Sunday, July 10, 2005

Anniyan - a bit of everything!

Anniyan had all the usual flaws that I would find in a Shankar’s movie. Song sequences which have almost no connection with the story and use unnecessarily expensive gimmicks, noticeable lapses in logic and unnecessary drumming in of the message by what is usually a public appearance by the hero. Despite all this I should say I liked the movie as a whole.

Though this movie is thematically quite similar to his earlier vigilante movies (Gentleman, Mudhalvan and Indian) there is difference in the message he wants to convey. Instead of blaming it all on corruption and politicians, Shankar urges us to look at ourselves to see whether we are all law abiding citizens who do our work well. It is this message which is quite close to my heart. I have myself seen quite silly and irritating acts by people like spitting on the streets and always wondered why they do such avoidable acts. Shankar’s point that only such small individual mistakes lead to a huge mistake is one worthy of note. I guess there are very few movies which have tackled this kind of subject – “Unnal mudiyum thambi” is one I remember right away, though it tackled it in a completely different way. Vikram as “rules” Ramanujam seems to overplay a bit, but the rest of the movie is also based on this characterization.

Second thing I like in the movie is Vikram’s performance. He has got his best chance after Pithamagan and used it almost very well. (SPOILER WARNING – for the rest of the paragraph). Playing three totally different characters is always a challenge. He excels in this, especially in the two scenes where he continuously changes between the three characters. Many people (atleast in blogs) seemed to dislike Remo, but I think he was quite romantic – in fact I haven’t seen Vikram in such a totally romantic role. Another frequent complaint is that all these three characters are overplayed. I think the characterization is by itself in that way. Only because Ramanujam is such a rigid, un-emotive and physically timid person, there exists a real case for Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Another thing I like in the movie is the innovative way in which Shankar has used Garuda Purana mythology. Our directors need to involve more of our mythology or folklore while making thrillers, instead of just relying on overplayed sound effects (perhaps effect of seeing Kaal!). Of course Shankar seems to have used MPD to push in what would be otherwise unbelievable fight scenes. But still they, especially the one in the martial arts school, are quite amusing. And there are other lapses of logic like Anniyan who is a virtual personality arriving at a scheduled time to address people. But the pace of the movie is good enough that most won’t notice these.

The songs proved to be the biggest letdown of all. Of course I had heard that Harris Jayaraj’s music for this was no where as good as earlier Shankar movies (which were all done by AR. Rahman). Shankar has spoiled it more by not connecting the songs to the story. Suffice it to say that a fairly serious story with a message has all the five songs as romantic songs (except may be Kaadhal Yanai). Some songs had good music (like Kaadhal Yanai) and some had good (or amusing) picturization, but mostly they didn’t gel with each other or with the story. Also the heroine Sada doesn’t appear good in such exotic locales - she looks better in a simple dress. It is always irritating to see a director like Shankar not relying strong enough on his story and resorting to silly gimmicks in songs in the name of technological advancements. A frequent excuse is that movies (at least nowadays) should have some explicit commercial element, but I guess this has long been disproved with the success of directors like Selvaraghavan and Bala, where songs are blended with the movie (and I am only considering directors who have been consistently successful in box-office).

The climax was quite stylish, but at least I was expecting it. However it doesn’t gel very well with the main psychiatric concept behind the movie. There seems to be quite extreme opinions in the media and blogs about the movie, with some hailing it as great advance in Tamil movies and others saying that its nothing more than a recycling of Shankar’s earlier movies. I think it’s neither of them. On the whole, this is a very entertaining movie with a sugarcoated, but relevant message (though I believe that sugarcoating a message also reduces its effectiveness).


karthik said...

I have never seen a movie which defy logic as much as this movie! It is utterly idiotic. He is comparing all the countries with India. You know what happens when you kill anyone for any reason even murderer in U.S? You will be sentenced to life or death! Here our hero anniyan freely go around killing people!! He would be ambi one moment. Next moment he would be 100 miles away frying someone!! Why would there be a fight sequence that was totally unnecessary? Is Sada's IQ 10? She can't recognize the resemblance between Ambi and Remo! I think people do not know what acting means!! Vikram is a committed actor. Agreed. But his performance as Ambi is mediocre. As Remo it makes me puke! Go, Watch Deiva Magan(Sivaji in triple role). He has not acted even 1% of how Sivaji acted in that movie.

Our hero would assemble 1000s of people 100s of reporters just like that. He would show them a video of how he killed a guy who doesn't do any work cruelly with snakes! Our public would be impressed right after learning that he is a psychotic murderer and crowd him to get autograph! This is probably one of the stupidest scene i have ever seen in Tamil movie history!!

Another idiotic scene is he get beaten up by bunch of rowdies. He would plead

"Naan thayir sadham en odambu thangadhu"

Once he transforms into Anniyan suddenly he fights like "Ponnusami hotel biriyani"!!

We have seen enough transformation scenes in tamil movie! Two that stand out in my memory is Rajini in Baasha and Madhavan in Run.

Theme - Indian, Gentleman

Basic plot - Sidney sheldon's novel where the lady has 3 personalities. Each would be at different places at a given time. One personality would kill people who tries to rape her. She gets the MPD coz in her childhood days her dad would molest her. The MPD in this story is logically explainable unlike in Anniyan!

Fight sequence - Matrix, Hero, Crouching tiger..

These are some of the movies he has lifted his ideas from! Vivek comedy is the only plus.

When you have multiple personality disorder only mentally you can become stronger or weaker not physically as here!

You don't need 28 crores to make a sub-standard movie like this. I personally feel dialogue delivery is defenitely not a strong suit of Vikram. He confirms it in all three roles. One of the best dialogue delivery i have heard in recent time is from Kakka Kakka by Suriya. I recently saw another movie "RAM". That movie is far far better than Anniyan.

யாத்திரீகன் said...

சரியான கருத்து, மிகப்பெரிய வெற்றிப்படமும் இல்லை, ரொம்ப மோசமான படமும் இல்லை, சாதரணமான ஒரு பொழுதுபோக்குப்படம் அவ்வளவு தான்.

எந்த வலைப்பூக்களும், இந்த படத்தின் கருத்தை பாராட்டுவதில்லை, அந்த வகையில் இந்த விமர்சனம் நியாயமானதே

Harinath Mallepally said...

I felt that movie was some what better. dont you think u r critising it too much.

ofcourse buddy u got every right to have ur own comments. just sharing my thoughts too.

have a nice day

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