Prior to the release of the film Oozham, director Jeethu Joseph was constantly trying to reduce the hype by saying it is not a suspense thriller, but a revenge drama. It was a good strategy considering the fact that the movie had moments of excitement soaked in surprising twists. Made on a tried and tested base theme of revenge, Oozham is a pleasing watch because of the way it was constructed towards that ending which everyone knew.
Mr. Krishnamoorthy and his family are settled in Coimbatore. He is a health inspector and has two kids and one adopted kid (kind of). Surya is his elder son who is working in US as an expert in controlled explosions to destruct old buildings (you might have seen that in Discovery or NGC). The movie deals with an incident that ended up in the death of the three members in the family excluding Surya and Ajmal. Both are shocked and are desperate for revenge as they knew some big name was behind all this. Their method of investigation and how they eventually complete their revenge is what Oozham narrating.
We have seen Jeethu Joseph’s obsession for montages and visual effects driven narrative pattern in his past movies. Here also the director has shown no compromise in using these. From the trailer itself it is clear that the film is a basic revenge drama. The success of the movie was highly dependent on how the characters operate within their limitations. Jeethu cleverly paints his characters by giving them backdrops that suited the requirement. The film is narrated in a back and forth style and the present being a chase to catch Surya, Oozham never really loses that tempo it generates in the beginning. Like how Prithviraj says in the trailer of killing the antagonists “one by one”, Jeethu knew that these “ones” are his points to grab the appreciation of audience and has designed each operation in a way we will get excited when it happens on screen.
Prithiviraj is convincing as the young charming IIT product. We have seen his revenge mode in movies like Puthiyamugham, Sathyam etc. and here also he delivers it in similar style. Neeraj Madhav has an elegant ease in being true to the character. Divya Pillai was also fine as Gayathri. A special mention to Rasna, who portrayed the role of Prithiviraj’s sister in this movie. Her performance had that grace and no offence to Prithvi, she scored in their combination scenes. V Jayaprakash was a convincing villain even though his dubbing wasn’t pleasing at some areas. Irshad did his role neatly. Balachandra Menon was also good in his friendly appearance as Krishnamoorthy. Pashupathy was a really good choice to play the role offered to him and he delivered it neatly.
The treatment we saw in Jeethu’s other thrillers is evident in Oozham too. Dialogues are relatively less and it looks like editor Ayoob Khan had a huge responsibility in conveying the progress just through aggressive cuts. The drama is there in dialogues which is a bit itchy occasionally. And when it comes to the sort of conviction in depicting sophisticated hacking techniques, Oozham is definitely ahead of “Vaappachi’s Legacy”. You cant say that it’s a flawless script, but the packaging is so clever and quick paced that you won’t really dig in to its imperfections. A large portion of the enjoyment depended on how they would execute all those explosion sequences convincingly within that constrained budget using visual effects. But fortunately only one or two explosions choreographed in the movie has gone wrong (visual effects quality wise). Shamdath’s camera has made sure that the visuals are intense enough to keep us occupied. The track other than the disco number is really nice. The disco song wasn’t a really catchy number when I saw it in YouTube, but for the movie it serves its purpose. The background score is also quite effective.
Oozham is not a suspense thriller which looks for an answer. But the movie ultimately works because of the minimal twists Jeethu Joseph has enclosed at major plot points. It’s a thumbs up from my side.
Rating : 3/5
Oozham is not a suspense thriller which looks for an answer. But the movie ultimately works because of the minimal twists Jeethu Joseph has enclosed at major plot points.