Visithiran Movie Review: RK Suresh shines in this faithful remake
The performances and earnesty in storytelling make this film a worthy experience
It is clearly the season of remakes in Tamil cinema, and in the past three weeks, we have seen four Malayalam films making their way to our screens in their Tamil versions. The latest to join this interesting list is Visithiran, a rather faithful remake of the Joju George-starrer Joseph (2018).
Remakes are generally of two types -- one where the core plot is taken and adapted to suit the sensibilities of the native audience, and the other where it's a scene-by-scene retelling. Visithiran, which is helmed by M Padmakumar who also directed the original, falls in the latter category.
Cast: RK Suresh, Poorna, Ilavarasu, Bhagavathi Perumal
Director: M Padmakumar
Maayan (RK Suresh) is a retired police constable, who lives the life of a loner after the death of his daughter. Even though age has caught up with him, his policing skills are as sharp as ever. The police department too often seeks the service of Maayan, who is an expert in examining crime scenes and cracking cases. We are introduced to his abilities in a sequence where he cracks a double homicide case in quick time. This lays a strong foundation for us to trust in Maayan and his instincts, as he is forced to embark on another all-encompassing truth-seeking journey that forms the rest of the film.
The narrative, which might give the feel of moving sluggishly, gets rolling soon after the death of Maayan's ex-wife Stella. With an emotionally stirring flashback, we know why Maayan is not the moustache-twirling, khaki-clad, fit-as-a-fiddle cop anymore. It is impressive how RK Suresh evolves into the stoic Maayan from being the sprightly one. Be it the body language, the costume choices, or the gait, Suresh brings authenticity to the role. It is a measured performance from the actor, who was only known for his loud performances so far. While the efforts put in by the actor are evident, his performance only gets better as the film progresses. He is ably supported by fine acts from Poorna, Ilavarasu, and Bhagavathi Perumal. Poorna, despite her limited screen time, manages to make a lasting impression.
While a remake of a film like Joseph would have worked better if it was adapted to local sensibilities rather than being a shot-by-shot remake, the film does have its share of high points. However, certain aspects, for instance, the dialogues by John Mahendran fail to convey Maayan's trauma and helplessness. In a rather verbose film like Visithiran, the lack of punch or maturity in the dialogues acts as a dampener of sorts. But to give credit where it's due, Visithiran steers clear of unnecessary fillers or over-the-top moments in the name of 'making it more appealing'. Towards the end, it also delivers an important message without overplaying the drama. So, overall it does seem like a fair balance.
With a lot going for it, especially RK Suresh's performance and the earnestness in storytelling, Visithiran is definitely one of the better remakes to come our way hitting not only the same highs of the original but resorting to similar lows.