Puriyatha Puthir (Mystifying puzzle)
What will happen if your personal photographs saved in your mobile phone gets into the wrong hands? What are the consequences especially if you are woman? This is what ‘Puriyatha Puthir’ deals with.
It is not a preachy film, and it is not a documentary either. It has its commercial elements and a story which is beautifully woven around the protagonist Kathir, played by Vijay Sethupathi and the female lead Gayathrie.
The film starts with a girl clad in white shalwar committing suicide by leaping off the top of an apartment building.
Kathir (Vijay Sethupathi) is an aspiring music director and works part time at a music store owned by a friend. He comes across Meera (Gayathrie) for the first time on the road where she is in the bus and he is on his motorbike. They bump into each other quite a few times eventually start talking and texting. As expected, they end up falling in love.
Things change a bit after Meera’s roommate goes out of town for a few months. Meera frequently feels that she is being followed by someone to her apartment and informs Kathir about it.
Things take a different turn when Kathir receives private images of Meera. Kathir quickly calls back the number from which he had received the image, but fails as the phone is switched off. He then receives another message which contains a video of Meera trying out a new outfit in a shop. Kathir rushes to the store and picks a fight with the manager.
Meera who is clueless as to why Kathir is behaving weird questions him. But he evades her questions until they reach her apartment complex where he picks up a fight with a group of boys assuming that they are filming Meera with a mobile phone.
Meera, unable to handle the situation, tells that she would not budge an inch till he explains what was bothering him. He eventually tells her and she is devastated. She attempts suicide but is saved by Kathir who admits her to hospital. There too he sees someone peeping into her ward and chases him unsuccessfully.
Meera then moves in with Kathir for safety reasons. Things go smooth for a few days until he receives another text with a video of Meera having a shower. He frantically calls her and instructs her to check every room and to stay indoors and tells her that he would be home in a few minutes.
It starts to rain
He then receives a text saying that the said video would be uploaded on the internet if he does not do what he is told. Kathir has no choice but to say yes. He is instructed by text to remove all his clothes, don a raincoat, provided by the stalker, and stand for ten minutes on a bridge buzzing with people.
As he stands motionless, he realizes that the paint on the raincoat was being washed off by the rain and that his nakedness was being exposed gradually. Eventually the passersby pass remarks and make efforts to avoid him. By the tenth minute he receives a message, “Now you understand how it is to be shamed in public.”
He returns home to Meera who had been waiting for him. Meera bombards Kathir with questions to which the latter has no answer. Meera returns to her old apartment, but is kidnapped by the stalker. Kathir who goes in search of her sees that the door is locked and finds her belongings near the lift. He calls her phone and hears it ring inside the apartment across the corridor and breaks its door open. Kathir finds Meera tied up and bruised and rescues her after fighting with the kidnapper. They go back to his place and share an intimate moment that night.
The next morning Kathir wakes up and realizes that Meera has left the apartment. As he looks around, he receives a fresh message, this time a video of their intimate moments the previous night.
Kathir frantically searches for the camera and sees her cupboard half open. He opens it and finds a bloodstained shalwar top along with a diary. He then realizes who was behind the text messages and the reasons for doing so.
About the film
The film was initially announced in 2013 but commenced only a year later due to prior commitments of the lead actor. It was initially titled ‘Mellisai’ (soft music) but was renamed ‘Puriyatha puthir’. The film faced several delays during production and was eventually released worldwide on September 1, 2017.
Vijay Sethupathi as usual delivers a neat performance. Gayathrie gets to play a meaty role and does justice to the character of Meera. The story flows without much distraction. Even the song placements do not hamper the storyline and its pace.
Music by Sam CS is impressive. The background score plays a pivotal role in uplifting the mood and intensifies the suspense of the story. Director Ranjit Jeyakodi has tried to convey an important message to the current generation and has succeeded through an engaging storyline.