I remember the first time I saw Pursuit of Happiness. For a kid growing up on Will Smith’s comedic and action personalities, it was remarkably far removed from anything I have seen of him. I felt his pain throughout the film. When he talked to his son, it felt like he spoke to me. And in the end when he puts his arm up in the air and claps for himself amidst a crowd that will never know why he did it, I felt happiness. Films since then, especially in this slice-of-life (some might contest it and call it a biography) genre, succeeded for me when I felt the emotions that the characters did. Mughizh, with just a run time of 60 minutes, is one such film that has been absent in the Tamil film scene for a long time and dare I say that Vijay Sethupathi is growing into the Will Smith of our industry.
The story is remarkably simple. A father brings a puppy home for it to grow old with his wife and daughter. But one day, it passes away affecting the dynamics and psyche of the everyday life of the three people household. Through Vijay (Vijay Sethupathi), Radika (Regina Cassandra) and Kavya (Sreeja Vijay Sethupathi) I felt the tumult of emotions each character was going through in that hour of cinema. The film’s writing stayed with me because it felt like I was reading the middle of a book with three interesting characters and I wanted to know how these characters started and where they are going long after the film ended.
In these times of grief, it is important to acknowledge that this particular emotion takes its own form for different people. When Radika is beset with grief, she seeks refuge in the kitchen, even as she forgets to do the little things. When Kavya is beset with grief, she seeks refuge in the bed and a small rubber band. And for Vijay, it is the office and the distraction it provides. It is lovely how these shots linger and amongst the three, it is Regina’s acting that holds this all together and stays long after the film is over.
And in these times of grief, it is also important to acknowledge that hope is very much the cornerstone that pushes all forward each day. I am partial to films that offer hope amidst the bleakest of times and the way Mughizh offers it inside and outside the realms of the film is definitely why I loved watching it. It offers hope to memories that stay long after the person/places associated with it are no longer there. It offers hope to friendships (Balaji Tharaneetharan has written lyrics, Govind Vasantha has sung, Vijay Sethupathi has produced the film) that get created on the basis of art. It offers hope to seeing more character driven daily life stories that are in abundance out there waiting to get turned into cinema and especially on the larger screen. It also offers hope that Vijay Sethupathi will never stop backing art in his own inimitable way.
This Mughizh review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.