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Friday, June 17, 2005

ANNIYAN - Review

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Now, it is out...

After the hype created by the movie team, media and audience, the expectations had soared too high for this movie. My expectations were also so high, since I am one among the hardcore fans of Shankar. I had never missed his movies, in the first few days. For a change, today I watched this movie on its first day, after a long gap of 15 years (I mean, first day visit). This is just because, I didn't want to get influenced by the Net reviews and wanted to make a personal assessment.

Everyone of us know that this movie carried a strong social message and got appreciation from the Censor Board without any cuts. Is it living upto the expectations? Let us go thru... Being a much talked about movie, this is little bit lengthier.

The movie starts with the daily journey of 'Rules' Ramanjum alias 'Ambi' (Vikram, the Advocate) fuming about the irresponsible behaviour of the society - whether it is spitting on the road, violation of traffic rules, poor quality materials, eveteasing in public transport, high rental charged by greedy house owners, absence of sympathy for an accident victim... and it goes on. And all these, in the first 20 minutes. These issues are being followed by Indian Railways poor food quality, uncleaned toilet etc., while travelling to Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival. (BTW.. why is he shown with a 'Kudumi' always? I doubt whether any of the younger generation is following this nowadays).

Eventhough the neighbourhood Nadhini (Sada) respects Ambi's clean thoughts, she couldn't accept his love due to lack of feelings. Instead, she falls for the high-profile ad-guy REMO (Vikram) who woos her constantly.

In the meanwhile, Ambi stumbles upon a news on Anniyan's website (the saviour of world from the evil society) and lodges his complaints thru net on several issues. (like the malayalam movie '4 The People'). Anniyan (Vikram, again) takes action immediately by cleansing the irresponsible characters from the society.

Wait, Wait... as I had mentioned in one of my previous post, is it a movie with 3 different roles / characters?

Shankar plays his part here. This time he has taken up MPD syndrome, which is nothing but Multiple Personality Disorder affecting our hero, due to the outburst of his feelings. (Just recall Sidney Sheldon's 'Tell me your Dreams' on this MPD. Link here..). This MPD makes Ambi to change his personality, due to the thoughts provoking him from inside. He doesn't know about the other personalities Remo & Anniyan, eventhough those two remember Ambi.


Vikram's MPD results - Courtesy: Indiaglitz

Now Sada faces the wrath of Anniyan, as she is part of a deal in which a property price is undervalued, in order to reduce the stamp charges. He chases her, only to reveal all his 3 identities (I mean Ambi, Remo & Anniyan) at the same time. Somehow, Sada escapes and takes him to a Doctor. On his advice, she starts loving Ambi, so that 'Remo' personality can go away from him. But finally, is the 'Anniyan' personality going away from 'Ambi'? Or is 'Ambi' getting punished for 'Anniyan's deeds? That forms the crux of the final few moments.

Nedumudi Venu, playing as Vikram's father and Nassar as the doctor, have less work to do. The crime branch office Prakash Raj, has a major role in circling 'Anniyan', eventhough this characterisation resembles 'Gentleman' Inspector SaranRaj going around everywhere. Vivek as 'Chaari', a friend of Ambi, comes as an assistant to Prakashraj with few comical scenes.

Before I go into the strengths & weaknesses of the movie from my point of view, I would like to share some comments on the picturisation of the songs.

If you don't start watching the movie from the intial shot, you may miss out 'Kumari..' song. Before you wink your eyes, you are taken to Amsterdam flower show, where Sada dances with Vikram. Eventhough the flower show has been shot beautifully, this song has unwanted characters like Vivek, Raju Sundaram (just because, he is the Choreographer) and few others in 'Kudumi's. They could have been avoided.



Indeed, nice picturisation. Courtesy - Indiaglitz

The much hyped Thiruvayaaru Music festival song, features the greats like Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan, Seerkazhi Sivachidambaram, Sudha Raghunathan etc., Eventhough, the 'Iyengar Veetu.." song was well appreciated by the mass, the 'Bharatha natiyam' dance movements of Sada is not upto the mark. She struggles hard in her movements. (as in the 'Kumari..' song)

Nothing much about the 'kaadhal yaanai' song which has been picturised decently on 'Remo' Vikram and Yana Gupta in a well constructed set. Next comes, 'Kannum Kannum Nokia' shot in KL, Malaysia in which Sada tries to convert herself into a modern hifi girl. But, Sorry Sada!!!! Modern outfit doesn't suit you that well as it will for Aishwarya Rai & Simran. Better to stick to the traditional Sarees & Half-Sarees.


You are good in Saree, So, better stick to it. Courtesy - Indiaglitz

The colorful 'Rendakka Rendakka..' song shot near Thenkasi requires only normal dance movements, where Sada scores. The efforts gone behind the painting of so many streets, bridges, buses and cars for this song, has paid well. Indeed, they are very colorful and beautifully shot, along with the green fields.


Full of colors!!! Courtesy -- Indiaglitz

Now, my final observation

Strengths
1) Vikram excels well in his acting - particularly in the last encounter with Prakash Raj, where he shows different personalities continuously.
2) The Strong Message about the eradication of Society's Irresponsible behaviour, with few thoughtful & hilarious dialogues from Sujatha. As in 'Indian', Shankar is refering to the growth of Singapore, Japan, korea etc., from their humble start.
3) Cinematography always gets great importance in Shankar's movies. Both RaviVerman and Manikandan have not failed the audience expectations.

