Saithan (English: Satan) is a 2016 Indian Tamil psychological thriller film written and directed by Pradeep Krishnamoorthy. The film features Vijay Antony and Arundhathi Nair in the lead roles, with Charuhasan, Y. G. Mahendra and Kitty amongst others forming the secondary cast. Saithan released alongside its dubbed Telugu version, Bethaladu, on 1 December 2016. The story’s inspired from Sujatha Rangarajan’s Tamil novel ‘Aaah!’.
The film opens with Dinesh (Vijay Antony) and his boss (Y. G. Mahendra) visiting a psychiatrist. Here, Dinesh tells the doctor that he had been listening to a voice for a few days and it has been troubling him. Upon questioning the source of the voice, Dinesh tells that the voice sounds like that of God, if he were present really. The doctor asks Dinesh to come along with him for a personal treatment where Dinesh tells him that he had killed his friend Ravi. The doctor asks Dinesh to relax and hypnotises him in his sleep where he asks him various questions. It is revealed that a clever Dinesh had been recently married to a beautiful orphan Aishwarya (Arundhati Nair) who had contacted him through a matrimonial site. After their return from their Honeymoon trip, Dinesh starts hallucinating and listening to voices in his head. Also, his best friend Ravi who comes to help him gets killed in an accident due to Dinesh. The voice in Dinesh’s head keeps telling him to die and Dinesh sees miserable things on TV screens, computer screens and distorted bruised faces near the windows. After the treatment, the doctor tells Dinesh not to wander off alone and tells his boss that Dinesh has got disturbed memories of his past life.
On returning home, a disturbed Dinesh aimlessly runs away from home and reaches Tanjavore in a train. While in the train he hears the same voice in his head directing him to that village and he names Sharma, Gopal, Natraj and Jayalakshmi. As soon as he gets down he hires an auto to find what happened to him and who is the voice. Upon investigating he finds out a picture of Sharma (Vijay Antony in his previous life) was a respected bachelor who adopted a boy Gopal and later married Jayalakshmi (Arundhati Nair). Things go smooth until Nataraj enters the school. Jaylakshmi and Nataraj get close and have an illegal baby who takes the name of Sharma as his father. Though the talks go through the village, Sharma still loves and cares for the baby. One day when Nataraj passes through Sharma’s house, an angry Sharma tries to rush out and confront Nataraj. In this chaos, the baby falls down and dies. Jayalakshmi runs away after this incident. Two weeks later, both Sharma and Gopal are found dead on the banks of a river and Jayalakshmi, Nataraj are absconding. The case gets closed as they are not tracked down.
Unknown to everyone is that, Jayalakshmi returns and meets Sharma asking for forgiveness, which he readily does. Jayalakshmi feeds him food which is poisoned and later Nataraj and Jayalakshmi kill him and Gopal for killing their baby. Then, they abandon their bodies near a river bank and run away.
A disturbed Dinesh wakes up to find himself in the mental asylum where he is being treated. Aishwarya comes to him with a tiffin box to feed him. Dinesh who has Sharma’s soul inside him charges upon Aishwarya who looks like Jayalakshmi because he and Gopal were killed the same way. He is sedated and left inside his room for a few days where Sharma refuses to accept leave Dinesh’s body. In the meanwhile Aishwarya goes missing leaving behind a letter after she gets a call from Thomas.
It is revealed that Aishwarya had married Dinesh, just to test a drug on him. But guilt drives her to become a good husband-loving woman and she refuses to do any harm to him. and that the drug had caused him to remember his past. Thomas calls up Dinesh and asks him to bring back the evidences that were stolen from his guest house. When Dinesh comes with it, the gang Aishwarya had worked for reveals to Dinesh that she was a sex serving prostitute to the whole gang before she became his wife. Dinesh accepts the fact and asks to take Aishwarya away with him. A scuffle ensues and Dinesh is drugged with high doses of the chemical. This causes him to get extra ordinary power while his body is taken over by Sharma and he takes down everyone and heads to finish Aishwarya. Now Sharma confronts Aishwarya thinking her to be Jayalakshmi and is at the verge of killing her. Aishwarya who is pregnant with Dinesh’s child tells him that she doesn’t know about what he is speaking and that she is sorry for Dinesh’s condition. She also puts forward a wish to be his wife and the mother of his child. She also saves him from getting killed by Dr. Christopher (Kamal Krishna), who runs the drug scam and also illegal organ mafia business. In the process of saving Dinesh, she gets injured badly. Sharma who is in Dinesh’s body acts in defense and kills Dr. Christopher.
Later, in the media, the wrongdoing of the gang and their drugs. Also, they reveal that Dinesh was a victim as he was used as a test subject and Aishwarya who was wounded is alright now.
Aishwarya, Dinesh and Dinesh’s mother are in the hospital where Aishwarya is being treated. They get a call from the apartment neighbor that a woman Jayalakshmi had come to visit Dinesh. Dinesh goes to his house where he is informed that, that lady had died and that she had asked him apology. When Dinesh sees her, he notices that she has a photo held in her hand (The 50 year old photo of herself and Sharma in it).The Jayalakshmi he appeared to have seen wasn’t the real Jayalakshmi. It wasn’t his wife, but another lady (Ramya Nambeesan). Jayalakshmi had died without Sharma avenging her death. Also Sharma had left Dinesh’s body for good as he is going to be a father soon.
Directed by Pradeep Krishnamoorthy
Produced by Fathima Vijay Antony
Written by Sujatha Rangarajan, Pradeep Krishnamoorthy, Joe D Cruz, Karthik Krishna
Based on Aah! (Tamil novel)
Starring Vijay Antony, Arundathi Nair
Music by Vijay Antony
Cinematography Pradeep Kalipurayath
Edited by Veera Senthil Raj
Production Vijay Antony Film Corporation
Distributed by Auraa Cinemas
Release date 1 December 2016
Running time 123 minutes