Suzhal on Amazon Prime: A winning thriller!
It’s Mayyan Kollai festival in the fictional town of Sambaloor. It’s a ten-day-long festival that is celebrated on no moon day in February and March. Nila (which means moon), Silambarasan’s teenage daughter goes missing on the same day, resembling the disappearance of the moon. The entire series is created in such a way that it aligns with the myth of the Mayana Kollai festival. Nandini, Nila’s elder sister, and Silambarasan’s elder daughter coming back to find Nila resembles Goddess Angalamman. Every episode of Suzhal incorporates an event from the ten-day-long festival, making it exciting to watch.
Created by Pushkar-Gayathri (who also gave us thrillers like Vikram Vedha), Suzhal is Amazon Prime’s first Tamil thriller. It is not the first thriller to be set in a small town where everybody knows each other. Drishyam and Mare of Easttown are some of the thrillers which were nestled in a similar small-town setup. But what makes Suzhal different from these can be summarized with a dialog that Sakkarai (played by Kathir) says in the series: “I used to believe that I knew about everyone in this town. But now it feels like I know nothing and no one.” Though from a small town, most of the characters in Suzhal have a story that not even their peer group is aware of. This is the element that creates mystery throughout the series.
On the same night that Nila goes missing, the only factory, Vadde Cements, burns down in a fire accident. Are the two events related in any way? We get to find that out only in the end. Suzhal is not a usual whodunnit thriller. Every episode has our undivided attention with twists and turns in the right amount. The title of the series stands true to the context; Suzhal means spiral, which hints at how everything is twisted like a spiral.
By the end of the seventh episode, it wasn’t difficult to guess what might have happened. But how the story builds up to that point is brilliant. It pays attention to minute details and keeps us invested throughout.
Every actor in Suzhal has been utilized to the best of their capabilities, with everyone fitting their respective parts well. Kathir (who was also seen in Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha) as Sakkarai puts up a strong performance, balancing his character accurately with the emotional connection he has with the case and his duties as a police inspector. Sriya Reddy and Parthiban as the arch-rivals also establish a commanding screen presence. The star of the show is, however, Aishwariya Rajesh, who sweeps the floor with her mesmerizing performance. Her introduction during the procession of Goddess Angalamman is fascinating, as it hints that the Goddess has arrived.
There are several supporting characters who make the most of their limited screen time. Santhana Bharathi as Kothandaraman, an ex-fireman who comes to investigate the fire at the factory brings perfection to his character. Nivedhithaa Sathish as Lakshmi mainly confines herself as Sakkarai’s love interest. Harish Uthaman, the go-to villain for many south Indian movies has several layers to his character, Trilok Vadde, this time.
However, there are several questions that are left unanswered in Suzhal. The bond between Nandini and Nila, and Nila and her father are never shown. What happened to Ammini, the girl who went missing 25 years ago on the day the factory was set up? No conclusion has been given to that as well.
Nonetheless, Suzhal is worth your time and is sure to keep you thoroughly engaged.
Image Courtesy: YouTube