I would say my Spring break ended on a really nice note. I happened to see the Tamil movie 'Mozhi - Pesum Padam' starring Jyothika, Prithviraj, Prakashraj and Swarnamalya on 17th March in Harkin's down the Mill Avenue here in Tempe.
Having heard a lot about the movie(good things, of course), it made sense for me to spend some time and money on this movie. But it was a early show at 11:30 am, which is like 7 am for me especially on a Saturday. But this semester has seen an early Saturday for me, I hold office hours 8 am - 12 noon. I happened to rise pretty late, and fortunately was dropped by my roommate at the theater after picking up a few friends.
The theater seemed to be filled entirely except for the first two rows(which is a rare phenomenon for a Tamil movie here). It was entirely family crowd except for a few students like us.
The movie began with a village belle coming down from a hilltop temple and striking a conversation with a beggar there. It all seemed silent(without the rerecording) except for the dialogues spoken. I felt - Are they playing the right movie?. Well, the same scenes were played using rerecording and the characters Karthik(Prithviraj) and Viji(Prakashraj) were introduced as musicians assisting music director Vidyasagar. It was a nice way to introduce the characters, different from the usual opening song or fight. But the opening fight was reserved for Archana (Jyothika), who rescued a poor vegetable seller from being beaten up by her husband. Well, it was then that love struck Karthik in a comical way - Lights above his head glow up and there is the bell of Kwality Wall's icecream cart sounding. Nice way to detect if romance has struck someone.
I wouldn't want to go into the details of the story/plot, which was fairly straightforward and predictable. The music was pretty melodious and soothing, but nothing pathbreaking. I loved Katrin Mozhiye, a really nice melody and picturised well too. There were 3-4 one-minute numbers which were fillers in between and didn't hamper the flow of the movie.
Well, there was comedy in every single scene of the movie, except for the really serious scenes involving Jyothika and Prithviraj. The way Prakashraj proposes to Swarnamalya, her reaction, her parents' reaction and Prithviraj's reaction to it was really well made and was comical.
Swarnamalya was good in the movie too, in a role similar to her Poorni role in Alaipayuthey. And she did good justice to it. Hope she continues to shine this way.
Prithviraj, my current favorite after Parijatham and now Mozhi, is a good artiste who can act well and make you laugh too, esp his expression in Parijatham's fictitious 'Ponnu Paarkum' scenes were awesome. His combo with Prakashraj is something that turned out to be really good in the movie. In the scenes where he yells at Jyothika about her imaginations and also when he makes Jyothika feel music through the speakers and later proposes to her, he expresses his acting capabilities well. But for sure, this hero cannot dance too. And his antics in Kannal Pesum Pennae songs were simply hilarious. His dressing sense in the first song were atrocious with him in orange pants etc.
Jyothika, in her swansong proved what she was. And for a Jo-Fan like me, this was the perfect one to watch, after being slightly disappointed with her Pachaikili Muthucharam. She spoke no words, except when Prithviraj imagined a voice for her. As usual her eyes did all the talking, but her Chandramukhi-ish yelling in the climax scene could have been done away with. The way she says that she is deaf and dumb was simply superb. As said earlier she had a heroic entry in the movie and stayed that way. She made sure that she was the only one suited for the role. I only hope she continues to act after a while. She had very little make-up like in Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu, Silendru Oru Kadhal, and looked good in the final scene when she was all made up.
Prakashraj as an actor was excellent with all the one-liners and his chemistry with Prithviraj is comparable to Munnabhai-Circuit combo's chemistry. He as a producer has succeeded in all his movies. I loved Kanda Naal Mudhal and Azhagiya Theeye. It is very rare to see a producer have such quality movies these days. I would say this was a a fresh breather for Tamil cinema which is filled with movies involving heroism, action, infidelity and glamour. Prakashraj needs to be applauded for this.
Music by Vidyasagar. He proved his touch in Katrin Mozhi which plays twice in the movie, once when the four have a joyous moment, and during the ending credits. Sevvanam Selaikatti is a nice number and colorful on screen too. The SPB number 'Kannal Pesum Pennae' was hilarious, but the music is jarring at times. The solo sad song is a good one too.
My favorite lines from Katrin mozhi(no idea what purinthividil means - does it mean if understood?)
Iyarkayin Mozhigal Purinthividil
Manitharin Mozhigal Thevai illai
Idhayathin Mozhigal Purinthividil
Manitharku Mozhiye Thevai illai
Comedy involving Brahmanandam-Prakashraj and MS Baskar(who is in the year 1984) were in flow with the movie and were very decent, something rare to see in movies these days.
Overall, a feel good movie and definitely in my favorite movies list. And truly a 'Pesum Padam'