Pancharaaksharam (Eng: Five Letters), is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language supernatural thriller film written and directed by Balaji Vairamuthu in his directorial debut. The film stars Santhosh Prathap, Gokul Anand, Ashwin Jerome, Madhu Shalini and Sana Althaf. The film was produced by Vairamuthu under the production banner Paradox Productions. The film is branded as India’s first psychological supernatural adventure thriller film.
Pancharaaksharam opens with an animated prelude set in the 11th century Chola period. A saint who is well versed in many languages writes a book called Pancharaaksharam. The book is a combination of many books from different languages and the experiences of the saint himself. It travels from person to person and eventually goes to a king who seems interested in the predictions in the book and follows it closely. The last time the king reads the book, it says that he will be killed in a war and the predictions come true. His kingdom falls and the book is said to be an accursed book that predicts the reader’s future and is kept hidden and is eventually lost from history.
The story moves to the present day. Five random strangers – Dishyanth, Sameera, Dharna, Jeevika and Aidhan, all from different walks of life, meet at a concert. They becomes friends immediately and go on a trip together. On their trip, Sameera suggests a game using a book in the library, which turns out to be the cursed book from many centuries earlier. Each of them takes their turns to read out a prediction for themselves in the form of riddles, and are skeptical about it and brush it off as a joke initially. But the predictions mentioned for each of them happens in reality – Sameera faces a terrifying supernatural occurrence in her house, Dishyanth who is a traveller, gets attacked by dacoits on his travel, Aidhan is seriously injured by electrocution from his guitar, Dharna has an accident during a professional car race. Jeevika, who is a do-gooder by nature, faces a serial killer who kidnaps and tortures her and shows her the dark and twisted realities of the dark web. Everyone except Jeevika recovers from their respective mishaps, but they fail to locate Jeevika who is kept at an undisclosed location. The friends follow certain clues they remember reading in the book and try to figure it out. After a lot of twists and turns, the clues finally lead them to the area where Jeevika is held hostage along with few other women. The friends fight the serial killer together and subdue him and manage to free Jeevika and the other women successfully. They throw the cursed book away in order to avoid future problems, just in case.
In the end, as Sameera peacefully relaxes thinking about the harrowing experiences they faced recently, she comes across a blue bird and remembers a forgotten piece of riddle she had read earlier from the book. It says that she will see a blue bird following which an impending doom and a horrible disaster will strike again. The movie ends as she looks in horror.
Directed by Balaji Vairamuthu
Produced by Vairamuthu
Written by Balaji Vairamuthu
Starring Santhosh Prathap, Gokul Anand, Ashwin Jerome, Madhu Shalini, Sana Althaf
Music by K. S. Sundaramurthy
Edited by Anand Geraldin
Production Paradox Productions
Release date 27 December 2019
Running time 122 minutes