Chennai, 16 Jul 2021 23:49 IST
At times, the film feels superficial but the pleasant visuals and good music make up for most of the dull moments.
Arun Prabu Purushothaman’s Vaazhl, his second film after the critically acclaimed and powerful Aruvi (2017), is a self-realization drama that’s all about living life to the fullest. It revolves around three characters and how their lives change over the course of a journey. Unlike Aruvi, Vaazhl is largely a mostly light-hearted take on the existential crisis that hits most of us at some point in our lives. As long as the film maintains a light-hearted tone, there aren’t major grouses. But all that changes when it starts to take itself too seriously after a point.
The story is centred on Prakash (Pradeep Anthony) who leads an uninteresting life. At a funeral, he meets Yatramma (TJ Bhanu), a distant cousin, and immediately develops feelings for her. It’s only a little later that he learns that she’s married and has a son, Yatra. Within days, Yatramma reaches out to Prakash for help and a few scenes later, they’re taking a road trip crossing scenic towns in coastal Tamil Nadu. Along the journey, Prakash’s life changes altogether and the bond he develops with Yatra on this journey forms the crux of the story.
Vaazhl can be simply described as a film about celebrating life. According to a line in the film, we all should, for at least a month in the year, let go of everything and travel to new places. Arun Prabu's premise is that some journeys can be life-changing, and this really applies to Prakash’s character who gets embroiled in problematic situations when he decides to drive his cousin around for a couple of days. The journey changes Prakash’s life in ways he can’t imagine and the bond he shares with Yatra is one of the most tender moments of the movie.
Even at 112 minutes, Vaazhl feels stretched towards the end when it tries hard to pack in a lot. It sometimes feels superficial but nevertheless manages to make an impact with its intended message. It makes interesting observations about an abusive relationship and how most women are unable to free themselves. The pleasant visuals and good music make up for most of the film’s dull moments. The road trip sequences will make you leave everything and pack your bags to go on your own journey. If the film, as a whole, was as some of its remarkable parts, it would have been as good as Aruvi if not better.
Vaazhi is being streamed on SonyLiv.
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