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'Pizza' an intelligent thriller gone haywire

Posted on Oct 21, 10:17AM | IANS

Film: "Pizza"; Actors: Vijay Sethupathi, Remya Nambeesan, Naren, Jayakumar, Pooja, Simha and Karuna; Director: Karthik Subburaj; Rating: **1/2

"Pizza" could have been a smart and engrossing thriller had the director not included few cliched moments influenced by Hollywood.

What begins as a boring, torturous first half, gradually builds to an exciting second half, followed by an explosive climax. The film is supported by a slow, but crisp screenplay that may not engage initially, however excites one and all, eventually.

Anu, an aspiring horror-novelist, and Michael, a pizza delivery boy, are happily in love with each other. All is well in their haven until all hell breaks loose. Michael, on one of his home-delivery trips, encounters life changing events, which pave way to some unexpected twists and turns in his own life. What happened to Michael during one of his pizza-delivery trips, forms the rest of the story.

Karthik sets the context of the film quite early on, but makes everybody wait long before he introduces some exciting moments in the second half. This wait only leads to frustration among the audiences, who don't appreciate the narrative and even walk out of the theatre disappointed.

The film oscillates between two genres, namely horror and thriller, in a way that at all the times, the audience is either hooked or confused.

The director succeeds in keeping the suspense alive throughout until he decides to break it.

The actors need no special mention because had it not been for an intelligent screenplay, roles enacted by them wouldn't have made any difference.

What doesn't work in the film's favour is the artificial romance between the lead pair, Vijay and Remya. It appears as though the director deliberately built a boring relationship to shift the focus of the audience on the crazy events that unfold in Michael's life.

Had the director cut to the chase few minutes earlier than he did originally, "Pizza" would've been embraced with arms wide open.

Karthik constructs the silliest first half to follow it up with an engrossing second half. As a director, he knows precisely how to bring back life into the film, but his work is heavily influenced by Hollywood, and it is sadly, very evident in the film.

"Pizza" displays signs of a craftily executed thriller, but falls short of satisfaction due to erratic narration.