It is a start of another weekend and this week has been rough in terms of my health. Some days have been alright and some days have really been a slog. But one thing which hasn’t changed is my dedication for the website Popcorn Reviewss. So if you are enjoying reading the reviews or any of the other content then please spread the word. With that from the new set of releases, I decided to pick the Malayalam film Puzhu which is streaming on SonyLiv. The Content in the Malayalam films have refused to slow down and they have been pretty consistent in churning out some outstanding stories. And I had high expectations from Puzhu as well, does it manage to live upto my expectations, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Puzhu follows the story of a cop who stays with his son until he realises that someone is out there to kill him. Who is the culprit? The story is a fascinating and engrossing character study as the protagonist has so many layers to it. It is a typical Malayalam film template of a simple story but a complex screenplay. The screenplay opens with one of the subplots where a husband and wife are searching for an apartment. Soon, you are introduced to the protagonist and his son and you do realise that their relationship is rocky. And it has got a lot to do with the personality of the protagonist which is fearful and rather intimidating. Ofcourse there isn’t any physical or domestic violence at play but the fear which the writers create in this atmospheric thriller is just refreshing.
In the most unassuming manner, the thrill element is thrown in. There is no buildup of any sort and it just seemed like a stray event. These are the moments which make Malayalam films special because they are able to control the narrative and not let it stray. The goosehunt also is rather organic with so many layers of complexity which is thrown in. The proceedings are darker by the minute although the pace of the drama almost gives an impression of it being uneventful.
The chilling pre-climax is something that I did not expect but it did touch upon a couple of vital social evils related to the caste whose undercurrent was present throughout the film. And what it also did was show us the evil side of the protagonist which till that point was only suppressed and shown glimpses of. The screenplay had a few mythological references right at the end which was refreshing to watch. Overall, a brilliantly penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle and conversational yet they leave an astounding impact. The music and BGM are good but perhaps but as great as some of the other Malayalam films. The cinematography and production design are likewise good although again if I compare to other Malayalam films then they do fall slightly short. Director Ratheena does a pretty good job here by building fear into the minds of the audience through her protagonist. This engrossing character study is what drives the film throughout. There are certain sequences like the pre climax involving a shocking turn of events which could have been shot better. But the director needs to be applauded for the atmospherics which was created.
The performances are simply brilliant. Malavika Menon has her moments to shine. Vasudev Sajeesh Marar as Kichu is brilliant and the fear which he portrays on his face will send a shiver down your spine every single time. Parvathy Thiruvothy as Bharati is quite wonderful in a role which required her to internalise her emotions. But the show undoubtedly belongs to Mammootty as Kuttan. His character is an engrossing one with so many layers that it is hard to predict his next move. Not only is he intimidating but you will also be overwhelmed by his presence. And it was only someone with skills like Mammootty who could pull off such a complex role. This is one of the best performances which I have witnessed in recent times, hands down an acting masterclass if ever there was one.
Puzhu is a fascinating and spectacular character study which will consistently engross you in this slow burner. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended.