Director: S Deepan
Cast: Sriram, Sarnaya Nag, Krishna Kumar, Kanja Karuppu, Jayasri
A love story has to cruise through various hurdles. Like parental opposition, caste or religious differences, or misunderstanding between the couple. But in Mazhaikalam director Deepan brings in a new element that threatens the relationship between lovers Sophie and Vijay. It is a secret that Sophie has hidden from Vijay, apprehensive that he may be alienated from her if he learnt about it. But the film, apart from few interesting moments, lacks the conviction and punch to emotionally involve the audience when the couple go through their travails.
Sophie, a Christian, is a student of fine arts. While Vijay, who apparently does nothing, has a brother and a sister-in-law who dote on him. Vijay spots Sophie at a public place, and escorts her asking her if she is his long-lost childhood friend. A pick-up line one would think, but the guy is genuinely serious. This, despite the fact that they had parted as school kids, and the girl in the flashback neither bears any resemblance to Sophie, nor shares her name. The director probably wanted to deviate from the routine encounters in films. Their friendship blooms into love. The duo share no common ground as far as financial status, or religion are concerned. Kudos to the director for not making these factors the basis of the conflict. What is appreciable here is also the matter-of-fact attitude of both parents towards the duo’s bonding. Each is welcomed warmly at the other’s house, the scenes moving naturally here.
Debutant Sriram and Sarnaya Nag (of Kadhal, Peraanmai) fit in suitably as the star-crossed lovers.
But then the director brings in the twist here. Sophie vehemently rejects the marriage proposal Vijay’s parents bring, and later berates Vijay for taking their friendship for granted. What is surprising here is that Vijay had neither mentioned his intention to marry her nor about the proposal his parents would be bringing. The screenplay slips to mediocrity, where Sophie reveals to Vijay the reason for her refusal to marry him. These being crucial moments in the film, the director could have etched them with more conviction and realism. The ending is depressing and dramatic, apart from giving a negative shade to the profession Sophie is in. Kanja Karuppu gets a long comedy track, one that barely evokes any laughter. Vijay is a passionate volleyball player. But the couple of scenes at the ground seem to be added only to force in some fight scenes between him and some rowdy elements. The music is melodious and soulful (renowned Malayalam composer, the late Johnson). Mazhaikalam is an example of good intentions going haywire.