But, alas.. Weaknesses / Unwanted elements are more (in my perception)
1) Being in Production for more than one year, might have put so much pressure on Shankar & team. The expectations were also up among the audience, including me. But, the jumping screenplay has failed to impress me. Let me refer to few instances.
**** There were 'n' number of places where people could have informed the Police about 'anniyan' when they see both 'ambi' & 'anniyan' personalities at the same time. (like some rowdies, the Saba Secretary etc.,). They don't do it. Why?
**** In one scene, Vivek sends 'Remo' inside Sada's room. There the personality changes to 'Ambi'. When Vivek enters the room later, he never even raises a question. How come, Shankar & Sujatha? ..... big disappointment.
**** Where from 'Anniyan' is getting so much money to make a stage show to present his views? He advertises & pastes posters everywhere and meets press & public in a big stadium. There are no scenes showing public support openly, like it was for 'Indian' thaathaa. Is it implied and did the public organise such a mega show?
**** Eventhough Naasar & Sada realise the dangerous potential of 'Anniyan', nothing is being informed to the Police. Are they deciding to manage such a dangerous character on their own?

2) The love blossoming between Sada & 'Remo' personality is so immediate. She starts loving him as soon as he does some childish / comical gimmicks with the flowers, Moon & Stars, without knowing his background facts. So, my heart doesn't go for her love sequences. I missed those emotional love blossoming sequences of 'Jeans' & 'Boys' here.
3) The Big Freeze Time Slice method used for the fight sequences is pretty long. In 'Boys' this technique was wonderful when the flowers/Characters were shot in 'ale ale' song. Here, this technique makes the audience to laugh when 15 stuntmen float around in the air for nearly 5-10 seconds. Even the matrix style stunt sequences could have been reduced.


Rajini succeeded in talking about 'MPD' in his Chandramukhi. But, that was only for the last 30 minutes. Otherwise, the Fans got what they wanted from Rajini. But handling such a difficult subject even before the movie's 'intermission', is tricky. Eventhough, Shankar's regular crowd is from 'A' centre, I doubt whether 'A' centre audience can take it this time. The reason is that he conveyed all these messages already in 'Gentleman', 'Indian' and 'Mudhalvan'.

So, what else is new here? Just a cocktail - mix Sambhar Vadai ('Ambi' sequences) with Coke (flashy colorful song sequences - MTV type) & the special drink Cognac ('Anniyan's hifi killings). If you like this cocktail, then taste it... I couldn't digest, honestly.

'He who comes from Hell, is not afraid of hot ashes...' This is the slogan of this movie. Vikram had come out of failures, several times earlier. Will this be like, 'Alavandhan' for Kamal and 'Baba' for Rajini? Or will it succeed commercially?

Sify, Rediff & Indiaglitz reviews are very much in favour of the movie. Only after finishing my review, I read them. Probably, you can tell me, after watching the movie, if I am too critical about this work. As these websites are claiming, if it becomes successful, I will also be happy for those involved in this mega project. (since so much money was involved in this project)
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71 Comments:

Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

RAM, Thanks, I am going to see it today. This is a quick note for you.!

Friday, June 17, 2005 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ganesh said...

Ram
nalla review unlike some half boiled review I read on the net.

Friday, June 17, 2005 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

Padichchen fullaa. Your balanced view of it is head and shoulders above the generally one-sided reviews that we see in trade publications (either for or against). Appreciate your effort and dedication.

Neer needoodi vaazhga
Neevir kulam pallaandu vaazhga

:-)

Friday, June 17, 2005 1:24:00 PM  
Blogger ioiio said...

Enna RAM ipdi sollitteenga.. Indha padamum cuppa!!!

Friday, June 17, 2005 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger Prabu Karthik said...

Hmm, my review on your review

rombo rombo balanced aana review.
you had expected a real cinema. what you got was a typical shankar grandeur/opulence/extravaganza.

On reading the sify review this is what I told my friend who was online. so what's new from shankar? new location, new actors
but the content is the same Indian / Mudhalvan.

I like shankar's movies as occasions/festivals - not as works of art.

I realise there has got to be a balance between commerce and art. nobody is there in the film industry to do charity, but is'nt it something odd that he has not even "tried" to do something off-beat in all these 12/3 years( gentleman vandhu avlo naal achu).

Nobody talks abut any of his earlier works for the quality. At least i don't hear any such like they talk about Mouna Raagam or several KBs films or BR's Mudhal Mariyaadhai or BM's Moondraam Pirai

He would go down as the most successful MTV music video director in the world if he so wishes, but cinema? i would rather see Sudhish Kamath's TFLW.

Friday, June 17, 2005 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

Ram,

Good in-depth analysis that too suda suda. The mainstream media reviews could be doctored as well bcoz of the fact that shankar spent so much money in doing it. Now I'm debating whether I should see it in the movie hall or at home.

Friday, June 17, 2005 4:28:00 PM  
Anonymous ranganathan said...

அன்புள்ள ராம் அவர்கட்கு,

மிக அருமையாய் எழுதியிருக்கிறீர்கள். உங்கள் கருத்துடன் உடன்படுகிறேன்.

இந்தியனில் இருந்த 'அன்னியோன்யம்', அந்நியனில் இல்லாதது பேரிழப்பு.

கற்பனை வறட்சி முதன்முதலாய் ஷங்கரிடமிருந்து தெரியும்போது மனது வருந்தத்தான் செய்கிறது.

அது சரி, 25 கோடி செலவாயிருக்குமா என்ன?!

உங்களைப் போல அழகாய் எழுதாமல் 'குழந்தை எழுத்தில்' என்னுடைய பார்வை இதோ......

http://www.teakada.com/archives/review_anniyamaai_ponavan.html

என்றும் அன்புடன்,
ரங்கநாதன்

Friday, June 17, 2005 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger crsathish said...

dear ram, bayangara balanced aanaa review. irundhaalum padatha udanadeeya parka thundhudhu ?
orro final verdict neenga nachunu solreekalaam.

