The reputed digital platform SonyLiv which started making inroads in the South with Thaen and the upcoming Chutzpah has premiered Vaazhl produced by Sivakarthikeyan under his banner Sivakarthikeyan Productions.
The chance meeting of an IT guy Prakash (Pradeep Anthony) with his distant cousin Yatramma (T.J. Bhanu) and her hyperactive son Yaatra (Aahrav) at a ceremony makes the life of Prakash topsy-turvy
Yatramma who cannot tolerate her abusive husband gets rid of him and seeks asylum with Prakash who was such a nice guy that he can’t tell no to anything and above all, he gets attracted towards the beautiful Yatramma at first sight itself. So the connection between Prakash and Yatramma gets stronger as a result they embark on a long journey throughout Tamil Nadu where Prakash receives another big jolt in his life during this journey which leaves him high and dry.
There enters Tanya (Diva Dhawan) rather dramatically into the life of Prakash and his life takes another U-turn due to which he starts exploring the other side of the earth with Yatra and Tanya against the picturesque locales of Papua New Guinea.
Where does this journey of Prakash going to end and how Yatra becomes quite a significant part of his life is what Vaazhl offers in the remaining part of the story.
Pradeep Anthony as Prakash who goes through various phases of life has done well as a vulnerable and confused man who has no idea whatsoever where his life is heading for.
T.J. Bhanu and Diva impress with their performances and Diva with her imperfect accent and fighting skills score a point whereas Bhanu as a tormented wife who wants to see her son in safe hands has portrayed her character well.
But it’s Aahrav who steals the show and he remains the central attraction of the whole film. His histrionics and tantrums are a real treat to watch. The way he makes the life of Prakash more miserable with that one key dialogue was adorable.
Behind the scenes
The writer-director Arun Prabu Purushothaman has wanted to do something extraordinary but ended up doing nothing of that sort. The narrative which could hold on till the first half nosedived later and started drifting as life’s journey takes a rather long philosophical turn.
Arun Prabu has failed to sustain the interest in the second half due to a mellowed-down screenplay that could not add the much-needed direction to the narrative.
The soul touching music by Pradeep Kumar was the brightest spot and he made the images speak with his exquisite score as well as his songs The ‘Feel Song’ rendered by veteran Deva was the highlight whereas the other songs ‘Semmaan Magalai’ and ‘Vaazha Vaa’ sung mellifluously by Pradeep Kumar himself touch the heart.
Equally vibrant was the cinematography by Shelley Calist which presented the coastal towns of Tamil Nadu in their full splendour along with breathtaking visuals of Papa New Guinea and Goroka islands surrounded by beautiful rainforests which would have created a major impact on the big screen.
Vaazhl is an aesthetically appealing life journey of Prakash who finally discovers the nuances of life a hard way which are more than that of a 9 to 5 job. But a crispier screenplay would have made the film more sensible as it was off-target at places. A watchable film if you are interested in Eat-Sleep-Travel travelogues.