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"Adhu" ... for those game for a little fright.

WITH EFFECTIVELY used graphics and a fairly neat storyline, Vishwas Films (P) Limited's supernatural thriller, "Adhu" (A), does send a chill, slight though it is, down the spine. Especially the slug at the end that states, "Adhu ... Unnai Vidadhu" (It will not leave you"). Sneha is the fulcrum around whom the tale revolves and the actor proves a right choice for the role.

Meera (Sneha) is able to see the world only after an eye transplant surgery, but her joy is short lived as she also sees `things' not visible to other's eyes. Haunted and harassed by the spirit of Kayalvizhi (Suha) whose eyes Meera has been planted with, she goes all the way to Vijayanagaram to get to the bottom of the intrigue, because that's where the spirit orders her to go. Once there she gets to know the story of the young, simple girl Kayalvizhi, who loved her village but in return was ostracised and pelted with stones to death, by the folks there. Her spirit seeks retribution and wants to wreak revenge on the village head (Vijayan, who resurfaces after a hiatus).

For once, the spirit of a young woman seeking to avenge her fate does not cite rape as the reason. And for that story and screenplay writer and director Ramesh Krishnan deserves a pat on the back. Also not influenced by the formula of fights, comedy and cumbersome duets, he sets about narrating the story in straightforward fashion. You cannot expect logic in a story such as this, but Ramesh ties up the loose ends quite well leading to a plausible finale.

Yet you have scenes that begin and end abruptly. So there seem to be jerks in the narration. Meera, an otherwise sensible person, openly pleads with the villagers without thinking of an intelligent way to make them see reality. Again Charanya, as Sneha's mother, is not very convincing. She does empathise but not enough. Sneha comes out with a realistic performance. Her minimum make-up and simple yet commendable costume lend natural appeal. Why does her voice have to be dubbed?

Aravind, the new hero who looks a little like Ajit, suits the role. Suha as the spirit is quite expressive. "Adhu" offers another cameo for Abbas. And the opening scene where you are made to feel that he has something to hide is an example of Ramesh's astuteness. Shanmugharajan (Police inspector Peikaaman of "Virumaandi") does justice to the role of the mendicant, Muthu.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's resounding background score is another highlight. The beats in the titles and the percussion and chorus in some of the tense sequences (the scene in the puja room, for instance) go well with the mood of the film. "Adhu" has just one song, aptly placed. The story offers ample scope for P. Selvakumar's camera to make an impact. Lighting, throughout the film, deserves special mention.

The tendency is to look for the source from which a maker could have borrowed. So what even if it is (Japanese or American) as long as the film is engaging and has its nativity intact, as in the case of ``Adhu"?

Taking up a story that touches upon ESP, effluents, pollution and the havoc it creates on human life, Ramesh Krishnan places them in a genre that spells horror. The result is quite interesting. Those of you who like to experience just a bit of fear, the occult kind, can make a beeline for "Adhu."


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