Friday, June 17, 2005 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

ram i wanted to do my own shankar bashing, i mean 29crs for a movie , tickets priced at 70,80 and 90 and then he screams bout piracy. but i cudnt get first day tickets, advantages of singapore.
the story reminds me of sidney sheldon and marma desam which used to be screened on suntv long ago. the vidadu karapu story.
ram neengal shankar fan nala padatha thupalaia? padam eppiddum kuppai than irrukkaum,

Friday, June 17, 2005 5:58:00 PM  
Blogger keerthi said...

ram, good review.
I was expecting this. Shankar cannot talk beyond corruption.
I wish he winds up with movie directing, and start producing movies.
He is dried up, i found that in Mudhalvan even.

Friday, June 17, 2005 6:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Sundaresan said...

Ram,

it was thorough analysis of the movie's strength and weeknesses in a neutral side. Padam pakkalaamaa venaamaannu yosikka vechutteenga...

Friday, June 17, 2005 6:31:00 PM  
Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Nice review Ram!!!

By the way... you liked the freeze frame effect in ale ale song? YUCKS... I thought it totally killed the essence of the song =(

Friday, June 17, 2005 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger Chez said...

Nice balanced review Ram.

Gentleman, Kadhalan, Jeans, Indian, Mudhalvan, Boys and now Anniyan. Shankar's effort in storyline doesnt impact so much after Mudhalvan. Even though the picturisation/songs were nice in Boys.. that film jus got screwed for the storyline.

And now with this MPD effort, i don think people will understand the re-introduction of Jim Carrie concepts in Tamil. Be it New, CM or Anniyan, these things just dont fit in perfectly in tamil films!

Oh Boy...! Is Anniyan going to be an 'Annoyan' for Shankar???

We liked the Songs very much. Lets see if the movie does the magic too.. er.. at least to some extent. :-)

Friday, June 17, 2005 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger Chez said...

Ram, cud u pls install trackback in ur blog.. it will be very useful for us.. its the best way to link to the posts...

Friday, June 17, 2005 6:58:00 PM  
Blogger Adaengappa !! said...

Nice Review..Yet looking forward to watch the movie soon.

Friday, June 17, 2005 8:03:00 PM  
Blogger கொங்கு ராசா said...

intha 'sappai' padathukku ivlo detailed analysis panniyirukeengale ram..:-(

Friday, June 17, 2005 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Me said...

hehehe lucky enuf to read ur review before my friends come back from the movie......poi solrangala unmaya solrangala nu kandupidichidalam....

Friday, June 17, 2005 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Ganesh - thanks for your comments

thennava - engkal kulam vazha vazthum ungalakku nandri.. 'anniyan' parkka vidaamal kaapathiyathrakaa?

IOIIO - Give a try. Atleast you will enjoy the songs on its own.

Prabhu Karthik - I agree with you. The reason for the detachment frm the movie, is that I am not able to get the feel of 'ambi' and 'anniyan'. (I was able to feel the agony of 'Gentleman' & 'Indian' thaathaa.. and the challenges of 'Mudhalavan' in the first half). In 'Anniyan', I am not able to get into the movie from the beginning.

Kaps, if you don't want to concentrate more on the screenplay, you can watch in cinema hall itself.

Ranganathan.. thanks for dropping by. Read yours. Simple and good.

Sathish / Srivatsan / Sundaresan.. Ivlo panam pottu edduthurukkangaa.. pogaathinganu solla manasu varale.. athukkaga padam oho!!nu sollra allavukkum illa.


Keerthi.. as you said, I couldn't get along with Muthalvan's second half, beyond a point. He didn't know what to talk about there.

Merino.. that shot was not too bad in 'ale ale' song. May be I must have been impressed with the colorful garden & the cute Genelia (Janani). Here, it is pretty long and audience started teasing the shots. They couldn't appreciate honestly. Overdose of anything is dangerous.

Magnus.. Now that Movie has been released, Shankar & team has to really wish for the extravagant show to succeed. I wish them success, irrespective of my contrary views on the movie. I don't want anyone to lose, eventhough I cannot form part of something which doesn't gel with my expectations.

adengappa.. all the best.

Raasa... eppavaadhum thaan naan cinema hall poi pakkrathu. ippo antha pazhakam romba kuranchuthuchu. pandratha ozhungaa pannanumnu thaan, ippadi oru detailed review.


ME.. so, what did your friends say finally? Were you able to corner them with this review?

Friday, June 17, 2005 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Nep said...

I just came back from the movie. I watched it here in IMC, SanJose

the movie was not upto the expectation.. and everyone would wonder where he has spent the whole 25-29 crores...

you have given a balanced review.. its not a must watch movie.. but we can watch it once movie.. if you want to say it in SunTv review style...

"mothathil... anniyan adithu irupathu sixer alla... Single"

Saturday, June 18, 2005 1:08:00 AM  
Blogger G3 said...

nice review, Ram! So many issues taken into consideration! really nice, Ram!

Filmsa paathi ungalukku Ph.D kudukkanum!

Saturday, June 18, 2005 5:29:00 AM  
Blogger Anjali said...

Good review.I feel pavaam for oscar ravichandran who has pledged hsi entire property for this.And what I read from sifya nd other net news is that he didnt sellt he copy right and distribution to anyone.He has distributed it solely on his ownY to waste 29crores in amovie.Smal budgeted meaning ful ones edukanam shankar.Y not think of more schools and hospitals for that money.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 6:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

NEP.. the final punch line delivered by you is too good.

gayathri.... thanks

anjali.. Ravichandran won't lose any money. The way, reviews are going around in the web portals are in favour of the movie. Eventhough, the layman may not understand what MPD is, it is likely to succeed in BO. Shankar may think about small budget, if he produces it for his assistant directors!!! (like he produced 'Kathal' for 2 crores).

Saturday, June 18, 2005 7:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Analyst said...

There seems to be 2 different opinions from the audience :

1. Very Good.
2. Not as expected, but OK.

I am not sure which type is in the majority. The BO collections will go that way.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Kaps said...

