The Unusual Story of Life Around Death

Participants of the reality show Naalaya Iyakkunar have successfully made the transition to the big screen.

Published: 28th December 2013 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2013 07:55 AM   |  A+A-


Participants of the reality show Naalaya Iyakkunar have successfully made the transition to the big screen. They have established their credentials as directors who have broken barriers and given a different sensibility to Tamil cinema. Following the footsteps of filmmakers like Balaji Mohan, Karthik Subburaj and Nalan Kumarasamy is Bharathi Balakumaran. Vizha is Balakumaran’s short film Udhiri expanded for the big screen. Set in a rustic milieu, it opens with the funeral of the village bigwig and the celebration following it. What follows are a couple of romances and weddings, and a few more funerals. The director can be commended for choosing a very unusual backdrop for the developing love affair between Sundaram and Rakkamma. Their love flourishes against the backdrop of deaths and funerals. Sundaram plays the ‘Thappu’ at funerals, and Rakkamma is an ‘oppari’ singer. Sundaram yearning to see Rakkamma, waits eagerly for the next death to happen. Some humour is generated when he and his friends go through the list of people in the village and speculate as to who is likely to kick the bucket. Mahendran (a child actor in many films) essays Sundaram with quiet efficiency. Debutant Malavika has the looks and the talent, and is a promising find. Cupid strikes Pandi too (Kaali, a good comedian in the making) who had returned from abroad to attend the patriarch’s funeral. But the latter’s scheming casteconscious widow hatches a plan to separate Pandi and Sundaram from their loves. The finale is the best part of the film. It’s a fine piece of dark humour, where the matriarch raving and ranting at her dead husband’s garlanded photo, blaming him for all her ills, meets her destiny. Produced by Ramanarayanan’s Thenandal Films, the film is neatly scripted and has a smooth natural flow. But it is mild in its humour quotient, and its genuinely interesting moments are few and far between. The director could have packed in more punch to make it an engaging experience. The Verdict: Vizha is a debutant filmmaker’s promising effort


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