Set in the backdrop of a hill station, Kazhugu concentrates on the developments in the life of Sera and his friends who eke out their living retrieving corpses or ‘pieces’ in their lingo from the ravines. The ambience of the workplace of the protagonist ensures a novelty to the backdrop. And while the debutant director could be appreciated for it, he could have definitely spent more time working on the script, to make it as engaging and refreshing as some of the earlier scenes. The analogy to the Kazhugu (vulture) is apt. The film opens with a tormented Sera howling in anger, the narration cutting to the happenings that made him to react so. Sera was a carefree orphan, who with his companions (Karuna, Ramaiya) splurged whatever he earned on booze.
The scenes of the trio tied to ropes and going down the hilly terrain searching for the bodies of lovers who had committed suicide, have a novelty to them. The trio downing a couple of pegs to get over the stench, an old radio hung on the tree blaring out a Tamil film song, all lend a natural feel. It’s an opening that promises some exciting moments to come. But unfortunately, apart from these scenes there is very little that is novel or exciting about the film. Take Sera’s love angle with the comely tea-factory worker Kavita (Bindu) who falls for him and pursues him. Why would any girl fall for a shabby, unkempt drunkard who spent his nights in an inebriated condition on the roadside, is incomprehensible.
The evolving of their love track lacks depth and conviction. Krishna had revealed himself as a fairly competent actor in his earlier two films. But as Sera (this too his home production), he seems to have some difficulty in connecting to the character. Going overboard, his long loud howl whenever the character goes through stressful moments becomes repetitive and jarring after a time. The villain in Sera’s life comes in the form of Iyer (Jayaprakash). Sera and gang inadvertently get entangled in the man’s affairs, the latter setting his goons on them. The whole episode of Iyer and his problem with a rival (Sampatram), has been rushed through. It was as if the director was frantically pushing his narration here, to converge it
to that of Sera’s life.
The cops seem unconcerned when their colleagues go missing. It’s a gory action-centric climax where Sera takes on Iyer’s goons. The film could have done with a better ending. The lighter moments come from Karunas and his humorous takes, with Ramaiya pitching in his bit occasionally. But these moments are few and far between. On the positive side, the film is just about two hours long.