Howard Hawks, the master American film maker once said, “A good movie is three great scenes and no bad scenes”. Vazhakku En 18/9 directed by Balaji Sakthivel and produced by Lingusamy for Thirupathi Brothers is one solid testament to this statement. The gestation period of Vazhakku Enn 18/9 may have been quite long but the product delivered is of excellent quality.
At a time when the audience is bombarded with films that are at an apogee position from reality and societal responsibilities, here is Balaji Sakthivel who springs back with a vengeance and ossifies his position as a director who is adroit in the semiotics of sensitive film making.
Vazhakku Enn 18/9 is a compelling tale about two adolescent boys and girls from different strata of society and how destiny plays havoc despite them not being connected directly. Through his tale, Balaji has effectively thrown the light on today’s younger urban generation’s abuse of technology and its fall outs.
This movie is a must watch for all the young adults especially the fairer sex as it clearly demonstrates the dangers that lurk in the unexpected corners and tells them that they need to have an always alert antenna.
Having said that, Balaji does not make his work appear very preachy or sermonizing. He spreads all his cards on the table and it is for the audience to pick the right one.
The two halves of the film are clearly delineated –the first half about the ‘have-not’s and second half about the ‘have’s. Although the initial scenes of Sri give a déjà vu of Angadi Theru, it subsequently vaporizes as the plot shifts gears. Balaji’s raconteuring is so gripping that he sucks in the audience into his story from the initial moments and keeps them tight in his hold till the end credit rolls.
The characterization is perfect and works well as all the artists are newcomers and come without image trappings. Their sincerity is evident from their portrayal. Muthuraman as inspector Kumaravel comes up trumps as his ways are too enigmatic to fix him to a particular slot. Credit goes to Balaji for this.
Cinematographer Vijay Milton has made the looks of Vazhakku Enn 18/9 very natural although the film is shot digitally. Guitarist Prasanna who makes his debut as music director makes an impression with his refrains without any instruments but at the same time strikes the perfect note with the listeners.
It is not every day that we have a film like Vazhakku Enn 18/9 that is sincere in its objective and execution. Such efforts should definitely be encouraged.
Hosannas first to producer Lingusamy who had the mojo to fund this creative endeavor of Balaji despite the fact that there are absolutely no commercial elements in the product. And hats off to Balaji Sakthivel and his team for delivering a quality product.