If you see one Tamil movie this year, then let it be Mozhi.
This is not a review of Mozhi. This is a paean to it.
I'm an unabashed Prakash Raj (nee Rai) fan. The man seems to have realized what the audience wants, and is delivering it - earning accolades in spades from critics and viewers alike. Although he's type-cast as an actor in other movies, in his own productions, he's making sure that his roles are different and apt. He doesn't play a 21 year-old college kid, as others of his age are wont to do. Hat's off to you Sir!
Mozhi is simply brilliant in its execution. Let me repeat that. Mozhi is simply brilliant in its execution.
From the simple things, like the noise the kids make, to the posters Viji (Prakash Raj) and Karthik (Prithvi Raj) have in their house, the music they listen to, to the background score in the Pichakaran/Pannayar ponnu intro sequence, authenticity is the basic scent of this movie. And let me tell you it smells like a bed of fresh roses.
On the other hand, I am not a fan of Jyothika. Sorry I meant to say, I was not a fan of Jyothika, till I saw her as Archana. Her presence on the screen is incandescent. Her anger is raw and untrammeled. She's made up her lack of dialogue brilliantly - her every look is a poem. The real pain is going to be when we need to see her when she acts, or to be more precise, doesn't, in other movies after Mozhi.
With Prakash Raj and Jyothika lighting up the screen, that left very little space for Prithvi Raj and Swarnamalya. I was literally unable to tear my eyes off Viji and Archana for long enough to note how well others had acted. Brahmanandam and Bhaskar have played roles which add a lot to the execution.
The best Tamil actor according to me is Kamal Hassan. I've been a fan of Kamal for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was taken to the theater to watch Moondram Pirai; after that I made up tall stories of Kamal visiting my house, according to my aunts and parents. In Nayagan, MMKR, Apoorva Sahotharargal, and Kurudhippunal, he has out-performed all else on screen. But I have seen a better actor, a more intelligent cinephile, and above all, a man who knows his limits. My allegiances have now shifted to Prakash Raj.
Mozhi is at its heart a very simple movie. A very very well made, well told, story. Radhamohan has extracted sterling performances from each and every actor who has a frame. The girl who falls in love with Karthik adds an Escher-esque dimension to the proceedings.
Above all, you can see that the people who made this movie had fun! And you'll definitely have fun watching it.
Apparently the movie will be releasing on DVD soon for just Rs 34. I'm planning to buy one as soon as it's available. Heck, I'll probably buy one to give to a few of my friends too.