Ram,

Oscar Ravichandran decided to retain distribution rights as the trade was not ready to absorb such a heavy price for the movie. Hence it was a big gamble.

How many people are going to ready Sify, Rediff and Indiaglitz review before watching the movie? If they want to make money they need to make from theatre collections in India. Although there are no readymade figures avlbl, IMO overseas markets like US, UK, Middle East and Malaysia / Singapore do not constitute a major chunk of the revenue for Tamil movies.

After the first 1 / 2 weeks hype the movies success is dependent on the word of mouth publicity. Let's see how it goes. One the subject of word of mouth publicity, I suggest you read the book Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Twisted said...

I haven't seen the movie yet but Shankar's movies are generally very entertaining. If you start analyzing his movies you can end up with lot of logical flaws. His best movie is Indian worst movie is Kadhalan/Jeans. If you carry no expectations and you want to just watch a normal Tamil movie you will not be dissapointed by Shankar.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Ramkumar M.V said...

My opinion is that the movie is good.Even though the base plot is same as in Indian,muthalvan there are enough variations and the MPD becomes the main plot and the base plot serves as a backdrop for the main story to play out.
MPD is quite a bold concept to present in indian movies,particularly tamil movies and we've to wait & see how the mass understands/appreciates it.The last 30 minutes of the movie is quite good and such a climax has never been seen in indian movies.The screen play and it's execution + the presentation is slick,definitely taking the india movie to the next highest level.

Short-comings:The song picturization even though good are not upto shankar's own high standards(may be high expectations of shankar from me in this department).

Sada falling in love with Remo and later falling in love with Ambi could've been handled better.

"Where from 'Anniyan' is getting so much money to make a stage show to present his views?"

I believe there's a dialogue from Remo character that says "i pledged ambi's home to get the money"...Maybe it's implied that the anniyan character went the same route.could've explained it though.

The point about Nassar/sada keeping quiet could've been better explained by shankar.How can one expect the rowdies to go to the police?It's a paradox.Or will fear for their lives be the key to drive them to do it?Or did the rowdies survive to tell the story?

Sabha secretary may've kept quiet for fear of his life.That's perfectly possible,but could've explained it better may be in the later court scene.

In Detroit metro area,the audience appreciated the fight sequences ,especially the karate school fight sequence(matrix style, but snickered when the MPD concept was introduced.Just goes to show that each indicidual responds in different ways.

I had expectations about the movie but never read the media/web site hypes prior to the movie release.So as a result my expectations weren't sky high and after watching the movie came back satisfied.

Verdict: Run-a-ball century with occasional big hits to boundaries

Saturday, June 18, 2005 4:00:00 PM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

Ram: nice and honest review. unfortunately it has not been released in florida (as far as i know). so have to wait for some more time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 4:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Kaps.. all depends on how the tamil magazines are going to present their reviews.. especially 'vikatan' and ' kumudam'. let us wait and see.

RamKumar .. I realised that MPD is a new concept and he has taken the risk of presenting it in an entertaining way. Since, I expected a better tight screenplay, it failed my expectations. In 'Indian' it was absolutely tight and in 'Mudhalvan
it was not so in the second half. That's why I highlighted these. BTW... thanks for your detailed reply for the weaknesses highlighted by me. If the audience don't care about these logics, and accept the movie, it is good for the team and industry.

Twisted.. You are right. Expectations were high. That's reason.

TT_giant. Unfortnate.. Wait for some more time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

at the end of the day, even before the reviews r out, first 2 weeks booked house full in chennai and tamil nadu(nambunga paa, nan local paiyan) therefore ravichandran has recovered his cost even b4 the reviews r out!! his gamle has paid off, after the first 2 weeks the movie will make money because there is not big release for soe time (only ullam ketkaumae, arindum ariyalum are there, both are small budget movies making money) till july end anniyan has a free run.

shanakars gamble has paid off, anniyan is a hit, due to clever marketing more than anything else, chandramukhi seems to be loosing steam.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

ram padam panam panniachu, neenga poogathangaenu sonlaum!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cogito said...

Ram,

I saw the movie. wasn't very impressed since it looks like "kichidi" of Indian,gentleman,mudhalvan . Vikram and vivek were the true strengths .

Btw, I saw the 9pm show on Friday at Plaza. Were u in the same show ?

Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Srivatasan

avanga panam pannina santhosam thaan.. actually, when 'Boys' bombed in the BO and got bad reviews, I felt sorry for him. Except few scenes, I liked that movie very much, because of the youthness. So, Congrats to Shankar & team for succeeding in the BO, thru their effective marketing. (if that is the actual fact!!!)

Cogito.. I was in GV Yishun for 9 pm show.. We missed to meet, this time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

ellai ram boys vandu inga fullathan vodichu, anal bad reviews vandatha nala adu vandu oru shankar pada levalukku vodalai. baba vandu panam pannichu annal oru rajini adam vodavendaiya levalukku vodala adu nala than ada flop en sollavanga, ada madari than boysikkum.

Sunday, June 19, 2005 1:38:00 AM  
Anonymous saj said...

idiotic comments. patronisation of mediocrity

Sunday, June 19, 2005 2:42:00 AM  
Blogger hellosubhakshi said...

Hi Ram,
Truck load of thanks for the versatality and graphical vivid presentations which I had found in your review.I think of droppin by for the movie,but now Iam gonna drop that idea off and chill up only with your review as its given me a 70 mm picture effect.....congrads
Regards
S
P.S:Please review more movies that will be released as I can kick off the movie palanner and stick a round with your blog for some memorable cinr reviews that gives the complete relihin effect I derieve from a dolby stereo,gud day.

Sunday, June 19, 2005 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger bladehawk1404 said...

