Watch Kids' Reviews of
MUGIZH

What to know: A wonderful reminder that not people are cut of the same cloth and that we do share a sentient understanding of love.
MUGIZH is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-12
60 minutes
FeatureFilm
SPP BHASKARAN
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MUGIZH cover image
The Indian feature film, Mugizh is a breath of fresh air, filled with cultural information and psychological intrigue. The dialogue is in Tamil with English subtitles and I loved it. The gentle rollout of emotional reactions to upsetting dynamics gives the viewer an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of, not just Indian family life, but of what it means to be a compassionate human being.

The story follows Kavya (Shreeja Vijay Sethupathi, a 12-year-old girl and an only child in an Indian family as she overcomes her fears with the help of her father (Vijay Sethupathi). Once she blossoms she learns that there are other risks to life and love that must be comprehended. Mugizh is about a family's life journey, where each member finds a new fragrance that changes the prism they view of life forever.

I like all of the characters, even with their flaws; each one is beautifully expressed by the actor and the director manages their interpretations of the story very well. In a small way I dislike the prolonged amount of time spent depicting the family's sorrow over their loss, which makes the story become slow and extended. An argument could be made that it is necessary to deepen the drama.

The cinematography is excellent; it offers realistic images to support emotions without words, while endearing characters, including the dogs, to viewers. The puppy shots and embraces between family members made me fall in love with everyone in this family. The costumes, beautifully and simply reveal the dress of current day in middle class India. They are age appropriate, with a natural elegance of at-home wear for the Indian mother, Radhika, plus typical attire for the children at school and what the father, Vijay, wears to work. The costume designs are so well thought out that one hardly notices them, except in a visually pleasing way. Most of the film is set in an urban middle class location, which is actually part of the storyline. For example, the second story window is used as a measurement of passing time and growth for the dog - as we observe it from being a tiny pup to a teenage dog, as Scobby goes from being unable to see who is entering the veranda to being able to spot people as he looks down at them entering the home. The street also serves as a stage where Kavya reveals her fear of animals and finally experiences the story's climactic tragedy. This compact set design all happens in a small, well selected envelope.

The music paves the way for so many loving and despairing feelings. Song lyrics match the moods of the narrative and underscore the tempo of the film. I love the Indian lyrics and harmonies elegantly placed to help viewers empathize. Where there is no music, it is intentional and equally effective, although it drops out without sound effects, breaking the flow at times. Instrumentation is a modern mix of primarily western instruments like guitar, accordion and piano. Toward the end a more eastern flavor arises, using flutes and breathy singing. Ambient synthesizer sounds and whistling also fill the audio to emphasize anticipation or joy. As a film composer I enjoyed the music tremendously as it lifted spirits with harmony and magic.

The character development begins when daughter, Kavya, mother (Regina Cassandra) and father stroll down their neighborhood street setting the stage for conflict and resolutions to come. The mother often plays the antagonist as she reacts emotionally to her daughter, and they make the conflict intense, needing to be resolved by the father. By the end of the film I had a strong sense of what this family was like.

It is clear that the producers and director have superb sensitivity toward the topic matter and the actors. Although the topic matter may be viewed by older children as simplistic and the production design and costumes, ordinary, the meaning of this film is profoundly instructive and compassionate. In the face of everyday ups and downs, the importance of empathy and nurturance to all people who suffer the bitter sweet existence of life is epic. My favorite parts of the film are when the father resolves emotional issues with his wife and daughter by getting a puppy for Kavya. I also love the music throughout!

The message of this film is that patience, experience and love can resolve almost any problems that arise in the course of time.

I give Mugizh 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. It is a wonderful reminder that not all parents or children are cut from the same cloth and that all people share a sentient understanding of love. It is educational, multicultural, spiritual and addresses grief. By Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

The Indian feature film, Mugizh is a breath of fresh air, filled with cultural information and psychological intrigue. The dialogue is in Tamil with English subtitles and I loved it. The gentle rollout of emotional reactions to upsetting dynamics gives the viewer an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of, not just Indian family life, but of what it means to be a compassionate human being.

