Director-actor Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s third film in as many years, Ammani, despite notable performances, suffers from a structural pitfall. The title character, Ammani, played by an 80-something Subbu Lakshmi, is only seen in fits and starts during the first half of the 92-minute movie.
It was later, as it appeared to me, that Ramakrishnan (who also essays the 57 year old Salamma) realised that she had to give screen space to the elderly lady who certainly steals the show from Ramakrishnan, who like so many director/actors has this fascination to keep the camera on herself. Not that she is bad. In fact, she is splendid as a civic worker on the verge of retirement.
Saalama showers unconditional love on her sons and grandchildren. she wallops her drunkard son and the very next day, she feeds him with the same hands. She quarrels with her grandson on the first meet and few minutes later, cooks sumptuous mutton curry for him. Saalama is one among the bold women, whom we meets in our day-to-day life but goes unnoticed because we have no time to appreciate their struggle.
In the opening scene of the film, a man runs far from Saalama’s house and the decibel of his voice varies as if we were there for real, such is the quality of sound design provided by Tapas Nayak in Ammani. K’s background score perfectly suits the mood of the film, especially the Mazhai Ingillaye number rightly inspires us in the situation where we would have weeped, provided Ammani is a regular film supported by a template score.