Andhaghaaram (Eng: Darkness) is a 2020 Indian Tamil-language supernatural thriller film written and directed by V. Vignarajan, in his directional debut. It is produced by Priya Atlee under A for Apple Productions, alongside Sudhan Sundaram and Jayaram under their banner Passion Studios and K. Poornachandra’s O2 Pictures. The film stars Arjun Das, Vinoth Kishan, and Kumar Natarajan in lead roles along with Pooja Ramachandran and Misha Ghoshal. The film was released on 24 November 2020.
The movie follows three men in Chennai, who are seemingly unconnected to each other and the sinister happenings in their lives. The first man is Dr. Indran, one of the country’s most renowned clinical psychiatrists. He is almost fatally shot by one of his violent patients. He survives, but his entire family is massacred, and he loses both his voice and professional license. After his operation, Indran opts for a new approach to his practice even though he is still being reviewed by authorities.
The second man is Selvam, an honest blind man who works as a clerk at a public library. After the death of his parents, he is taken care of by his uncle. His only inheritance is his father’s mansion that he is struggling to maintain. Selvam’s father was a famous occultist, and Selvam has learned some of the tricks of the trade from him. He needs money for his operation (kidney failure) so he agrees to hold a cleansing ritual at a haunted building. Though he manages to capture one of the spirits, there is another one that is still in the building.
The third man is Vinod, a cricket coach who is overridden by guilt at the condition of his best friend Pradeep. Pradeep is suffering from an unknown mental disorder after Vinod gifted him a book on the occult. Vinod also starts receiving mysterious and threatening calls through his newly installed landline rotary phone. His girlfriend Manasi convinces him to see a psychiatrist.
It is revealed that the three men’s timelines are taking place at different points in time. Selvam’s closest confidant is Pooja, his tutor. She is the sister of Pradeep, who was once undergoing treatment by Indran. By the time Vinod gets a new landline installed, Pradeep has died by committing suicide, throwing himself off his balcony and landing on Indran, who also dies. Just like Pradeep, countless other patients Indran has been illegally treating have committed suicide through hypnosis. Indran had lost all faith in humanity after the loss of his family, hence his evil plan. Even in death, his vengeance lives on. It is Indran’s spirit who has been calling and tormenting Vinod. The phone used to be Selvam’s and is actually a medium to communicate with the dead. However, Selvam would later get into trouble with loan sharks, who kill him in order to take over his father’s mansion.
Pooja helps Vinod put the pieces together, but not before they realize that Selvam has been trying to help Vinod all along. Vinod breaks the telephone but Pooja tells him that he needs the telephone to contact Selvam to find out how to get rid of the tormenting spirit. Vinod runs back to the shop where he gave the telephone for fixing. He then stops at the bridge and attends the call. Indran hypnotises Vinod and forces him to jump off the bridge. In the nick of time, Selvam possesses and saves Vinod and also dismantles the phone, which ruptures both Indran and Selvam’s connection with the world of the living.
In the end, it is shown that Selvam gets his revenge on the publisher/real estate businessman by strangling him with the help of Pooja’s information, and she completes Selvam’s final wish.
Directed by V. Vignarajan
Produced by Priya Atlee, Sudhan Sundaram, Jayaram & K Poorna Chandra
Written by V. Vignarajan
Starring Arjun Das, Vinoth Kishan, Kumar Natarajan, Pooja Ramachandran, Misha Ghoshal
Music by Pradeep Kumar
Cinematography A M Edwin Sakay
Edited by Sathyaraj Natarajan
Production A for Apple, Passion Studios & O2 Pictures
Distributed by Netflix
Release date 24 November 2020
Running time 171 minutes