Vijay Antony knows how to sell a product profitably. He doesn't command a huge fan base, but all his movies opens with houseful shows and infact sustains in the long run. This time he is back with a thriller(or science fiction or horror or revenge story or a message oriented movie or something else). Before writing more, the review may have spoilers, so if you haven't watched the movie and don't want to lose the excitement of watching the movie, you can skip the review.
Director Pradeep Krishnamoorthy should be appreciated for showing his respect for Writer Sujatha. Sujatha's photo is shown in title card and the director says, half the movie is based on writer Sujatha's novel. Thank you Mr.Pradeep, as a Sujatha fan, I was really happy to see the tribute shown to my favorite writer.
Yes, Saithan is based on Sujatha's Aah.. Reading novels itself is an experience. The beauty of reading is, we are left to imagine how the characters and the environment would be. It is not easy for a director to make a movie that can match the expectations of the readers. But Saithan's problems are actually different.
Here, the protagonist(Vijay Antony) is a psychologically disturbed software engineer - Dinesh Kumar. He has a beautiful wife and caring mother. And he has good friends and a caring boss too. Suddenly he starts hearing voices in his head. That voice tells him to commit suicide. He consults a psychiatrist(Kitty) and says, he is not sure of whose voice it is - may be that of God. He speaks about Jayalakshmi teacher and some unknown names. How did he got to know about these people? Who are these people? From where they are? Whose voice is it? Did Dinesh Kumar commit suicide? Is Dinesh really disturbed? Or is he playing pranks with some motive? That is what Saithan is all about.
The script sounds interesting, isn't it? It was a novel written by Writer Sujatha in early 90s. Vijay Antony, as an actor hasn't shown any improvement but his command over box office has grown up to an unimaginable extent. He appears in almost all the scenes and its really unfortunate that he keeps his face rigid throughout the movie. He doesn't even attempt to show different expressions. But the heroine Arundhati Nair has done well.
The director says half the movie was based on Sujatha's novel, but he doesn't say what the other half is. The movie is nothing but rearranging the events in Aah with some stupidity in the name of scientific experience. We are suddenly introduced to a bunch of clowns as villains. Without villains, how can you show our hero is a 'mass'? To be fair, the first half is good, but the second half tests your patience and the climax leaves you disappointed.
Saithan may end up as yet another commercial blockbuster for Vijay Antony. If it happens, he should thank Joe D'Cruz for his clever dialogues and he can pat himself for an engaging background music.
The director has made a mockery of the novel by making Vijay Antony play both Dinesh and Sharma. He hardly makes any impact as either Dinesh or Sharma. The most interesting part of the novel was the way the flashback was narrated. In novel, there was a futurologist, who would hypnotize Dinesh Kumar and find out what he was going through. The psychological disturbance was explained very well(in novel). Aah didn't have villains. In Aah, Dinesh will kill his wife and what follows next is an exciting court sequence, involving the famous Ganesh-Vasanth. I am not sure, whether to complain or feel happy for leaving out this court sequence. Who knows Vijay Antony might have played both Ganesh and Vasanth too, so I should only feel happy.
Dear Pradeep Krishnamoorthy, inspiration is different from what you did. For this, you could have used the novel as such, it still would have worked wonders in box office, I swear. But you will not do.
Commercial cinema needs some 'saithans' like mass elements, transformation scenes,fights, romance, sentiments, songs etc. What could have been an exciting psychological thriller, ends up as an usual mass masala movie because of the saithans mentioned above. Unless and until these 'saithans' are destroyed, we will never get quality movies.
Saithan - strictly for masses. If you are looking for some cleverly written psychological thriller, you would only end up with disappointment.