A fiction which is also the fact

Last Sunday I managed to get tickets [at Subham] to watch the latest Tamil movie Anniyan. First impression, Shanker and Co have given a fantastic entertainment with wonderful social messages. Being an NRI for about a decade now, having seen various countries and been among societies, frankly this movie had a great impact on me. Shanker was able pinpoint each and every, I have no words in English – in Tamil “Athangam” I had while visiting and living in other countries. Why people in my country are socially irresponsible? This question pops in my head each time I witness such acts. I cannot rise up with a multiple personality to kick their ass out, most often the feeling gets subsided down with in myself. I am sure there are many out there with similar feelings.

The story is about a well-disciplined “Iyengar” boy who goes over board with civic rules and behavior. Meaning, he gets agitated even by a minor law violation. For example, If a bike driver cross the yellow line in a traffic light hero Ramanujam alias Ambi boldly requests them to be more disciplined. However people trash his deeds and tease him by calling names like Rules Ramanujam. They make fun of him, including the heroine.

I have been travelling in Chennai for about 2 weeks now. I have witnessed each and every careless traffic violations that is shown in Anniyan. People drive without disciple or care. Crossing the center yellow line happens on most roads of Chennai. Most never care about anything other than peeking their vehicle ahead of every one at every given chance. This is a fact. If they don’t find a way, they don’t bother to push their horn to the maximum and create a sound pollution. When it comes to Road rage, Banglore and Chennai compete quite well to prove the worst amongst them. Other day, I was returning from a studio I was on an Auto. The traffic was jammed packed on the light. However the care less auto driver kept nagging other drivers and suddenly drove on the pavement in order to get ahead of others. Anniyan clearly talks about such ruthless social behaviors. Wait! The story does not end with Traffic violations.

The hero tries to control various other kinds of social carelessness. For example the break cables on a bike. I am sure many would have gone through this agony. Ambi buys a cable by paying a price. But the manufactures do not offer a quality product for the money paid. He simply cheats. The cable on his moped snaps and he almost ends up being killed in the traffic. Let me tell you, being abroad for a decade, if you spend a dollar and buy a product, the quality of the product will be worth the money spent. There will no double standard. Consumers are automatically protected. Here Yesterday I went to one of the biggest shop in Chennai, where the other side of their bill reads “Good once sold cannot be taken back”, meaning, it is buyers responsibility to make sure you don’t get crap. The Seller has the right to sell you crap.

By using Ramanujam, Shanker clearly establishes the fact that we are an undisciplined society and we don’t care for people and quality of life. But this time Shankers script does not blame the politicians or civil servants. He simply says people are responsible for such social evils. It is the people who need to change and it is not worth any more blaming the politicians. He is dam correct. Muthalvan was about politicians who used the society for their political gains, in this movie we see how people themselves are responsible for the civic disobedience.

Let me give you some more on the story. Having been tormented by this undisciplined and careless society, timid Ramanujam suffers from a Multiple personality disorder. Vikram comes good in 2 roles. He simply rocks with his performance. The 3rd guy, Remo did not impress me, He was just created for romance. Rather than a “hep” model, the character looked as though he was struggling from “midlife crises”. The song “Kadal Yanai Remo” could have been done well. It was technically amazing but looked like an AVM song form the 80s that would be shot in a studio set. Same goes the another song by Remo. But the photography and locations were totally cool.

The best song for me was “Anadang kaka” the way it had been shot is simply amazing. Shanker’s “directorial touch” can be been seen all through the song. This song video is worth the money that I paid to watch the movie. The other 2 songs “Kumari” and “Iyengar vettu” were also done well. “Kumari” has an Amazing visual treat in a Tulip farm. Though Tulips looked digitally placed, the song will be treat to your eyes. FYI: The heroine Sadha fits in to the role. But her role was similar to the last item in the Saravana Bhavan menu. No one really cared.

Ramanujam, - Anniyan. He goes in the dark to execute people who does not care for the people and society, How does he know whom to kill, he runs a web site, where people can post their grievances. Yes kind of Indian + Muthalvan but this in a different form. Anniyan does not go after corrupt officials, He takes on people who really disobey laws and cheat people.

The way the story unfolds is crisp. Some felt the first half was slow though I did not feel so, the second half is really quick paced. Before you know the movie would conclude. Vivek with Vikram comes good. Each and every frame Vivek appears is a laugh riot. And best part was Vivek’s role does not super seed the main character. His character is well knit in the story. And the Police officer, PrakashRaj underplays his role well. His usual “chelaaam chelam” excess rush of blood is not found anywhere. Good work by the director to use this talented artist properly.

The Fight sequences were done with great care. Yes Matrix or what ever, I don’t care. Shanker, his crew and the producers have taken great pains to do these shots. The fight sequence in the dark alley was amazing, an overhead camera captures Anniyan , the shot is “ramped” quickly and the technique used seemed totally new to Tamil movies. There are also few fight movements new to Tamil movies. Fights will look real and you will never feel bored by them. You need to watch this to feel what I am talking about. Thanks to Shanker and DP for not over using the “Ramping” concept.

Finally, in a nutshell, this movie is worth watching and I am sure it will do well in the box office. The sound was too jarring and loud in “Subbham”. In fact the speaker was vibrating badly and could be heard for few songs. There is no need to raise the volume to get quality. Just proper sound balancing will do the needful. However theater owners think other wise. I wish the music director/sound engineers took care of the sound ergonomics in the theaters too.

When it comes to Social message and perfect entertainment, Shanker is the king and he retains his thrown and crown.

Ps: Few people might not like it, because it pinpoints their fault. :)