I saw the movie yesterday. A Gentleman, an Indian and a Ramana all mixed together, added with liberal doses of violence and cruelty, interspersed with the generous exploitation of the naval architecture of Sadha, a titillating dance number by Yana Gupta, an almost boring theory of split personality, a leaf out of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, copying the anagram effect from Da Vinci Code, 'replicating' the Matrix Reloaded fight sequence graphics and a monumental waste of public money (IDBI has funded over Rs.12 Crores)- all of this culminating to one Anniyan, which I would love to see have a mega failure. Not just because I hate such movies but because I strongly feel that such movie producers should have a re-think that just visual richness at a phenomenal cost without any good theme and with gruesome scenes cannot succeed. None of the songs was good and were nothing but pollution to the ear. Vikram has done okay - but he always seems to be 'working' so hard at his acting. Vikram's acting potential has been exploited nicely in the one scene where he is 'tortured'. Prakash Raj and Nedumudi Venu have done their jobs fairly well. Vivek's comedy is stale as yesterday's sambar. Sadha was a total dissapointment.

It's original only if you haven't read a novel or watched an English serial in the last 20 years. The basic story line is a bit of Indian - I guess somehow the director realizes that was his best movie and pretty much has no other real ideas. Once again the graphics etc are on for show-off and the stunts are terribly bad - only serving to distract from the movie rather than add any value to it. Forget the absolute loss of logic regarding scene staging as the movie proceeds, the incredible lack of tempo in the first half, the bloated and expensive, but unimaginative pictured songs... and do we need another protagonist who goes after society because of a personal disaster. In the end, Shankar's pretending to provide social commentary without providing any genuine or realistic solutions or even intelligent analysis is insulting. Someone ask him to watch Mudhalvan, Gentleman or Indian again. Take a hint from the director he used to be! It's extremely sad to see one of india's finest director's make a bad film such as this and destroying his good reputation. Boys was miles better then this and at least it didin't pretend like this turkey which as arrived to early before thanksgiving!

Very very disappointing.

Sunday, June 19, 2005 8:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Ramkumar M.V said...

Within 15 minutes into the movie i got the drift that the story was heading towards MPD as i've read novels and watched english movies/serials based on that subject.But has that idea ever been represented in Tamil/indian movies?No.
So it's an original attempt for an indian movie or tamil movie atleast and that plot is the main-line for the movie and as i said in my earlier review,the corrupt society/vigliante style of plot forms the background for the main story to play out.Also,there might be many that haven't even read/heard of MPD or seen english movies/serials based on MPD.

The anagram concept wasn't originally introduced in the da vinci code.That concept has been widely used in many detective novels for years and even in tamil monthly detective novels of yesteryears one can find that concept,so why berate shankar for using that concept.

"do we need another protagonist who goes after society because of a personal disaster"

The protagonist doesn't go after society directly.He just suffers on his own inability to deal with it which leads his brain(unknowingly to him) to create another personality or altar-ego.this personality is totally unkown to the guy and totally opposite to his original nature.That new personality goes after the society and it is a new concept.It's not the same as the protoganist taking it on himself on his own to set right the society.

The basic plot (that of the corrupt society and a vigilante fighting against it)is the same.But that's the base plot.The overall concept,background and the way it's done varies in gentleman, indian, muthalvan, and in the way it's presented.
Gentleman has corruption in education system alone and the hero steals from the corrupt(like robin hood) to provide eduction for the briiliant,poor children.
Indian has the hero as a freedom fighter,fighting again for freedom (freedom from corruption).The twist here is the hero's son is also a corrupt guy and the hero is hell bent on killing him too.The movie has coruption in Govt hospitals/licence office etc as the backdrop.
Muthalvan's hero is an educated person,a media personality.How an educated person can make a difference in the corrupt bureaucracy/politics forms the main plot.the basic plot remains the same,but the overall scenario has variations with subtle twists.
The same base plot has been used in Ramana,thirupachi,dhool with it's own variations.In the same way,Anniyan has a variation that forms the main plot and this basic plot just acts as a backdrop for the main story to play out.
Also the sreenplay/execution/handling of the script is different and doesn't appear rehashed.Nowhere does one get an impression that they are watching some old movie or a combination of old movies even though the base plot is same.That's the hallmark of a director who knows what he's doing.The difference sometimes could be in presentation too even though it's oft repeated story.
Classic examples are kamal's apoorva sagotharagal(same old plot of son avenging his father's death & twins getting separated at birth,but the variations are the twins are short and normal,the way the short guy gets about avenging his father's death and the way the story is presented) and michael madanakamarajan(same old story of "pangali" plotting for property and kids getting separated,but told in a humorous & different way).In anniyan,the latest technology has been used effectively and the execution of the screenplay is crisp and the presentation is slick.
Finally,it's only my opinion/thoughts and the box office can only tell if shankar has got it right or wrong.
I've spoken to 15 or so families(that've watched the movie in ca,mi,texas or NJ) here in USA and they liked it very much.Can we take it as a trend atleast for US market?

Sunday, June 19, 2005 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Arvind said...

Ram,

Very very nice review. My Comments, have been integrated and rolled into a blog post of its own ;-)

My thoughts here

Sunday, June 19, 2005 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Subha

welcome to the blogworld. I would be happy, If I get a chance to review each and every movie coming out in this world. But, time availability is limited. And also, I would like to review in the initial days of the release. If I don't get the opportunity to review on the first few days, my steam will be lost. Anyhow, will do my best. thanks for your comments.


Saj / Bladhawk / Ramkumar - I can understand your views. Thanks for such a detailed comment. Your perceptions are always welcome.

Arvind.. Read yours. Good one and different.

Sunday, June 19, 2005 2:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Raman said...

Ram,
Very detailed and excellent analysis and review. My feeling about the movie matches yours. I've always enjoyed Sankar's movies and could even digest the mess that was Kaadhalan.

But, Anniyan though was a disappointment for me. It had a strong social crux, but the presentation was lacking.

Too much money makes Shankar a bad boy?

Please read my opinions on the movie on my blog when you find time.

