Mughizh Movie Review: A touching exploration of grief
Vijay Sethupathi's 62-minute film is a heartwarming tale that explores themes of grief, affection, and parenthood
Most of us have grown up being frightful of one thing or the other. Quite a few are raised to be scared of dogs, for instance, like the young Kavya (Sreeja Vijay Sethupathi) in Mughizh. The film is a story about a family of three, Kavya, and her parents, Radhika (Regina Cassandra), Vijay (Vijay Sethupathi). In order to help Kavya overcome her fear of dogs, Vijay brings home a beagle pup, and they name him Scooby. Kavya learns to love, and Scooby becomes an adorable, integral part of the family. However, a tragedy strikes the family, and they struggle to pull themselves together to overcome grief.
Director: Karthik Swaminathan
Cast: Sreeja Vijay Sethupathi, Vijay Sethuhpathi, Regina Cassandra
In Mughizh, Scooby could well be said to be the lead character. Director Karthik Swaminathan doesn't use Scooby as just another narrative tool. It’s not just Kavya who takes time to get used to Scooby; the latter too takes time to warm up to the family. The dog has his own traits that are shown with so much detail and deliberation. Take those beautiful scenes of Scooby welcoming his dad every evening when he returns from work. He even gets jealous when the humans won’t give him the attention he’s used to getting. So moving is Scooby’s character arc that even I, who have never raised a pet, was left feeling overwhelmed.
I also loved how the story isn't restrained to Kavya and Scooby. Vijay and Radhika play a married couple, and the dynamics they share, especially post an unexpected conflict, get fleshed out very well. The writing also makes you empathise with the helplessness they face as parents to pull Kavya out of grief. In a later scene, when Vijay struggles to explain grief to Kavya, it makes you wonder how difficult it must be for parents to explain such a complicated feeling to children when even adults struggle to grapple with it.
It’s a film that loves its realism. It’s a small film with a big heart that leaves you with much to ponder about. Perhaps it’s not a film for the big screen, especially given the 20-minute interval break that disrupts your experience. And yet, Mughizh has you reflecting on several deep topics, including overcoming fear, handling grief, raising children, and of course, the love that dogs are capable of. I may just get myself one, after this film.