Tamil movies usually operate on a few basic storylines that are then bolstered by the
screenplay. The movies differentiate from each other with their screenplays and how
engaging the movie is then depends on the screenplay. But occassionally, we do get a movie
that features a very different story. Jithan, a remake of Hindi film Gaayab,
is one such film. With an invisible man storyline that is quite unique to Tamil cinema,
it stands out from other run-of-the-mill masala films.
Surya(Ramesh), an introverted youth, loves Priya(Pooja), who was his classmate in school
and is now his neighbor. His life at home is made a living hell by his stepmother(Nalini).
One day Surya's life comes crashing down when he realises that Priya doesn't even know he
exists. A dejected Surya finds a statue at the beach and when he laments about his condition,
he turns invisible.
One of the factors that helps Jithan in being entertaining is its unpredictability. The
film doesn't always take the expected route and because of the uniqueness of the storyline, we
are not always able to guess what is going to happen next. So when Ramesh becomes invisible
and starts off scaring Nalini and Mukesh, we think it is going to be a comedy. But thats
not the route it takes. Looking back, I'm glad that the movie took a different route since
the so-called comedy scenes were not done too well. They work well initially since
Ramesh is heady with his power. But scenes like the one where Mukesh meets the
psychiatrist(played by Madan Bob!) are too slapstick.
The changes in Ramesh's character and his actions are quite surprising. Considering his
earlier suffering, his desire to exploit his newfound power is understandable. And the fact
that it is love that drives him to do all those things gives them a certain logic. The
movie doesn't follow many of the Tamil cinema formulae and this keeps it engrossing. The
unpredictability extends to the climax, which manages to be even more surprising since it
is not the same as the original Hindi version.
Just like Sukhran, the arrival of a hero in a guest role slows down
the film. Here its Sarathkumar(after all, its his wife Radhika's production), who plays a cop
assigned to capture Ramesh. His entry shifts the focus from Ramesh to him and that turns out
to be not such a good thing. We get some unnecessary fights and heroics that don't gel with the
rest of the movie. But he's definitely more welcome than 'Kalabhavan' Mani's role though! His
acts seem like an ill-advised attempt at comedy since there is no separate comedy track.
Ramesh starts off quite weakly and seems to overact in scenes where he tries to bring out his
inferiority complex. But he gets better as the movie proceeds and enjoys himself in certain
scenes. Pooja looks gorgeous, especially in the song sequences. She gives a good performance
too. Sarathkumar just struts around in nice clothes. Mani is irritating as usual while
S.V.Sekhar raises a few laughs with his snide comments at his wife. Nalini seems to have
taken over the role of the dominating, harassing wife and Livingston plays the subdued
husband in a low-key manner. Songs are picturized in some nice locations and
Coimbatore... gets top marks for its choreography.