It takes guts and gumption to stitch an icy thriller with the tapestry of commercial cinema. It takes an ability almost bordering on genius to pull it off. Take a bow Gautham & Co, you have just pulled off a memorable coup as Pachai Killi Muthucharam is an over two-hour non-stop excitement that pins you down to your chair (albeit on the edge of it).
This glossy and gritty, slick and stylized in typical Gautham's style of fast-cut narrative, is an answer to all those who demand their entertainment to be intelligent and interesting. The story, the performance, the presentation and the entire everything belongs to top-drawer and those associated with the film can take pride that they have done something worthy.
Gautham is one director who marries substance with shine and here does it with his usual panache. His skill over the medium becomes evident right from the slanting lights and the dark corners that are pregnant with the greyness of life. Medium apart, Gautham is also very good with men and women, so to say as he has got the best out of his acting team. Sarath in a near-life character after a long time shows that he is no one-trick pony. And what do you say of Jyothika. You may think that she reserves her best for Gautham. She is too good in a character that is complex and compelling in its contradictions. Gautham's success lies in elevating an every-day tale to a believable drama. The shell of the story is, as Gautham has mentioned, is Derailed, the book. But the core is Gautham's own ingenuity and improvisations.
When you see a movie like Pachai Kili Muthucharam it exposes the hollow talk of many directors and producers that they make movies under a lot of commercial compulsions. Make no mistake Pachai Kili Muthucharam is a commercial entertainer but is filled with all the right stuff that at no point you feel bored.
Gautham, as ever, sticks to his high technical standards and makes the mood and moment come alive with all its intriguing possibilities. The plebeian Chennai of trains and dust, of crowd and clamour get an artistic edification in Gautham (and cameraman Aravind Krishna's) eyes.
To talk of the story of such an interesting thriller would be wrong and unforgivable. But the broad story line is contoured around Venakatesh (Sarath Kumar). He is so every-day like that he maybe your neighbour. A contended man, who doesn't stir beyond the comfort zone of his regimented life. The work and domesticity are his bliss. His life is simple and sweet and revolves around Kalyani (Andrea), his wife. The sweetness of their life is their son Nanda. Sweetness should not be the word here as Nanda is diagnosed as suffering from diabetics.
And soon enough color goes out of their lives and a steely monochrome replaces it. Venky and Kalyani, though bound by their domestic compulsions, drift apart inexorably. Their comfort zone, at least in the mind, is shaken. It is at this juncture that Venky espies Geetha (Jyothika).
She comes into his life in the train that carries to and back to the city. It is in the rattle of rickety train that his own life becomes rickety and rattled. There is a forbidden charm to Geetha's quiet beauty. Her eyes carry the bait that no man can escape. Venky slips very badly. The dark menace of blackmail starts. And then? By who? Why?
Well it is a question mark after question marks as Gautham rings in the changes like a master sorcerer. The surprise is in every scene and every change. The script gets a sharper edge with dialogues that are real and reasonable.
'Pachchai Killi Muthucharam' is the remake of the Hollywood flick 'Derailed' and Gautham seems to have brought about the much needed gripping factor.