Director: Jeetu Joseph
Casts: Kamal Hassan, Gautami, Asha Sarath, Nivedha Thomas, Kalabhavan Mani, Nivedha Thomas, Ester Anil
Music: M. Ghibran
Language: Tamil
Genre: Thriller

Jeetu Joseph might not have imagined that his Malayalam film, Drishyam will make a national tour of remakes when he first helmed it. Ironically the same world-class magic has brought him back to remake it in Tamil, with an equally world-class actor, Kamal Hassan. What is the result of this vital combination?

Suyambulingam (Kamal Hassan), an honest hardworking local cable TV head, leads a normal middle class life with his wife, Rani (Gautami) and two daughters, Selvi (Nivedha Thomas) and Pulimeena (Ester Anil). However, life takes a turn when the son of IG Geeta Prabhakar (Asha Sarath), records a video of Selvi changing during a school trip.
Retreating to the sexual threat from the son, Selvi kills him during a confrontation. How Suyambu rescues his family from this criminal crisis forms the crux of the story.

Story Screenplay
Drishyam worked wonders due to its universal theme that was strongly embedded in it which is family bonding. The sacrificial and fighting spirit of a family was well presented with nail biting thrilling sequences that made the film a classic.

In Papanasam, the same racy screenplay wins over the audience despite touching the three-hour mark. Even though the film takes off slowly, it boasts with well-etched characters and sequences, which get paid off compellingly in the second half. Jeyamohan’s dialogues carrying the Nellai slang, transmits us straight to the village for three hours.

Judging between what is good or bad and legal or illegal is like walking a tight rope. Jeetu Joseph makes a convincing conclusion to the film, emotionally giving a well-balanced shades of the family’s triumph as well as its much-incurred guilt, something that the original version didn’t balance of in detail.  Jeetu’s decision to push the emotional chords in Papansam resulted in a more realistic endnote.

Casting & Performance
Kamal Hassan returns back to his ‘Mahanadhi’ days, donning a shirt and dhoti, representing a common family man of a Tirunelveli village. He carries every scene with nothing but finesse and novelty in his eyes. Be it the bold, relieving stare at the climax scene (seen in the 2nd trailer) or the outburst at the final scene, Kamal never fails to stamp his immense passion and experience in acting. Certainly, Papansam will add to the list of his top films.

Next on the list is Asha Sarath, who proves why she can’t be replaced, by coming up with a brilliant performance especially during the family interrogation scene. Gautami makes a strong comeback after 15 years. She sparkles with realism and shares a great chemistry with Kamal. Nivedha Thomas who missed the opportunity to act in the original, grabs the character intently, coming up with an excellent portrayal of a catalyst character to this engaging thriller.  

The entire cast ensemble passes with distinction, capturing the Nellai nativity slang and gestures convincingly. The ‘competitive nature’ of the star studded casts, significantly makes the film much engaging.


Adding on to the strong script and performances, Papanasam also gets packaged with an excellent technical team.

Music director, Ghibran takes the film forward with his soothing songs, which blend well with the narration, but where he scores the most is the background score. He excellently complements the mood in this edgy trailer, especially during the pivotal climax scene.

Editor Ayoob Kahn cuts and moves each scene with great pace, making the actual length seamless, while cinematographer Sujith brilliantly captures the nativity with natural tones.


Packed with edgy screenplay, great performances and masterstroke directing, Papansam comes out as a detailed, faithful remake of Drishyam.

Verdict: World-class magic, repeated!

Movie Rating:  4/5

Director’s crown – JEETU JOSEPH: 

By Kannan Vijayakumar


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