Of late, it has been raining web series in Kollywood. Suzhal: The Vortex is the latest addition to the list. Directors Pushkar – Gayathri who gave Tamil cinema the sensational commercial product Vikram Vedha are the creators of the series. The series revolves around a minor girl from a town who goes missing, and while investigating the case dark and dreadful revelations about the town sees daylight. Actor Kathir who was last seen in a cameo in Akka Kuruvi is back on screens with the crime thriller Suzhal: The Vortex. Actress Aishwarya Rajesh has essayed the female lead role. Veteran actor R. Parthiban has played a crucial part. So, how has the series come out? Have writers Pushkar – Gayathri packed Suzhal: The Vortex with the twists and turns that their previous work Vikram Vedha had? To know that let us get into the series review.
Suzhal: The Vortex is set in the backdrop of a fictional industrial town of Sambaloor located in the Nilgiris District. The series opens with the entire town being involved in celebrating a peculiar ritual called Maayana Kollai (graveyard looting), which is offered to the goddess Angalamman. People paint their face with the image of deity, and tell stories about the god through plays and songs. While the ritual is underway, a cement factory that employs many people in the town is completely sabotaged by a raging fire. On the same day, Nila (Gopika Ramesh), the younger child of the worker’s union leader Shamugham (R. Parthiban), goes missing. Both the incidents are briefed to Regina Thomas (Sriya Reddy), the circle inspector. She along with the assistance of sub inspector Sakkarai (Kathir) set out to find the missing girl, and the reason for the sudden outbreak of fire in the factory.
In the initial investigation, Shamugham comes under the suspicion radar. The cops play out a theory that Shamugham has set fire to the factory, and in order to divert the attention of people from it, he has concealed his daughter somewhere. Further investigation points to involvement of Adhisayam (Fredrick Jhonson), the son of Regina Thomas. The news triggers commotion, and makes life difficult for Regina. While there are so many things unfolding around the case, Sakkarai takes forward the investigation along with Nandhini (Aishwarya Rajesh), the elder sister of Nila. Will Sakkarai and Nandhini unearth the truth behind the cases and reinstate harmony in the town, is what makes the rest of the web series.
There is nothing fancy about Suzhal: The Vortex. Nothing we have not already witnessed. So, what makes the series interesting? The craft. It is the sound execution of what is on the paper to the visual medium that propels the series to the entertaining ground. In that sense, directors Bramma G and Anucharan Murugaiyan exhibit great promise. Creators Pushkar – Gayathri yet again flaunt their prowess in narrating a story. Suzhal: The Vortex straight away gets to the business, it opens with a crime, instantly luring us into its universe. At first, we felt like strangers. But it gradually feeds us with details of the traditions of its world, and introduces us to the characters in it on a surface level. Holding us in the dark, prompting us to keep playing out possible scenarios. We follow its lead. When we begin to think that we have marked out our culprit, it bamboozles us with either a red herring or a least predictable twist in the tale.
The characters in Suzhal: The Vortex are refreshing to watch. They are not just written as throwaway beings. Almost every character in the universe enfold in them more than what meets the eye. Adding to the mystery. On the downside, Suzhal: The Vortex has its whole focus on the investigation of the crime, and the message it intends to drive home. In that mission, it leaves the relationship between the characters out of focus. For instance, while investigating the case Nandhini gazes at a selfie that she snapped with her sister from time to time. That is all the detail we get about the relationship that the sisters shared. Not just them. But the relationship between that of Shamugham and Nila, Regina Thomas and Adhisayam are not established well either. This hinders us from getting to experience the emotional quotient of the characters. Yet, as the twists and turns are cleverly calculated and placed at right moment, Suzhal: The Vortex surfaces as a solid crime thriller.
One of the biggest strengths of Suzhal: The Vortex is its casting. Actor Kathir is impressive and pulls off his part effortlessly. He has got under the skin of his character and has infused life in to it. Actress Aishwarya Rajesh needs no saying. She does complete justice to her role. Veteran actor R. Parthiban is effective as usual. Actress Sriya Reddy who returns to acting after a long gap is exceptional. Actor Elango Kumaravel does his part to perfection. Actor Harish Uthaman with an effective performance. Actor Fredrick Jhonson is functional. Actress Gopika Ramesh lives up to her part. Actors Nivedhithaa Sathish, Indumathy Manikandan, Latha Rao, Yusuf Hussain, Nitish Veera, Santhana Bharathi, Mekha Rajan, Palani Murugan, and Soundarya, have all chipped in and done their part well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Sam C S’s tracks add value to the series. His stellar background score blends so well with the mood of the series. Cinematographer Mukeswaran has done a fine job in capturing the scenic nature of the region and the emotions of the artists aiding to build the mysterious tone of the series. Even the color and angles deployed are impressive. Editor Richard Kevin’s sharp scissor work has further emphasized the arty work of his colleague.
On the whole, despite its flaws Pushkar – Gayathri’s Suzhal: The Vortex is a fairly entertaining crime thriller that would make for a worthy time killer.
Suzhal: The Vortex is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video OTT platform.