadhal from you ?

No, not that genre now I guess. There isn’t much women centric films being made. There is so much to do. And those kind of scripts have come my way and I have picked them up. So I am very excited to go ahead and do something I haven’t done before. It is exciting to see how young boys are writing scripts for a 40-year-old. And I am really enjoying that.

You are an icon in the south indian film industry and you have pushed boundaries by acting in a number of women-centric films in the last few years. Can you explain what the experience has been like in contrast with the movies you have acted in the past?

We are not really raising this question to the men. In the hero interviews, how many of them are asked if they are doing male centric films? It’s just been that rare that it seems like a very big task. Maybe I am picking movies with a social message because I feel there is a lot to tell about a woman, whether it is a woman at home who is married and not allowed to go home or is a woman who is going out and trying to balance her house and work front.

The film, which is produced by 2D Entertainment (owned by husband and actor Suriya, Jyotika and brother-in-law Karthi), will see a worldwide premiere on the OTT platform.

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