Peigal Jaakkirathai (English: Beware of ghosts!) is an Indian Tamil horror comedy movie, written and directed by Kanmani. The film features Jeeva Rathnam and Eshanya in the lead roles, while Thambi Ramaiah, Rajendran and John Vijay in supporting roles. Featuring music composed by Maria Jerald, Peigal Jaakkirathai released on 1 January 2016.
Looks like there are more scripts based on Hello Ghost circulating in Kollywood these days. In less than a year, we have had three Tamil films which have been inspired from the Korean comedy. First it was Massu Engira Masilamani (May 2015), next we had Om Shanthi Om (October 2015), and now, Peigal Jaakkirathai. We have to thank the directors of these three films for at least trying to make the films tonally different from one another — a revenge fantasy, an emotional drama and a comedy drama respectively. And we have to hope that perhaps there won’t be any more inspirations of the same film.
The film’s protagonist is Saravanan (the unremarkable Jeeva Rathnam), an orphan, who, we are told, has attempted committing suicide 28 times! But before he enters the scene, the story revolves around Pazhanivel Annachi (Thambi Ramaiah), a big shot whom everyone in the city is scared of (though we are never told how he came to hold such influence). But if there is a chink in Annachi’s image, it is his fear of ghosts. This phobia has even made his wife leave him and live with their son in a different part of the city. A doctor advises Annachi to have a man who isn’t afraid of death by his side and who better than a guy who has suicidal tendencies? Saravanan starts removing Annachi’s fear but has a near-death moment. From then, he realizes that he can see ghosts. And four ghosts follow him to Annachi’s house. What do they want and can he get rid of them?
Given that we have already seen two versions of the same story, we can’t help experience deja vu while watching Peigal Jaakkirathai. The director seems to have left the film to Thambi Ramaiah and the actor makes the film his own. We can see him trying hard to make it funny but luckily, his attempts (he even does a gag where he keeps calling everyone with random names) are at least amusing. And in the second half, the director brings in Rajendran, who, despite being a favourite these days, has very little to do. The leads and their romance is dealt with in a perfunctory manner, and that is actually for the better. The horror moments are cliched (rocking chairs, radio that switches on by itself, loud music and the lot) and the final scene is pure melodrama. But the comedy the works to an extent and it is what keeps us from getting bored. Much of the humour is silly and we do experience a twinge of embarrassment for having laughed at the uninspired jokes — but that happens only after the film is over.
Directed by Kanmani
Produced by G. Raghavan
Starring Jeeva Rathnam, Eshanya Maheshwari, Thambi Ramaiah
Music by Maria Jerald
Edited by Suresh Urs
Production Sri Sai Sarvesh Entertainment
Distributed by Escape Artists Motion Pictures
Release dates 1 January 2016