Mozhi – Review

I watched an unexpectedly interesting movie yesterday. A Tamil movie called Mozhi. Yes yes, i know it’s not a new movie but that’s really ok. I’m used to not watching movies as and when they release.
Just as an aside (although it’s rather early in the post to go into asides) all those who have been tossing and turning and generally losing sleeping cuz they were overwhelmingly jealous of the fact that my company gives me free tickets to the latest movies (along with free drink, pop corn, and cab ride), need lose their sleep no longer. i have switched companies. My current employer doesn’t believe in doing any of the aforementioned things. i am a mere mortal like the rest of you all now, and watch movies after buying tickets or getting them from the local DVD rental place or buying myself a copy of the thing. In fact it was a similarly bought copy of the thing (as in the movie Mozhi) that i watched and that i started this post about.
So yeah, as i was saying, Mozhi was unexpectedly interesting. If you know me, then you know why i am saying this. i am typically not into movies (which should explain why i seem to watch movies looong long after they release). When i do watch a movie, it’s not to escape reality; altho if the movie can manage to do that, i’m only appreciative. It’s a little difficult to define the kind of movies that i do like. i’m somewhat unpredictable. i generally hate mush, for example, but suddenly you might find me smitten by an extremely romantic movie. Or, for example, i don’t seem like the kind of person who would like action flicks like Die Hard, but i totally loved the latest one. Typically though, i like movies that have a slightly different theme and/or have treated your average theme slightly differently – using, say, a different perspective. Mozhi is a movie like that.
It is about a musician boy Karthik (Prithviraj) falling in love with a girl, Archana, who cannot hear or speak (Jyotika). These two main characters are flanked by their friends, grand moms, neighbor-guardians, and other random people from the apartment complex in which they both live. As the guy’s friend, Viji (Prakashraj) observes, everyone there seems to have a sad story behind them, i.e., everyone except the neighbor-guardian, who is there primarily to do silly things like talking in Tamil Chinese after breaking his nose, falling off his balcony after trying, unsuccessfully, to kill a cockroach, making an ass of himself by thinking that some college going chick has a crush on him – you know, that sort of thing. Actually, you never know, maybe there’s a sad story behind him too. Maybe the reason he doesn’t like bachelors in the complex (apparently he’s the apartment association’s secretary and it’s in the rules that bachelors cannot be given flats in the complex) is cuz his wife cheated on him, or maybe he cheated on her, and he can’t bear to live with the guilt of the possibility of that happening again. *shrug* Who knows.
Anyway the guys (that would include namba hero Karthik and viji) are both happy-go-lucky chappies, the girls (Archana and Sheela) have somewhat tragic pasts. One is a widow, her husband having died in an accident within a year of their marriage, and the heroine herself comes from a family where the father was stupid enough to leave when he found out about his child’s “defect” (or “disease”…i forget the term that was used in the movie) and a mom who died trying to deal with the shock of the deserting husband and raising the child on her own. She was raised by her grand mom from age 6, and grew into this strong, brave and fiercely independent woman who despised any kind of sympathy from anyone, and/or men in general.
That doesn’t mean she is not colorful. She is in fact full of purpose. Somewhat serious, but not without a sense of humor. She’s not projected as someone who lacks anything in her life. She seems pretty comfortable with herself. Just a little defensive at times, but not more or less than any of us are. Hmm…actually, the more you think about her, the more she seems like a woman empowered, you know, like someone who knows she’s no less than anyone else. When the boy goes through all that trouble to get close to her and be her friend, she just seems to shrug and say yeah ok, come along. The boy himself is all happiness, she is the light of his life and he is totally committed to her, altho of course she doesn’t realize any of it. The problems in fact only come up whenever he expresses any strong bond towards her. When he asks her to marry him, she recoils (with a strength that, in all honesty, didn’t surprise me). In those few scenes, she is every other woman, no longer extraordinary, with the same insecurities, the same fears, and the same lack of conviction. i like that scene where the two women talk right after Jyotika hands the boy the bulb and tells him to get out of her life. i like how in that scene, the strong woman is suddenly exposed as a pretender. it puts an ironic twist on the entire thing, and makes you ask, “like, but why?? She seemed fine to me…i mean, like why??” The boy is once again the brave, sacrificing, compassionate, committed, and terribly-in-love person who walks around with a veritable rock in his heart cuz his lady love has handed him the bulb. He respects her however, which is, of course, cool. Rather predictably, the woman will realize the truth and/or the absoluteness of his commitment and go to him asking him to take her back.
Yes, it’s not an unpredictable, open-ended movie. But like i said, it’s the treatment. For one, the characters were fairly well thought out. The screenplay was pretty well done. When they ask Jyotika, what music is as far as she is concerned, she says, it is to her like any other language – like Hindi, for example, that she doesn’t know. i like that. Simple, but effective. Most of the comedy sequences were pretty close to brilliant, probably cuz they were brilliantly executed as well. This brings us to the performances. To give credit where it’s due, the four of them seemed to have made some effort to learn sign language. I shall be good and not question the accuracy of it (also, cuz i really am not qualified enough to question it). Actually they all did a fairly decent job. Jyotika looked slightly expressionless sometimes, and Prithviraj looked slightly silly, again, sometimes. The people who never got out of character, according to me at least, were Prakashraj, and the college going chick who would, without fail, bump into something or the other every time she saw/met Prithviraj. 😀

Rating: (PI – (one by fi) ) / fi

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