It takes courage and conviction to take an untreaded path and leave a trail. That way, Prakash Raj can be called a trailblazer for he has, through Duet Movies, encouraged fresh talents and has consistently been translating dreams of creators into realities.
Be it Anthapuram or Naam, Azhagiya Theeye or Kanda Naal Mudhal, the themes he chooses seem to reflect the larger than life person that he is. And now, with Mozhi, we understand that he has dared to dream bigger and think taller.
Mozhi is a clean entertainer that justifies the tagline that is found in the promotional materials of the film. “It is not the expression, but the emotion.” Indeed!
Mozhi is a musical love story. It is the light hearted and at the same time, intense portrayal of love between a musician and a deaf and dumb girl. Karthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash Raj) are musicians who work in the dream factory. They are keyboard players who live and love music. They exhibit an infectious enthusiasm and enjoy life the way it is.
It is at this juncture that Karthik chances upon Archana (Jyothika), and she happens to live in the same apartment as Viji and Karthik. Karthik looks up to this woman with awe for her sheer courage, as she takes on a man who bashes his wife in the middle of the road. Karthik realizes that she could just be the one that he has been waiting for all his life. Karthik soon understands that Archana is a deaf and dumb woman and while Viji is full of misgivings about the relationship blooming into love, Karthik is confident and in fact, decides that Archana is the one for him. Karthik gets acquainted with Archana’s friend Sheela (Swarnamalya) and starts learning sign language from her. He starts communicating with Archana using the sign language. We also get an insight into what a headstrong character Archana is. She is a self-dependant and outgoing woman. The story then borders on the smiles, tears, emotional turmoil and contagious laughter of the foursome all the way till the climax.
Jyothika as Archana steals the show. Not surprising, because with every film of hers, we have seen myriad shades of her performance and they have showed us what a seasoned performer she is. She is deaf, she is mute. But she makes all of us talk volumes about her performance, just the way one did after watching Vikram in Pithamagan. She is absolutely credible as the obstinate and confident young woman. Prithviraj as Karthik and Prakash Raj as Viji provide us with rib-tickling humour and wit here is not thrust or deliberate. It is an undercurrent in all their conversations and they score in performance as well. Swarnamalya for Sheela is an apt choice. She has understood her character with amazing clarity and has got into the skin of it. She has done her role with ease and élan. Brahmanandam as the menacing neighbour and MS Bhaskar as the professor are absolutely brilliant. MS Bhaskar, who had lost his memory due to the untimely loss of his son, lives in the same apartment as Archana and Karthik. His poignant portrayal and subtle performance definitely calls for appreciation.
The dialogue writer Viji has done a remarkable job. Every syllable in his dialogues is sensitive and sensible. He has blended sparkling wit and subtle strength in his dialogues which is definitely a high-point of the film. If for most of the time, the audience in the theatre is in splits, it is definitely due to him. Kudos to Viji for a job well-done! Vidyasagar is absolutely commendable. For a story which borders on music, Vidyasagar has given just the right feel and emotion. His music is smooth and is never loud or distracting anywhere. KV Guhan’s cinematography and Kasi Viswanathan’s editing are neat and are of first-rate. Art director Kathir has lent creative touches with brilliant sets which strike a chord in the viewers’ minds. His sensitive set in the form of Jyothika’s room deserves mention. Radha Mohan has given us clean entertainers like Azhagiya Theeye and Ponniyin Selvan before. With this film, he has joined the bandwagon of directors who remain uncompromising on quality. His screenplay is taut. Subtle directorial touches in the form of the bulbs burning bright when Karthik sees Archana and when Viji takes a liking for Sheela are exemplary. Mention can also be made of the gift Archana gives to Karthik (a violin made of soap), the musical clock, Archana being able to feel music by keeping her hands on the speakers, and the delicate humour that sneaks up when a neighbour (Neelima Rani) takes a liking for Karthik. Such nuances have made the film more interesting.
On the whole, Mozhi transforms you into another world where there is just laughter and beauty everywhere. John Keats once said, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." And Mozhi is joy!