Sunday, June 19, 2005 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

Ram... fantastic review.. I thot i shouldn't visit your site before watching the movie.. but couldn't resist that. :)

Monday, June 20, 2005 1:06:00 AM  
Blogger visithra said...

Thanks for the link - nice review - enjoyed it. :)

Monday, June 20, 2005 1:59:00 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

Hi Ram,

Very good balanced review.
If we take logic into account there are n-number of places we can find issues in this movie...

Only way out is to see it as a masala mix. I liked it very much. Probably, I didn't go with much expectation :)

Monday, June 20, 2005 2:33:00 AM  
Anonymous balaji said...

ram,

very nice and elaborate analysis. i realise how many subtle details i had failed to notice in the fervent noise we made with our friends.

Monday, June 20, 2005 4:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

raman... Read yours. That too was a good & detailed one.

Chakra... anniyan tempt pannittaraa? ('karuda purana'thila appadi oru paguthi irukkaanu sujathava ketkanum!!)

visithra / krish - thanks for your comments.

balaji - it happens sometimes. if we are with our friends, we may try to enjoy the situation rather than the movie. it used to happen, when i watch a movie with my wife. she always make fun out of the characters while watching. this time, (un)fortunately she couldn't accompany me.

Monday, June 20, 2005 5:29:00 AM  
Blogger JaganLee said...

Ram,
Excellant review. I too saw the movie, and share ur thoughts. Shankar had wasted Vikram's time in bringing a movie like this. Nothing is new..
Ur cocktail explanation about the film is good.

Monday, June 20, 2005 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Praveen said...

Share ur thoughts Ram...just an entertainer with good characterisation...nothing else...

Monday, June 20, 2005 9:18:00 PM  
Blogger PVS said...

Thanks for the review Ram....waiting for the DVD now :))

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger sriram said...

Merits
Vikram + Vivek
Shankar in a vikram movie
Demerits
Bad background score
Vikram punishing the good people .....not stopping a brand new car for helping a imbecile is a personal issue ...ithukkellam death thaan ore issue nu solrathu is like conveyin a wrong message to the public .....not many examples were provided in the movie for his wrong doings
sada not able to identify the difference between the vikrams by his looks is illogical.....
unwanted matrix kinda scifi fight for a normal movie ...shankar gets carried away by graphix for an unwanted reason ...a multiple personality disorder patient cant be powerful enuf to fly and hit junta .....
vivek and prakashraj appearing in 4 scenes and investigating the crimes is a big joke ...evryone knows abt the website except the police ....a poor courtroom scene in the climax with a substandard judge .....gentleman courtoom was powerful....
Vikram 's irritatin accent as remo ....whole character was a caricature ...
Even in the end prakashraj trying to kill vikram in a jail was illogical .....
Vikram 's overstressing on evrything like for example the extra kaambu in a banana ...too much ...
Overall when the movie is been scripted itself ,shankar shld have realised that when a person is having MPD ,he will identified as the same person by his looks and not even being receognised by his parents and girl friend is a big hole in the movie and cant be digested ....

Too much of resemblance of Indian and gentleman
Nothing new in the mvie and waste of 27 crores .....Anniyan minus foreign location songs minus matrix fight would have costed the producer around 8 cr instead of 27

on the whole a brave attempt by shankar to basically direct a movie for graphix and graphix alone

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

jaganlee / praveen / pvs ...thanks.

sriram.. I agree with most of your points. since, I didn't want to highlight every issue, I highligted the glaring ones. thanks for your detailed comments.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAI
VIKRAM HAS PROVED IT ONCE AGAIN THROUGH THIS FILM.ALL MY FRIENDS ADMIRED AT HIS STUNNING PERFORMANCE. I HOPE & WISH HE SHOULD BREAK ALL RECORDS AND DO DIFFERENT ROLES IN EACH FILMS.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 6:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Saravanan (Singapore) said...

Hi people,

i have not watched anniyan yet. But i am still going to watch the movie even after reading the reviews here. Its because i feel that Vikram might have done a good job in the movie. Many people tell me that Vikram is the saviour of the movie. And from all of your reviews, i think it is true. Its quite interesting to watch someone save a bad movie by his or her acting prowess. Just take a look at Chandramukhi. Without Jothika's performance in the end, the movie would have failed terribly. Yes i am a fan of Rajinikanth. But with a really bad screenplay,(many loopholes) even Rajini's entry could not have saved it.Jothika did her best career best to save an otherwise unimpressive movie which has alleged to have violated intellectual property rights.

Likewise for Ghilli, we could not have imagined it without
Prakashraj's famous villain role.

Directors like Shankar really cannot direct an intimidating actor like Vikram. I believe Shankar is way past his prime. But at least he is making the effort to bring the interntional standard to tamil movies. I agree he has somewhat slackened in this recent effort. One thing is for sure. This movie is way better than 'Boys'.

Ram i believe we have dedicated half of this blog emphasising about the demerits of the movie.Why not we talk more about its good points.

After all ,let us support Vikram. I believe he went through a hard journey becoming a top actor and also in finishing anniyan.

Tamil Cinema today is dominated by heirs - Dhanush(Director's son), Simbhu(T.Rajenthir, Vijay (S A Chandrasekhar), Suriya (Sivakumar). Vikram's entry was a saving grace to tamil cinema, which was unnecessarily and unfortunately dominated by vijay and ajith in the late 90s. Two hopeless actors

I believe Vikram started out as no one and became someone in the field just like rajinikanth and kamalhassan. Although he cannot become them, he has definitely carved a niche for himself in cinema and he is no doubt the talented among the rest of the young stars.

Hail Vikram. Forget Shankar. Get Your Tickets. Watch the Movie!

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

anonymous / saravanan

I join you to appreciate vikram's rise in the film world. kudos to him....

Thursday, June 23, 2005 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Critical Eye said...

