Pizhai – The dark side of the city
From time to time small films with strong messages are made in Kollywood and one such attempt is ‘Pizhai’ which tackles the importance of education to the downtrodden people and how harsh the city that they dream of can turn out to them.
Mime Gopi, Charle and George are quarry workers in a small village and they strive hard to educate their children in order to prevent them from falling into the same fate. But their respective offsprings ‘Kaaka Muttai’ Ramesh, ‘Appa’ Nazath and Gokul take life easily and skip school and loiter aimlessly bringing the family trouble by their behaviour in society. A boy returns from Chennai and paints a colourful picture of his ability to earn and the fast city life. The trio run away to Chennai and how the big city teaches them life’s lessons forms the rest of the screenplay.
Mime Gopi, Charle and Goerge make full use of their vast experience to bring to life the characters of the downtrodden village parents who have high hopes for their children. Ramesh, Gokul and Nazath have done full justice to their roles and especially Nazath brings the house down by cheating his dad George that his school will award 156 marks out of 100 due to his brilliance. Kalloori Vinod appears as the boy who returns from the city and serves as the turning point for the story.
Faizal’s songs are pleasant on the ears and Pakki’s camera work is apt in showing the greenery of the village and the contrasting concrete nature of the city. Director Rajavel Krishna has chosen a relevant subject with a strong message that education is important especially for the downtrodden. Mime Gopi and Ramesh score in the climax and the entire emotional sequence hits the audience hard.
Verdict : In spite of its share of flaws the film has driven home its message and is definitely worth a watch for the acting performances as well.