The story follows Kavya (Shreeja Vijay Sethupathi, a 12-year-old girl and an only child in an Indian family as she overcomes her fears with the help of her father (Vijay Sethupathi). Once she blossoms she learns that there are other risks to life and love that must be comprehended. Mugizh is about a family's life journey, where each member finds a new fragrance that changes the prism they view of life forever.

I like all of the characters, even with their flaws; each one is beautifully expressed by the actor and the director manages their interpretations of the story very well. In a small way I dislike the prolonged amount of time spent depicting the family's sorrow over their loss, which makes the story become slow and extended. An argument could be made that it is necessary to deepen the drama.

The cinematography is excellent; it offers realistic images to support emotions without words, while endearing characters, including the dogs, to viewers. The puppy shots and embraces between family members made me fall in love with everyone in this family. The costumes, beautifully and simply reveal the dress of current day in middle class India. They are age appropriate, with a natural elegance of at-home wear for the Indian mother, Radhika, plus typical attire for the children at school and what the father, Vijay, wears to work. The costume designs are so well thought out that one hardly notices them, except in a visually pleasing way. Most of the film is set in an urban middle class location, which is actually part of the storyline. For example, the second story window is used as a measurement of passing time and growth for the dog - as we observe it from being a tiny pup to a teenage dog, as Scobby goes from being unable to see who is entering the veranda to being able to spot people as he looks down at them entering the home. The street also serves as a stage where Kavya reveals her fear of animals and finally experiences the story's climactic tragedy. This compact set design all happens in a small, well selected envelope.

The music paves the way for so many loving and despairing feelings. Song lyrics match the moods of the narrative and underscore the tempo of the film. I love the Indian lyrics and harmonies elegantly placed to help viewers empathize. Where there is no music, it is intentional and equally effective, although it drops out without sound effects, breaking the flow at times. Instrumentation is a modern mix of primarily western instruments like guitar, accordion and piano. Toward the end a more eastern flavor arises, using flutes and breathy singing. Ambient synthesizer sounds and whistling also fill the audio to emphasize anticipation or joy. As a film composer I enjoyed the music tremendously as it lifted spirits with harmony and magic.

The character development begins when daughter, Kavya, mother (Regina Cassandra) and father stroll down their neighborhood street setting the stage for conflict and resolutions to come. The mother often plays the antagonist as she reacts emotionally to her daughter, and they make the conflict intense, needing to be resolved by the father. By the end of the film I had a strong sense of what this family was like.

It is clear that the producers and director have superb sensitivity toward the topic matter and the actors. Although the topic matter may be viewed by older children as simplistic and the production design and costumes, ordinary, the meaning of this film is profoundly instructive and compassionate. In the face of everyday ups and downs, the importance of empathy and nurturance to all people who suffer the bitter sweet existence of life is epic. My favorite parts of the film are when the father resolves emotional issues with his wife and daughter by getting a puppy for Kavya. I also love the music throughout!

The message of this film is that patience, experience and love can resolve almost any problems that arise in the course of time.

I give Mugizh 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. It is a wonderful reminder that not all parents or children are cut from the same cloth and that all people share a sentient understanding of love. It is educational, multicultural, spiritual and addresses grief. By Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

Kavya a 12-year-old girl embraces solitude and exists like an island within herself. Her parents decide to make inroads into that island, wanting her to face her fears head-on. Being completely aware that the 'doggie zone' is a realm that is completely out of bounds for her, they still go ahead and bring a puppy home. Well, what transpires when this darling monster steps into this household? Does the wall within Kavya break, and when this decision of the parents backfires, do demons pile up adding to the already existing fears within Kavya? Or does this mammoth experience transform her, and does it propel her to blossom, exuding the first ever enriching fragrance of life? Her parents are at the threshold of assessing their parental skills and decisions. ' Mughizh', is about a family's life journey, where each member finds a new fragrance that would change the prism they view life for posterity.
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