My sentiments exactly...

http://anniyanreview.blogspot.com

Friday, June 24, 2005 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger Critical Eye said...

http://critical-eye.blogspot.com/2005/06/anniyan-2005.html

Friday, June 24, 2005 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger Hawkeye said...

good review,

i think this is a balanced review. you did not over blow anything. I was kinda generous in my review. but that was because i liked the message so much.

agree with all ur points!

Monday, June 27, 2005 2:44:00 AM  
Blogger Anoop Sundaram said...

Hi Ram,
very good review.... i agree with u on most of the points but my review on the same was a lot more generous than many others jus coz i found the theme more than a necessity .... yes its the same thing he has been saying again and again ...... but the public awareness it brings in made me say "great" to anniyan.... oops i can hear u all say "Public is already aware of such stuff" but the painful fact is that there is nothing being done inspite of the awareness.........

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arun from Chennai

Well what do we have here?
Another blogger who thinks its cool to trash Anniyan ?
Yeah i'm talkin to you Ram.C and the rest you posters, who act like Ambi getting all worked up about the banana.

For those who still don't realize it, let me tell you what this movie is and isn't:

THIS MOVIE ISN'T:

1. a perfect 10 oscar nominee for screenplay,acting,music and _______ (enter your gripe here)

THIS MOVIE IS:

1. A movie(yes, its a work of fiction)
2. An indian movie
3. An escapist fantasy movie
4. A big budget grand movie
5. A complete family entertainer(or lets say PG)
6. Full paisa vasool.. you won't ever think "man, i wasted 100 bucks on this crap" ever... This movie thoroughly entertains.


first things first,
Ram, thanks for pointing out the strengths in the movie. I'm glad you did that.
Lets look at the weaknesses you pointed out,

Jumping Screenplay:

The Rowdies reporting to the police? Like someoneone who pointed out here.. dude, which rowdy goes to the police station for justice. highly ridiculous !! Rowdy-Police? You oxyMORON..


Vivek sends Remo into sada's room and never raises a question after coming back later:

Reasons:
Vivek could've thought it was Ambi who was making out with sada.
Remo in Ambi's outfit was making out with Sada, coz Sada might've wanted to see him differently.
Really, how much say does Vivek have in Sada's life to even raise a question???


quoting you "Where from(sic) 'Anniyan' is getting so much money to make a stage show to present his views?"

Maybe he got money from pledging his house or he stole! he's Anniyan, maybe he did some Gentleman style larceny. Stop Cribbing man.
Also It takes more than money to organize a stage show, Event management requires people. Where do you even see people? there's Nobody organizing crowds, nobody operating the projector... There are minor flaws.

Live with it.



You wanna grumble some more?here's some more fodder..

How did Remo become a hotshot model within a span of say 2-3months. Its not easy to get a break in the
fashion circuit. Atleast you cant be in a show with Yana Gupta.
Funny how nobody brought that up with all the over analyzing and tearing the movie apart.

For all you wiseass movie critics trashing this movie, please refer above to Point 1 of WHAT THIS MOVIE
ISN'T.

Let me draw your attention to some more positives:

Shankar never uses cigarettes or alcohol to portray Remo as a cool guy. A well deserved applause for that. Remo's accent was understandably bad. Well, thats how pseudo-happening people talk and if you are one, LISTEN TO YOURSELVES!

Clear explanations about the rise/demise of Remo for the front bench crowd.

Presence of Anniyan/ Remo paraphernalia in the attic ( deos,gels,sprays,clothes, Computer books etc..) for groaners who might say "where did he dress up as anniyan/remo? how does he build a website?"

Depiction Real world everyday events: Loose electrical wires hanging down from poles killing people(happens atleast twice a month in various parts of india) , hit and run accidents, Wine shops open on Gandhi Jayanti, Bad train food, eve teasing, alcohol on trains, poor quality of majority of indian products ... many many more..

Never occurred to you to bring all that up? .. Lets bitch about Anniyan 'cause its big budget and its hyped and the masses like it. What the masses like is NOT cool, right? People like you disgust me.

And Ram, lets look at your favorite movies: Source: Your Bio..
Update it already if you haven't, unless you've come to the conclusion that only 8 movies in the global movie industry lived up to your exceptionally high standards.

Jeans is one of your favorite movies?? NO COMMENTS.


Funny how 6 of the movies are tragedies and sobstories. So you want movies to make you cry, right? Or you want them to move you emotionally, make you wanna reach for a tissue, clear your throat, hug your girlfriend...

dude,TV serials cater to your need very well.

Oh, and You like 'emotional love blossoming sequences'(sic). Sorry to disappoint you here man. Can't pay too
much attention to it when the movie is already 3hours long. No, Can't do. Life's like that. Accept it.

This movie is not for you. This movie all said and done, is a masala movie. If you see fine acting,plotline, dance/stunt choreography... you appreciate it and be thankful.
This movie in no way makes you think that it was going to be a class apart from Indian or Muthalvan.

Like Tarantino, Shankar's movies take place in their own world. A world were the corrupt government officials and antisocial elements meet a sad untimely death. This was clearly evident in the trailer.

Thats what a trailer is, you decide if that movie is your type or not! The trailer even resembled the dud Citizen in a couple of scenes. Atleast I knew what I was expecting.

This movie never claimed to be different. You, my friend, are not its target audience. And that goes
for the rest of you punks who think they were fooled by what the movie claimed to be. If you didnt expect robinhood+batman+Indian+Mudhalvan+Gentleman, it speaks volumes about your level of intelligence and observation skills.


Please stop making references to Hollywood movies. This is an indian movie, compare it with any other
indian movie thats been made in the last hundred years and i'll agree that you have a point. That said, not once did I feel that a scene was lifted in its entirety from any english movie. Inspired yes, but not copied.

