'Pizza', an uniquely titled film, has been evoking interests among Tamizh cinema audiences for its refreshing package and interesting knot by the debutante director, Karthik Subbaraj, a former contestant of 'Naalaiya Iyakkunar' series, which involves the supernatural element. Tamizh cinema has a mediocre record when it comes to the horror genre, but well-made films such as 'Eeram' and 'Yaavarum Nalam', gave hopes for the horror-loving folks. Produced by C.V Kumar who churned 'Attakathi' before this has retained the entire team which worked in 'Attakathi' sans the director ! So, is this movie worth the watch ?
Vijay Sethupathi's ticket to the bigger league in Tamizh cinema is this film, and he has taken his chance very well. A very good performance, it must have been quite arduous for him to perform alone in the frames and he pulls it off, effortlessly. Watch him being vulnerable and frightened in the bungalow scenes ! With more challenging projects, this man will definitely climb the ladder of fame and success in Tamizh cinema. Remya Nambeesan, plays a girl-next-door role with modern approaches and she does her part quite well, ably assisting Vijay Sethupathi. The entire supporting cast including Naren, Karuna, Jayakumar, Simha, Pooja, paint artist Veera Santhanam, Kavithasri were very realistic in their portrayals.
Karthik Subbaraj should be applauded for capitalizing the talents of fantastic technicians. The sound designing, which is a very integral part in a horror genre, was brilliantly done with Vishnu Govind and Raja Krishnan doing the mixing and designing. But the main attraction of the sound designing, was the incorporation of Studio 301 Inc, which is based in Australia and also the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The contributions of Sandro Costantino, Phil Hartl, a master violinist, and Leon Zervos, the sound mastering engineer, whom, have several Oscar and BAFTA nominations as well as several Grammy awards to their credits, that too on a 7.1 surround sound system ! Dhilip Subbarayan's stunt scenes, be it the one shot in the bungalow or on the street-side was very realistic and natural. T.Ramalingam's art work was very neat and contemporary, be it the interiors of the bungalow house or the small-spaced quarters of the lead pair. Leo John Paul's editing is a big asset to the film, because he keeps the screenplay riveting and suspenseful. The transition during the dark, haunted portions were smooth and non-disruptive to the flow of the film. Gopi Amarnath's cinematography was wonderful. His framing for the romance portions were very subtle in nature, but his real talent was evident during the haunted portions, which has no lighting except from the emanated from the torchlight ! Also, the camera movement was smooth and not dizzying, which was a relief for the viewers. Great work by Gopi !
Santhosh Narayanan, who shot to fame with 'Attakathi' tries different genres of music in this film. "Mogathirai", a very blues type of song was well picturized, capturing the romantic moments of the lead pair, and the framing of the camera by Gopi Amarnath during the rain portions were beautiful, with slow motion technique. "Rathiri" and "Engo Odugindrai" were used more of like a background score, with the former appearing during the first half and the latter during the climax. 'Gaana' Bala pulls of a song which is total alien to him, genre-wise which has a very jazz and blues feel to it, which is titled "Dhinakku". The song features as a ringtone in the film and is also played during the end-credits. The background score was very subtle and fresh from Santhosh Narayanan and he efficiently uses the creepy silence factor during the scary portions.
Karthik Subbaraj's, screenplay was a little slow during the first half, which takes its time to introduce the viewers, to the characters and their dilemmas. But the sequences were penned in an interesting manner, with subtle comic situations and pleasant romance scenes. But he showed his talent and capacity in handling the scary portions very, very well and the shocking climax portion, which has a major twist for the audience, is a true sucker punch ! Brilliant screenplay writing by Karthik !! Though the story, written together with Prasad Ramar, was very simple, but the screenplay was very smartly written by Karthik, which brings a sigh of relief and also smile to the viewers ! The chemistry between the lead pair though, lacks the fire in it and the overall movie leaves a short-film like feel to the viewers, but these are just minor weaknesses in the film, which can be overlooked.
'Pizza' is definitely a must-watch for the audiences and Karthik Subbaraj is a talent to look out for !! The smart screenplay leaves us guessing in the first half, which leads us to a relieving but shocking climax ! Welcome to Tamizh cinema, Karthik Subbaraj !!
Ratings: 3.5/5 STARS