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Home > Movies > Reviews

Mozhi is pathbreaking

Shwetha Bhaskar | February 26, 2007 15:28 IST

A still from Mozhi

What do you say when a director takes a story so simple that it can be practically condensed into a single sentence and still manages to come out with an endearing piece of cinema that will make you laugh and cry and stun you with its elegance?

Mozhi accomplishes exactly that. It offers a fresh and wonderfully modern perspective to relationships between 'normal' human beings for a change, and not glamorous superstars capable of superhuman feats.

Karthik (Prithviraj) and Vijay (Prakash Raj) are two best friends working in the Tamil film industry as musicians. They enjoy life to the fullest, with humorous everyday encounters in the apartment building with characters like their short-tempered landlord Ananthakrishnan and an insane former professor. Karthik has a romantic attitude towards love: he believes in love at first sight, even though Vijay is skeptical.

One day his dream comes true when he sees the silent yet fiery Archana (Jyotika) thrash a wife-beating drunkard on the road. Impressed with her bravery, he decides to get to know her better and soon discovers that she is deaf and mute. Undeterred by this revelation, he, with the help of Vijay and Archana's best friend Sheela (her colleague at the dumb and dumb school she teaches at), attempts to show her that love can transcend any physical disability.

Mozhi is a groundbreaking movie for Tamil cinema in many ways. It does not over-sentimentalise physical handicaps; Archana has accepted her lot in life graciously quite early on and moved ahead to lead a fruitful, productive life. The story is no-nonsense and without any unnecessary frills. Strong characterisation and excellent performances from the cast make this truly a remarkable film.

The characters are familiar and likeable. The humorous urban banter without using any dramatic 'filmi' dialogues keep the viewers so involved that they will get the feeling that they know each character intimately.

Thankfully for once, women are portrayed as being absolutely on par with the men without the irritating gender bias seen in many Tamil films. Their feelings are respected without any alpha male assertions on the part of the heroes and they are shown to be highly intelligent and independent. 

The direction is flawless. Radha Mohan has adequately compensated for the lack of drastic plot twists by focusing on getting the best out of all his performers.

Jyotika's performance is stunning. From the bubbly characters of her previous roles, she has managed to portray a deaf and mute girl very realistically. She infuses such unique spirit into her performance that she speaks volumes without ever opening her mouth.

Prithviraj is adorable and endlessly endears himself with his sensitivity and 'decent nice guy' sentiments. Prakash Raj's comic timing is spot on and his affable easy-going camaraderie with Prithviraj adds colour and vitality to the film.  On the other side, Swarnamalya as Sheela is sober and insightful, fitting in effortlessly with the passionate Jyotika.

Vidyasagar's musical score is pleasant and blends in seamlessly with the theme of the movie, which is based on music and language. This film shows us how these can be interpreted in such startling ways and how they influence our lives in ways that we probably would never have thought about.

Mozhi explores this and so many other significant themes in a light-hearted and entertaining vehicle that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

This one is definitely a must watch.

Rediff rating:

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