The graphics were never overused. If you think they were, read points 1 and 3 of WHAT THIS MOVIE IS. If you found the graphics choppy or dull, you probably watched it on TV or a crappy theatre. Trust me, The movie looks and sounds awesome in a good theatre and provides you with a rich movie-going experience.

Watch it in a theatre, guys. Thiruttu VCD doesnt do justice to this movie.

Please learn to appreciate an indian movie for what it is. And Ram.C, you go watch Moonram Pirai or whatever makes you cry, leave Anniyan alone.

Friends, Quit whining and go watch the movie. If you have already watched it, congrats! you spent your money and
time wisely.. You had a nice time with your family/friends, you hum songs on your way to work, your kids can't stop talking about Anniyan and asking you questions, some geeky part of you secretly wishes to be anniyan or remo and you laugh it off.

All said, this is a very well executed, warm, feel good movie with a strong message.

- Arun from Chennai

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

CE / Bharart / Anoop - Thanks for your comments.

And Anonymous Arun

Thanks for a detailed comment. I appreciate the efforts you had put on here. Eventhough I expected a better execution of the story, I am strongly for the message given by the director. Because, I am one among 'ambi' characters who expect perfection around us. As I said, execution could have been better.

Anyhow, Perception differs. Yours and Mine. Regarding so many other personal attitudes of mine, unrelated to this movie, which you had mentioned.. that's upto you. If I discuss Shankar in Public, you would like to discuss mine. that's OK.....!!! Once again, thanks for an emotional and detailed reply.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 3:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the movie. Vikram has rendered a superb performance. For a person who has never been cradled by a big gun like K Balachander in his initial days unlike Kamal and Rajini, Vikram is simply superb especially in the scene at the police interrogation room with Prakash Raj. The usual masal have been added for the general INDIAN public who love to fantasize. Other than that, this movie is meant for the intellectuals. Not for those who go goo-goo gaa-gaa over a fast number by Vijay or a totally unbelievable bullet splitting gun-duel by Vijaykanth. Go and watch it friends. This is much better than Chandramukhi which is a pale shadow of its Malayalam original.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 7:55:00 AM  
Anonymous daZ said...

Prakashraj spoofed Herbie Stempel (John Turturro in "Quiz Show") quiz genius character. He nailed that character, down to that uneven tooth.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 3:12:00 PM  
Anonymous GP said...

Ram, really nice review. Just after posting mine, I read yours. Liked it. I enjoyed the movie..

Thursday, June 30, 2005 4:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi losers,

if u people cant Njoy anniyan, be silent. u giving such disgraceful reviews, is like walking naked in a crowd, not knowing that u r naked.this is exactly wat one expect out of shankar. u less mortals not even know wat to expect from shankar - better be silent and not comment abt shankar. u've got no intellectual capacity to appreciate such a nice movie. Every one knows that anniyan's going to be a true masala movie, if u losers still go to watch anniyan expecting a national award movie which would make u cry - sorry i dont have a word for u.
Shankar is a masala geneius -- Vikram is the greatest actor to ever grace the world.
verdict: u losers dont have any right to comment on the master piece anniyan.
Final words On the Movie:
No other director could have ever written a better screenplay for the movie. its the greatest commercial movie in years.
Vikram once again proves that he is the greatest actor in the world. ...........Saran.S

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 6:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Mr.Anonymous Saran..

I think you are an educated guy.. Probably your parents hadn't taught you as to how to talk in a public forum. If you want to support the movie, support it. Don't pull down others and disgrace their opinions. Opinion and Perception differs. At the same time, you should know how to mind your words.

If you have guts, pl. come out and talk openly - with a blog name or genuine mail ID. Don't go behind Anniyan style masks. Being a good technician and story teller, people expect a nicely knit story from Shankar when he spends Rs.29 crores on a movie. He has not delivered this time, eventhough you claim it to be a neat screenplay. That's what people had commented upon. If you want to talk positively about the movie, put in your post and send propoganda messages to everybody. I appreciate that attitude. It is upto people to take or not. But don't spoil others room with your "-----" words. This is my room and we people are discussing. If you don't want to enter, don't. Don't spoil the atmosphere. It is only degrading your quality and approach to an issue.

I can delete your comment. But, I am not, since this place is for everyone to express opinions. Just go for a crash course to Sujatha, as to how to measure the words. I am his ardent fan. I still appreciate his dialogues, eventhough I would like to highlight the loopholes which we observed. If those things were absent, the movie is worth watchable than 'Indian' which didn't have flaws.

Anyhow, enjoy the movie without tarnishing others opinions. Just by spraying some words, you cannot change people's opinions.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 7:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Ash said...

Your review was awesome mate!

Thursday, July 07, 2005 2:23:00 AM  
Blogger யாத்திரீகன் said...

god !!!! after reading reviews from sify,rediff i had got an good impression on the movie,

but when i watched it, i just realized the same things what you have mentioned, and i was wondering, why didnt those reviews reflect them. They made me waste the network bandwidth for downloading the DVD Rip of this movie and my time for watching it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 6:44:00 AM  
Anonymous dandu said...

anniyan is the best picture in tamil film industry it as made tamil cinema to be a world standard one anniyan is the best film
remo is cool
ambi is good
anniyan is the best

Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all ur views are rite..i also wonder y vivek and prakash raj come in different roles while attending a case...not at all clear...they go in different roles but they will tell all the policeman...also in that fight scene..we can clearly say thats not vikram..in some part of it..i gues thats stunt master(may be peter hein)??i am not sure..

Thursday, September 01, 2005 8:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice review..but i disagree with a few of the things you wrote, but thats just my opinion. Nice try!

i thought sada was dancing very nicely in iyengaaru...
she's actually a trained classical dancer

Saturday, March 31, 2007 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ said...

After all its a major hit

Friday, June 27, 2008 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Jaya said...

One of the Top 10 Tamil

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:33:00 AM  

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