27 Dec, 2013 2 hrs 17 mins U
Mahendran, Malavika Menon, Yugendran, Pillayarpatti Jayalakshmi, Kollangudi Karuppayi, Kadhal Dhandapani
The plot is a fairly interesting one but what makes Vizha a lesser film than it should have been is the amount of unnecessary padding that the director brings to this story

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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: Sundaram, a tappu player, is attracted to oppari singer Raakamma, but his act of helping a friend's romance threatens to take her away from him.

Movie Review: Updating the classic Thillana Mohanambal premise of individuals in similar professions falling in love with each other, Barathi Balakumaran presents an old-fashioned romance done the old-fashioned way with Vizha . If the hero in the earlier film is a nadaswaram vidwan, here, he is a tappu player, who performs at funeral houses. The heroine is an oppari singer (in the older film, she is a Bharatanatyam dancer), and the 'saavu veedu' is their meeting place. We have had a few films based on this idea even earlier ( Karagattakaran and Sangamam did it in the late 80s and 90s respectively), and Vizha feels like an adaptation for this generation.

Tappu player Sundaram (Mahendran) is attracted to Raakamma (Malavika), the young oppari singer, and she too reciprocates his love. When he helps his friend Pandidurai, who is a foreign return and the heir to the stuck-up local bigwig Bakkiyammal, get married to his childhood sweetheart, Bakkiyammal tries to get her revenge by arranging a match for Raakamma with Manimaran (Yugendran), who works for her, and sending her goons after Sundaram. However, the good-hearted Manimaran offers refuge to Sundaram, and the lovers are left in a dilemma — should they stop the planned marriage or tell the truth to Manimaran?

The plot is a fairly interesting (even if it is familiar) one but what makes Vizha a lesser film than it should have been is the amount of unnecessary padding that the director brings to this story. He is severely hampered by his decision to take the 'whether Raakamma loves Sundaram' plot till the interval and so devotes the entire first half to the shenanigans of the hero and his friends which are so been there done that. Even the opening block, which he uses to detail the customs at a house of death, lacks the punch that it needed and so doesn't quite come across as atmospheric (this week's other release, Madha Yaanai Kootam , does this in superb fashion).

The second half is much better even though we are able to predict the outcome of certain scenes — when a character in an earlier scene tells Sundaram that he should play the tappu for his death, we know that he'll die in the end; and we always know that Manimaran will, in the end, stand by Sundaram. Still, Balakumaran manages to pack a punch in the scene where the lover affair between the leads comes out in the open. James Vasanthan's song too plays a crucial role in elevating the emotion here (and, his score is a major plus throughout).
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