A well-written screenplay, brilliantly executed, with clever music, stunning cinematography, and, above all, the hugely talented Kamal Haasan, make Jeethu Joseph's Papanasam a must watch, writes S Saraswathi.
Papanasam is the Tamil remake of Jeethu Joseph's Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam.
The film has already been successfully remade in Telugu and Kannada, and the Hindi version will hit the screens later this month.
Kamal Haasan reprises the role made memorable by Mohanlal in the original, while Gautami Tadimalla, his real-life partner, plays the female lead.
The film is directed by Jeethu Joseph. It portrays the crafty intelligence of a lowly villager who will stop at nothing to protect his family.
Suyambu Lingam (Kamal Haasan) is a primary school dropout who runs a cable TV service in the small town of Papanasam.
His family comprises his lovely wife Rani (Gauthami) and two young girls, Selvi (Niveda Thomas) and Meena (Esther Anil).
Most of the first half of the film is dedicated to showing the beautiful bond shared by the family.
Lighthearted and funny, the film moves along lazily until suddenly tragedy strikes the happy family.
A fun school camp turns into a nightmare for Selvi, who is secretly filmed while taking a shower. The creep then brazenly walks into her house to blackmail her.
Things turn ugly; Selvi whacks him on the head and unintentionally kills him.
It turns out that the man Selvi has accidentally killed is the son of an inspector general of police, Geetha Prabhakar (Asha Sarath) and she will not rest until she finds the killer.
Asha Sarath played the same character in the Malayalam and Kannada versions and is a worthy adversary to the versatile Kamal Haasan.
How Suyambu manages to stay one step ahead of the entire police force, thanks to his crazy love for films, forms the rest of the story.
Director Jeethu Joseph has chosen the perfect cast to breathe new life into his winning script.
Kamal Haasan takes the film to a whole new level. He seems to emote just as much with his body, eyes and expression as with the clever dialogues.
There is not one scene that portrays him as anything but an ordinary man whose family is caught in a terrible ordeal.
Even after a long break Gauthami smoothly slides into her character as a loving and caring mother. Totally at ease with each other, the two share a wonderful onscreen chemistry.
Others like Kalabhavan Mani as a rogue cop, M S Bhaskar as Kamal's well wisher, and youngsters Niveda Thomas and Esther Anil, are all equally impressive.
Ghibran's music, and cinematography by Sujith Vaassudev, quietly blend in while adding an intensity that draws you into every frame, empathising with the characters.
It is the realism in the story and characters that keeps you totally captivated.
A well-written screenplay, brilliantly executed, with clever music, stunning cinematography, and, above all, the hugely talented Kamal Haasan, make Jeethu Joseph's Papanasam a must watch.