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Vaazhl Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Sunday, July 18, 2021 • Malayalam ]
Vaazhl Review
Banner:
SK Production
Cast:
Pradeep Antony, TJ Bhanu, Aahrav, Diva Dhawan, Nithya, Sreeja, Inmozhi, Mayura, Babu
Direction:
Arun Prabu Purushothaman
Production:
Sivakarthikeyan
Music:
Pradeep Kumar

Vaazhl -  The dark comedy overshadows the life lessons

Director Arun Prabu Purushothaman who was widely appreciated for his cult film Aruvi, is back with his second film titled ‘Vaazhl’, produced by Sivakarthikeyan which is streaming now on Sony Liv.  The offbeat movie sets out to explore themes such as "Live the moment" and "Every person you meet has the power to change your life".  Is this a worthy successor to the filmmaker's earlier gem and whether it will connect to all sections of the audience remains to be seen.

The story of 'Vaazhl' is about an average everyday IT worker with a dull life who is suddenly thrown into extraordinary situations and meets three life-changing personalities and goes through a fantastical journey of the physical as well as astral.

Debutante T.J. Banuparvathy Murthy plays Yatramma a complex character with such authority that like Aditi Balan in 'Aruvi' she is not only easily the best performer in the film but also in Tamil cinema in the recent past.  One minute she is a nervous wreck and in the very next she switches on a sensual mood to mesmerize an innocent man to do her bidding.  Post interval there is a solitary scene for her in which she narrates his birth to her child and her varied expressions for each word she speaks in itself is enough to bag her several awards.  Kudos!  Aarav S Gokulnath who plays the little boy Yatra is the pivot around which the entire film revolves and his hilarious antics are a treat to watch and at the same time give a melancholic feel which is a credit to the writing here.  Pradeep who plays Prakash possesses the perfect looks for the innocent average Joe caught in a big mess and he shines in these portions.  When the transformation happens later his performance is found wanting and here sadly the writing too is weak.  The other debutante Nithya as the fuzzy girlfriend of Prakash who drains him out with her inconsistencies is also memorable and do watch out for her phone call to him when he is in a life or death situation.  Diva as the hippie, Mayura as the sister, Srija as the mother and Bhatt as the Rameshwaram's grandfather have all put in neat performances.

What works best in 'Vaazhl' is the first half which starts hilariously depicting the exaggerated reactions of the household for Prakash's sister's love affair.  Then it moves on to a funeral where he meets the key character Yatramma and the screenplay takes flight at jet speed with elements of intrigue, suspense, betrayal and sensuality all working in tandem.  The visual splendor takes hold of the viewer in the entire second half and the scenic beauty of Papua New Guinea keeps one spellbound even though the screenplay falters big time.  One of the plot devices that work is connecting the plight of the pigeon Yeshodha with that of Prakash.

On the downside the manner in which the best character in the story is finished off is unconvincing and with it there is a sudden shift in the genre which is disorienting.  Most of the happenings after that seem trippy and the messages are not driven home because of that.  The encounters of Prakash are far-fetched and only a niche in the audience will connect to the rest of his journey.

Music director Pradeep has livened up the proceedings with his zesty background score playing peppy folk bits to good effect all over.  The Spanish strings reminiscent of Desperado make a badly executed police chase watchable.  Shelley Caliste is the real hero of 'Vaazhl' with his exemplary camerawork especially in the second half where he literally transports the audiences into the forests and the raging rivers. Raymond Derrick Crasta has cut the first half at a racy pace and has provided a smooth flow in the second.

Sivakarthikeyan Productions is continuing to back projects that are offbeat and meaningful and has spared no expense to lend the grandeur to the film.  Arun Prabhu Purushothaman has once again chosen a different subject and has executed his vision admirably.  But at the same time his second venture lacks story merit and the messages that he tries to convey are also nothing new for the audiences.

Verdict : You can give 'Vaazhl' a watch for its visual splendor and novel attempt.

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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