Pizhai Movie Review: A tragedy of errors
Director Rajavel Krishna is out with an underwhelming didactic film that is also a tear-jerker
Pizhai is yet another underwhelming film that has good intentions at heart. Think of it as an inferior version of Saattai that whips the children instead of parents. Here the children are too naughty but instead of a hero, life itself teaches them lessons and turns them good. While Samuthirakani’s Saattai, despite all its self-righteousness, passes off as a feature film, Pizhai feels more like an amateurish YouTube short film.
Director: Rajavel Krishna
Cast: Chinna Kaaka Muttai Ramesh, Appa Nasath, Gokul, Mime Gopi, Charly, George
Vedi (Ramesh), Kodi (Appa Nasath), and Mayilu (Gokul) are three naughty boys in a village near Thiruvannamalai. Their fathers — played by Mime Gopi, George, and Charly — are daily labourers working in a quarry who just can't afford to miss a day of work. The parents shed sweat and blood for their children, who bunk classes, fail in all subjects, and bring home nothing but trouble. So, the fathers resort to beating them with sticks. But things only get worse after every episode of beating.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to a youngster, who returns to the village after running away from home when he was a kid. Though uneducated, the youth has made it in life and is revered as a hero in his village. He gets the girl and with her, a bad romantic number. The three boys are inspired by the new hero in the village, and they run away too. But, they don’t have it easy in Chennai. They get kidnapped by a hotel owner, they run into another ‘hero figure’ (played by Kalluri Vinoth) who also gets a romantic number, and finally, realise that ‘education is important’.
To be honest, the cliched story is the least of Pizhai's problems; the film is bad because of its lacklustre filmmaking and lack of depth. The big 'moment of realisation' for the boys is just laughable. As they think about their past and the good old days flash before their eyes, all that is missing is a tortoise coil spinning on the screen.
The alarmingly inept actors give the feel of watching a bad stage play with futile attempts at comedy. Mime Gopi, George, and Charly are the only good actors but they have relatively few scenes to perform. Kakka Muttai Ramesh and Appa Nasath don’t help either.
Watching Pizhai was like listening to someone narrate a didactic story that teems with banal platitudes. In Tamil, they are referred to as Needhi Kathaigal, which are told to children. These fables usually end with a moral lesson. And the moral of Pizhai is that education is important and one shouldn’t make a feature-length film with content that is not even good enough for a short-film.