- Written by Shankar
- Directed by Shankar
a popular dialog from Anniyan
Anniyan - Movie Highlights
If you enjoy magnificence in cinema, then Anniyan (stranger) is for you. It was labelled as 'the most eagerly awaited film of the year' by the media. With the highest production value among Tamil films of its time, the film was touted to be the director's magnum opus and Shankar is not new to this. Acknowledging that the film had an unprecedented success at the box-office and with its success Tamil Cinema also progressed by leaps and bounds. Appreciation also came its way in the form of a National Award in the Special Effects category and a Filmfare Award for Best Actor for its lead, Chiyan Vikram. Part of the plot is influenced by Sidney Sheldon's Tell me your Dreams and vigilante theme may resemble Shankar's own earlier films but he takes care to add a different dimension each time and be technically far more superior than his previous ventures. The film was positively received by critics and became a commercial success worldwide. It is a typical commercial Indian masala film just for pure entertainment. The film was dubbed into Telugu as Aparichithudu and in Hindi as Aparichit.
Ramanujam alias Ambi (Vikram) is an orthodox Brahmin and a lawyer by profession living in Chennai. He goes strictly by the civic rules, hence nicknamed Rules Ramanujam. He expects everyone to follow the law and prosecutes those who violate it. But his good intentions and civic sense do not take him anywhere. He is a stickler for rules but that does not always work for the lack of importance given to the society by others. His father Parthasarathy (Nedumudi Venu) keeps advising him that single handedly he cannot change the world. He gets shattered when he realizes that his childhood friend and now a medical student Nandini (Sada) refuse his love for being a geek. He comes across a website www.anniyan.com which follows the Garuda Puranam, an ancient Hindu scripture which reveals whoever commit misdeeds will be punished in hell according to the degree of their deeds. Frustrated at his inability to bring about a change in society, his suppressed anger manifests itself in an alter-ego named Anniyan, a grim reaper-themed serial killer who punishes corrupt and indifferent people. On the other hand, he develops into another personality named Remo, a fashion model, to appeal to Nandini. Nandini is smitten by Remo and falls in love with him. As Anniyan, he kills the wrong doers by punishing them according to their sins and leaves behind a trail. Meanwhile, DCP Prabhakar (Prakash Raj) and Sub-inspector Chari (Vivek), who is Ambi's friend, investigate the murders committed by Anniyan. Assuming disguises, they discover clues left behind by Anniyan, which are the names of the punishments he meted out to his victims. Later, when Nandini and Remo are on a date, Remo transforms into Anniyan and attempts to punish her for being corrupt in not paying the exact stamp duty for the land she purchased. His personality keeps switching from Remo to Anniyan, were Remo wants to save her and Anniyan wants to kill her. As he is about to kill her, Nandini realises that it is Ambi who is all three and calls out for Ambi. Anniyan then reverts to Ambi, but who then collapses and loses consciousness. At the hospital it is revealed the Ambi is a person suffering with dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as 'multiple personality disorder' (MPD) or 'split personality syndrome'. It is also discovered that while Anniyan and Remo are aware of Ambi as a separate person, but Ambi is oblivious to their existence within him. The psychiatrist declares that Remo will cease to exist if Nandini accepts Ambi's love, and that Anniyan will cease to exist only when the society reforms. What is the reason for him developing into other personalities? How the police discover the murders committed by him and in the court of law how he is acquitted of charges and sent for mental treatment. Whether the other personalities in him subside or seem to co-exist forms the crux of the story?
Anniyan is an out and out entertainer. It's got action, comedy, romance, songs and the usual Tamil masala. And Anniyan is a movie to entertain and not to educate. Director Shankar has carved a niche for himself for tackling the subject of vigilantism in big movies with big star-cast and in a commercial format. Though Anniyan resembles Shankar's earlier films Indian and Mudhalvan, it's the narration and psychological disorder as the new plot angle which makes all the difference. Exotic visuals, breathtaking action scenes and well choreographed songs are the hallmark of Shankar and he does not disappoint. His extravaganza has all the vibrant technical brilliance that can make movie goers awestruck. Riveted with its racy narration, a relevant social message backed with technical wizardry, he has mounted the film on a big scale. Shankar does a fantastic job and so does the other technical department. Be it the cinematography, editing, music, vfx etc. Harish Jayraj's music is a nice blend of different genres and the picturisation of the same is on a grand scale. The computer graphics for the movie is the best for Tamil movies of the time. Peter Hein's action sequences are well choreographed. But certain scenes give the feeling that it is done for convenience of the script allowing the story to move forward rather than the cause and effect of the actions. Yet to the layman, the film entertains. The fight sequence at the Kung fu center and the interrogation scene at the end are the highlights of the film.
Vikram is the heart and soul of the film. His performance will just mesmerize you. He has three dimensions to his role and he easily slips into all three characters and stands out as different as chalk and cheese in all three. The viewer would rarely doubt his credibility in the movie. During the pre-climax scene, when Ambi is held in custody and inquired, Ambi's persona keeps switching between the characters Ambi and Anniyan. Dubbed the 'chameleon act' by the media, Vikram claims to have completed the sequence in a single take. Such is his screen presence that in every frame of the film, he is not Vikram but the character. Anniyan is definitely another feather in the cap of national award winning actor. Sada is beautiful and charming. She suits the traditional Brahmin girl look and is good in her part. Prakash Raj is the scene stealer. Vivek provides the perfect comic touch and Yana Gupta looks sizzling in her special guest appearance.
On the whole Anniyan in three words Amazing, Breathtaking and Vikram!