A young girl dies in an accident and her ghost starts haunting the guy who tried to save her. What is the connection between these two individuals?
Like in his previous film
begins with someone fighting for their life in the middle of a road and the protagonist trying to save them. However, unlike in that film, this happens in broad daylight and the character dies holding the guy's hand. And the ghost of the dead person starts haunting the house of the guy who wanted to be her saviour.
This is the intriguing set-up of
, which, as is the present trend, is a horror film, but one that is singularly distinctive like its director. It starts out as a horror film but gradually turns into an emotional drama that by the end you consider it less a horror film than an ill-fated romance.
When the protagonist Siddharth (the end credits term him as
) realizes that there is a ghost in his house, he is scared stiff, just like any normal human being. He asks his friend to sleep with him and when the friend is attacked, the two are terrified. They approach a medium and what happens when she does a seance inside the house is one of the movie's highlights — a scene that is both scary and comical. However, Siddharth also realizes who the ghost is — Bhavani, the young girl, who he tried to save. But why does she haunt him? Mysskin reveals the mystery in the second half but rather than being shocked, you will be moved.
The film is filled with Mysskin touches — there are tracking shots and floor-level shots (the restless manner in which the camera moves during a stunt scene that takes place in a subway is thrilling); the score, by debutant Arrol Corelli, is filled with silences and strings; there are visually-challenged people, an old lady; a group of three youngsters (one of them is named Plato) who do nothing but have existential discussions; shots held a beat longer than usual in Tamil films (the interval, in fact, isn't announced with a text — the screen just fades to black).
Mysskin manages to extract commendable performances from the lead pair (Naga, with his mopey hair, feels just right as the confused Siddharth) and for once, veteran Radha Ravi gets a substantial role — as the grief-stricken, revenge-seeking father of Bhavani. The director also gives his 'pissasu' a unique look and the fluidity of the ghost's movement both when it crawls and when it floats is superbly realized. The final revelation (it would be unfair to call this a twist), which involves colour blindness, feels like something that only this director is capable of dreaming up (an earlier scene involving an auto carrying a fatally injured character stopping at the signal, which seemed to suggest black humour just like the one in
where people take photographs of an injured person on the road, gets a different meaning), and it adds to the idiosyncratic nature of the film.
But the film, the second half to be specific, suffers from the same problem as Naga's
. Once we realize the attitude of the ghost towards the protagonist, it takes away quite a bit of the tension. We know he will remain unharmed and so, there is nothing to dread anymore, and horror films need an element of fear to keep the viewer on the edge of the seat. And once the ghost gets a form (after remaining invisible or only partly visible for most parts of the film), we are soon accustomed to it and do not get scared. But, the climax compensates for this by giving us something to care about — two loving hearts, one filled with regret and the other filled with compassion, but destined to stay apart.