Angadi Theru is the Salaam Bombay of Chennai. The hopeless, helpless lives of Ranganthan street might not capture a foreign award committee’s attention as easily as a festering red-light district in a third world metropolis, but a discerning audience can find parallels. I have heard that more than half of the movie was shot with hidden camera in actual locations. From the cinematography and the choice of lead actors, who were either making a debut or were only a couple of films old at the making of this movie, that seems totally plausible and it is one of its strengths.
Mahesh, Anjali and Pandi who plays the main characters steal the show. Even others who had small roles are very non-filmish and natural. The film maker has also inserted some documentary-like scenes into the story line which although doesn’t relate to the main story, adds to the knowledge base of the viewer. Now I’d like to see all the previous films of director/writer Vasanthabalan. The best lesson I took away from this movie. Respect. Treat every fellow human being with respect, they deserve it.