Suzhal, made by a bunch of new comers, comes with the tagline ‘it is not how you play the game, it’s how the game plays you’.
The film is about 10 college friends and how a bike accident involving one of his friends changes the life of the protagonist.
Directed by R Jeyakumar, the premise seems to be inspired by Russian mafia games. Though one might have seen the same in several Hollywood films and the idea of deadly gaming is not new to Indian cinema, the director has tried to give it a local touch with an emotional connect. The plot appears clichéd in the first half with the regular college scenes, friendship and weekend tours. However, in the second half the film picks up pace and moves on as a thriller. It provides some twists, turns and surprises too. The twist in the climax is laudable and sends across a strong message.
Atul Kulkarni steals the show with his restrained acting. The film’s hero is debutant Farish and has done a neat job. Pratap Pothen as the drug addict Dani appears only in a few scenes, but lives the character. The music by LV Ganesh is refreshingly melodious and the song ‘Solla Vanthen’ lingers in the mind. The cinematography is by James Krish, a former associate of Ravi K Chandran. The film has been extensively shot in Kerala and Puducherry and his camera work has captured the beautiful locales well. The editing by Lenin is slick.
One gets bored of seeing the same college friends and village scenes in the first half. After a mundane first half, the second half gives some relief though.
The songs are placed randomly and the costumes in the song sequences are not done aesthetically. The lack of lip sync is another element that the director should have taken care of.
The large number of characters in the first half did not give the artistes enough scope to showcase their acting skills. By the end of the film, only the characters of Atul and Farish stay in mind.