Not every film manages to leave an impact on you with its neatly designed characters and compelling sequences
A still from Chithha
Story: A young government employee gets the shock of his life when his niece goes missing. He gets to know that a child abuser has kidnapped her, thanks to the investigation carried out by cops. However, he is clueless about other details of the school-going kid. Despite a surge in alarming cases of child abuse in the small town, he is quite hopeful of finding the kid. Torn between pacifying his sister-in-law and coming to terms with reality, he decides to do something that leaves his near and dear ones stunned.
Review: Director SU Arun Kumar, who has a knack for balancing emotions and thrills in the right proportion, is at it again with his latest outing. Unlike his previous movies, Chithha deals with a sensitive issue that requires fine execution in terms of narration and performance.
The life of Eswaran (Siddharth), a government employee in Palani, revolves around her niece Settai (Sahasra Sree). The former enjoys being the Chithha aka Chithappa (father's brother) to the latter and the duo shares a heartwarming relationship. As Eswaran's brother is no more, he enjoys the responsibility of being Settai's guardian.
The small town of Palani gradually witnesses a surge in the number of child abuse cases and Eswaran is accused of one such crime. After he comes to terms with the ghastly reality of being a suspect in such an incident, little did he anticipate that he would face the biggest shock of his life.
Settai goes missing - she is kidnapped by a child abuser - there aren't many details on the perpetrator. How is Eswaran going to cope with the news?
The biggest challenge for the makers while narrating a plot like this is to keep the audience on the edge of their seats and make them empathize with the lead characters. Arun Kumar manages to do it convincingly till the end, offering a satisfying experience to viewers.
The core emotion behind the story is the relationship between the characters essayed by Siddharth and Sahasra Sree. This has been beautifully executed and their natural performances complement the engaging narrative style. Nimisha Sajayan and Anjali Nair among others complement the screenplay with their flawless portrayals.
Not every film manages to leave an impact on you with its neatly designed characters and compelling sequences. With Chithha, Arun Kumar proves how characters with minimal screen space could entertain you with their histrionics. It also delves into the various psychology behind those who survived physical abuse.
The makers succeed in striking a balance between engaging the audience with effective narration and leaving an ever-lasting impact on them whenever the topic of abuse is discussed in a few sequences.
The incompetence of our system, loopholes in parenting and various ways with which we react to sensational issues are a few things the movie has touched upon in a captivating manner without being preachy. Vishal Chandrashekhar's background score and Balaji Subramanyam's cinematography enhance the overall experience.
Verdict: Chithha is one of the must-watch films of the year, thanks to the terrific performances from lead actors, intriguing screenplay and the originality with which a sensitive subject is handled.