Running Time: 109 minutes
India Release Date: 5th June 2015
In a tiny concrete-and-tin Chennai home live two young brothers with their mother and grandmother. The boys constantly beg their mother and grandmother for toys they can’t afford, and even for a television. They don’t yet understand that the two women can’t give them everything they want. When their mother does find a way to bring an old television home, it’s the opening of a portal. The boys see a pizza commercial whose steaming, slow-motion images make the unfamiliar food look like manna from heaven. And from that point on, they dream of nothing but getting their first taste of pizza.
Review: A masterpiece PIZZA slice (National Award Winning Film) from wedding photographer turned director: M Manikandan and jointly produced by Dhanush & Vetrimaaran, is light and enjoyable in parts.
Overall: A masterpiece PIZZA slice from wedding photographer turned director: M Manikandan and jointly produced by Dhanush & Vetrimaaran, showcase the daily life marathon ran by kids staying in slums; ALERT: this is not a sequel of Slumdog Millionaire. Film starts off by establishing their impoverished environment – Father is in prison, their mother works in a factory, their grandmother keeps an eye on them during the day, and they collect shards of coal and sell it for tiny amounts of money to help out. The film is nice and light for the most part, and quite enjoyable but takes more erratic narrative turns when story mixes it with politics and (which was unwanted). Lame ending is another major spoil spot of the film. One’s expectation from such plot is to take away a lesson but film ends with stereotype style leaving audience in dilemma. Director could have devised a mechanism for different climax keeping original theme in mind.
Performances: Two kids / Real life brothers viz: Vignesh and Ramesh steal the show along with their on-screen mother, Ishhwarya Rajesh, who has delivered her performance as per the expectation of the script. Supporting actors: kids’ grandmother and the person helping the boys to collect charcoal at the railway tracks, have delivered good.
Technical Review: Screenplay is enjoyable and interesting at the same time. Music by G.V. Prakash Kumar delivers soul-stirring music that elevates the overall outlook of the film. Editing is crisp and sharp. Manikandan’s Cinematogrpahy has got shots alive on screen keeping the mood and tone of the film in sync with the theme.
PDF Verdict: A Rare Film packed with technical brilliance and a strong theme, lacks the Midas Touch by mixing different ideas. First time director partially delivers this slice of life to its audience. Had it been baked little more, film would have been more crispy and edible.
Ratings: 3 on 5
Performance: 4 on 5
Script: 2 on 5
Screenplay: 3.5 on 5
Music: 4 on 5
Cinematography: 4 on 5
The film was selected to be screened at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and had its world premiere on September 5, 2014, where it received a standing ovation. It became the first film by a debut Tamil director to have its world premiere at Toronto since the festival’s inception in 1976.