Film - Saithan
Director - Pradeep Krishnamurthy
Cast - Vijay Antony, Arundhati Nair, YG Mahendra, Kittty, Charuhaasan, Murugadas.
Pushing the frontier each time, both by way of his performance and choice of scripts and roles, Vijay Antony’s films have been refreshing and different from the routine formula-stuff. After the eminently watchable Pitchaikaaran, the music composer-turned actor now steps into the horror-suspense genre.
Adapted from Sujatha Rangarajan’s novel Aaah, the plot includes elements like hallucination, illusion, past-life and a dose of crime. Though towards the closing moments it does seem like the director had a trying time blending the various shades and tying the various knots into a coherent whole.
The film opens with Dinesh (Antony), an IT professional undergoing treatment from a psychiatrist (Kitty). As he narrates his past under hypnosis, we get to see his life’s journey in bits and pieces. Of his marriage to Aishwaria (Nair); of their harmonious life; and of the bizzare happenings that disrupt it. Dinesh’s strange behaviour, as he hears voices and wonders whether it was hallucination, illusion or symptoms of schizophrenia, generate interest and a curiosity as to the direction the narration would take.
Antony renders an inspired performance, tackling with finesse the various nuances of expressions as Dinesh goes through the turbulent journey of self-discovery. And when the film falters in the latter part, it is Antony’s intensity and consistency that holds it together. Arundhati Nair has a performance oriented role and reveals her emotional prowess. Seasoned actors like YG Mahendra as Dinesh’s supportive boss and Kitty, lend conviction to their characters.
After interval, the plot shifts to Thanjavur where Dinesh travels to solve a puzzling mystery. The crisply narrated backstory here takes one to a different time period. The director doesn’t let the suspense-quotient slacken as he changing track, generates different moods. Though, one does get a disjointed feel when the plot shifts from after-life to the pharmaceutical-scenario, the screenplay turning a tad messy here.
The technical crew has contributed in bringing the director’s vision on to screen. The moody lighting, a suitable background score and the catchy well placed songs (Antony) help sustain the feel. Taking just about 124 minutes of viewing time, Saithan is a refreshing and a fairly watchable entertainer.