Pithamagan Tamil Movie
It's a much hyped, much expected film of director Bala after his 'Sethu' and and 'Nanda', particularly since it brings together Vikram and Surya who had acted in the director's earlier films and got a new lease of life in their careers. It's an off-beat, sensitive and a serious film, which may lack in commercial ingredients but which a discerning viewer will find a welcome change.
It centres round four main characters whom circumstances bring together in a bonding. Chithan (Vikram) orphaned at birth, the graveyard his home, where he burns bodies. A recluse, his feelings numbed, his expressions and behaviour animal-like, Chithan is possessed of superhuman strength. For Vikram, Chithan again after 'Sethu' is a role that showcases his immense talent. Using his whole body language and expression to good effect, Vikram brings the character to life and maintains its consistency till the end. Considering that the character has barely any dialogue, it was no doubt a difficult and challenging role for the actor.
In total contrast is the character of Sakthi, (Surya), an extrovert and a live wire, conning people and eking out his living, Manju being one of his victims. Circumstances bring Chithan and Sakthi together in jail, and it is Sakthi's caring and affection that creates a thawing in Chithan, he turning protective about Sakthi. Surya is a revelation here, a live-wire on screen with his fast-changing expressions.
The director has extracted a good performance from Laila who earlier had been used only as a glamour doll. The rage and fury when conned by Sakthi adds a touch of humour to her scenes. And the fear and terror, when Sakthi towards the end is brutally attacked by the local big-wig's men, is projected well by the actress.
And finally there's Gomathy, a ganja-seller (Sangeetha), who develops a soft corner for Chithan, gives him shelter, and a job of transporting ganja from the local bigwig's fields. Sangeetha, neglected by the Tamil film industry, gets a fresh lease of life through this film, aquitting herself creditably.
An unnecessary distraction is the entire Simran episode, where the actress plays herself. It seemed like the director was buying time, not quite sure how to take his narration further. But then the director gets his grip back, and moves his story to a fitting tragic finale. An unusual film for a discerning viewer.