Papanasam is a 2015 Indian Tamil thriller movie directed by Jeethu Joseph and jointly produced by Suresh Balaje and Rajkumar Sethupathi. It is a remake of director’s 2013 Malayalam film Drishyam, featuring Kamal Haasan and Gautami Tadimalla reprising the respective roles played by Mohanlal, Meena in the original.
The film tells the story of Suyambulingam, a middle-class cable TV operator, and his family. They come under suspicion when Varun, the son of the Inspector-general of police (IG), goes missing soon after harassing Suyambu’s daughter. The rest of the film reveals how Varun disappeared and what Suyambulingam does to keep his family from going to prison.
Suyambulingam (Kamal Haasan) is an orphan who had dropped out of school after his 4th grade. Now he is a businessman running a cable TV service in Papanasam, a small town in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He is married to Rani (Gautami Tadimalla) and they have two daughters, Selvi (Niveda Thomas) and Pulimeena aka Meena (Esther Anil). His only interest apart from his family is watching films. He spends most of his time in front of the TV in his small office.
During a nature camp, Selvi gets photographed in the bathroom by a hidden cell phone. The culprit, Varun (Roshan Basheer) is the son of Inspector General Geetha Prabhakar (Asha Sarath). Varun is accidentally killed by Rani and Selvi when he comes to blackmail them. They hide his body in a compost pit, which is witnessed by Meena. Rani tells Suyambulingam about the incident and he devises a way to save his family from the law. He removes Varun’s broken cell phone, places the SIM card on another mobile phone which he throws onto a Mumbai-bound lorry and disposes of his yellow-coloured Maruti Zen, which is seen by Constable Perumal (Kalabhavan Mani), who has a grudge against Suyambulingam. Suyambulingam takes his family out on a trip to Tenkasi to pray in a temple, watch a movie, stay in a hotel and eat at a restaurant. Geetha, seeing that her son has gone missing, starts an investigation.
After a preliminary investigation, Geetha calls Suyambulingam and his family for questioning. Suyambulingam, who had predicted that this would happen, had already taught his family how to change their alibi at the time of murder. When questioned individually, they give the same replies. Suyambulingam also presents the bill of the restaurant, the hotel bill, the movie ticket and the bus tickets as proof of their alibi. Geetha questions the owners of the establishments they have been to and their statements prove Suyambulingam’s alibi. However, Geetha realises later that Suyambulingam had faked the evidence and established his alibi on the owners by going on a trip with his family to the same establishments later.
Geetha arrests Suyambulingam and his family and Perumal uses brute force to beat the truth out of them. Eventually, Meena gives in and reveals the place where the body is buried. After digging the compost pit, they find the carcass of a calf, indicating that Suyambulingam had moved the body. Meena reports to the media and complains against Perumal. The constable is suspended and Geetha resigns from her post.
Later, Geetha and her husband Prabhakar (Anant Mahadevan) meet Suyambulingam to ask forgiveness for their rude and violent behavior. Prabhakar asks Suyambulingam if he can tell them about their son. Suyambulingam then reveals indirectly that his family has committed a crime. Now in remand, Suyambulingam signs a register at the newly constructed local police station. As he leaves, a flashback shows him leaving the incomplete police station with a shovel in hand, indicating that he has hidden Varun’s body in the foundations of the police station itself.
Directed by Jeethu Joseph
Produced by Suresh Balaje, George Pius, Rajkumar Sethupathi, Sripriya
Written by Jeyamohan, Suka (Dialogue)
Screenplay by Jeethu Joseph
Story by Jeethu Joseph
Starring Kamal Haasan, Gauthami
Music by Ghibran
Cinematography Sujith Vaassudev
Edited by Ayoob Khan
Production Wide Angle Creations, Raj Kumar Theatres
Distributed by Maxlab Entertainments
Release dates 3 July 2015
Running time 181 minutes