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Vazhakk review: Tovino Thomas, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan pull you in with a film that oscillates between affecting and electrifying

The cinematography offers an experience bordering on the psychedelic, with beautiful long takes that marry well with the film’s absorbing storytelling.

Vazhakk review: Tovino Thomas, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan pull you in with a film that oscillates between affecting and electrifying

Last Updated: 07.14 PM, Dec 17, 2022



Sidharthan, a lawyer, is at odds with his wife Lekshmi, with the former refusing to grant a divorce to the latter. After a particularly frustrating call with his wife, Siddharth decides to take a drive through a forest road, where he crosses paths with a woman and her mute daughter. Sidharthan’s attempts to help the sickly woman leads him down an unexpected path.



From the very opening shot of the film, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan seems to give a gracious hint to audiences that the story of Vazhakk is something much more than a simple quarrel between two people, as its title suggests. Viewers are taken across sweeping shots of raindrops, stars and celestial bodies, mesmerising in its ‘out-of-placeness’, perhaps a commentary on how the problems of a few might amount to nothingness in the vastness of the universe. The brilliance in cinematography continues throughout the entirety of the film, with beautifully filmed long takes that are shot in a way that marry well with the absorbing story.

Vazhakk starts off simple enough. As the camera pans from a long shot of a breathtaking scenic landscape to a car in motion, viewers are introduced to Sidharthan, a lawyer, as he engages in a particularly heated conversation with his estranged wife Lekshmi. The few minutes of conversation between the two give a clear cut picture of the dynamic between the two. While an emotional and frustrated Lekshmi, with a shaking voice, implores Sidharthan to sign divorce papers, the latter’s cold, almost aloof rationalisations sheds light on the stark differences in their personalities, and the problems that led to the duo’s marriage breaking up. The emotionally charged scene, shot in one long take, sets the crux of the story into motion, when Sidharthan takes a drive into a forested area to clear his head.

Sidharthan's aimless drive leads him to cross paths with Sathi, who faints in front of his car as she is leaving her home with her mute daughter. Having his inner samaritan awakened, Sidharthan offers to give a ride to the duo, which soon leads him into something much bigger than he could have anticipated.

Vazhakk’s story seems to be separated into three neat acts, each taking the story across a different plane, and the brilliant writing integrates them all seamlessly. The first sets the stage and fleshes out the characters in a way that is expertly done, in a way that makes viewers know and understand them in a subtle, nuanced way, where no exposition is needed at all. The second is affecting to say the least, rife with intense, stirring moments bolstered by powerful performances by the main cast. Coming to the third, the story takes quite an intriguing and unexpected turn, with an explosive and ambiguous finish that is bound to leave one with more than a few questions. The film’s unconventional form of storytelling, chronicling less than a day in the life of the protagonist, as well as cryptic ending, is incredibly well executed.

Coming to performances, Tovino Thomas as Sidharthan reminds us why he is one of the most sought after actors in the industry today, forgetting himself in the flawed, frustrating character. But the powerhouse performance in the film definitely comes from Kani Kusruti, who portrays Sathi. The duality of the character, who sways from a meek woman at the end of her rope to someone with much more to her than meets the eye, is perfectly captured by Kani, whose skills shine especially in the climactic moments in the film.


Unconventional and affecting, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan offers a riveting watch in the form of Vazhakk, with its brilliant storytelling executed to perfection, powerful performances and spectacular cinematography.

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