Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Anniyan - அந்நியன்

Written: 25th July 2005

(you might not want to read if you haven't seen the movie - potential spoilers)

I saw this movie some time back (about three weeks back). After Boys, which I enjoyed, I was looking forward to this movie, partly because of the hype that was created, and partly because of my confidence with Shankar's screenplay. I also liked the quote "He who comes from hell is not afraid of hot ashes" :)

To summarize in one sentence - "Can watch once, but cannot avoid a tinge of disappointment as the movie ends."


Pros:

  1. To top all, I really like Shankar's thought of reforming the society. The grasp that the small things that go neglected are the reason our country is in the state it is is very commendable. There is no question that this movie will bring this aspect to our awareness, and that in itself is a good thing to come out of this movie. That footage which Anniyan plays on video just before the climax really pricked.
  2. Vikram's acting - is a very big strength for this movie. Especially the very last scene where he oscillates between ambi and anniyan is awesome - despite the scene being very exaggerated.
  3. The magnitude of the movie, and the lavishness of the screenplay.
  4. Harris Jeyaraj's background score
  5. The heroine :) - she is a good choice. She really looks like an iyer ஆத்து பொண்ணு in traditional attire, and sexy in modern clothes.
  6. Vivek's comedy - though he tries to be dominating in some scenes.

Cons:

Unfortunately, they outnumber the pros

  1. Logic flaws: It is hard to beleive that 'Nandy' cannot recognize ambi from remo from anniyan, until the point she is about to be murdered. Of all people, I cannot beleive Shankar allowed this flaw. Though the effort is visible, I think a LOT more work was required for the script. The nuances that detailed his earlier movies are missing here.
  2. Shankar draws heavily from his earlier movies - Indian and Gentleman especially.
  3. The murders seem to be heavily inspired from the english movie 'Seven' - though they have been Indianized. They are also very brutal - considering the 'offenses' made by the victims.
  4. The Karate fight was atrocious - supposed to be one of the highlights.
  5. The detective work was uninspiring - eventhough it drew from Indian.
  6. Eventhough the movie tries to convince us with logic - I cannot agree to the solution of killing people for these small errors. The movie tries to tell us how these small errors add up to total anarchy, but I think the solution is to make small changes in each of our behaviors so that they add up to total transformation. Killing people who take bribes at least makes logical sense (though I do not agree to that as well, personally), but this is really pushing it.
  7. Anniyans antics are way overexaggerated at some places (that fight in the gutter for instance)
  8. Remo was an addendum which could have been avoided. It does show case Vikram's acting skills though.
  9. Songs: they are dazzling and lavish, and good - but none of them were really required in the movie. So much money was pumped into these songs - they could have been used in the movie. Being a good craftsman he is, Shankar needs to take a cue from people like Bala and Maniratnam on how to use songs in movies without interrupting script flow. For example, a theme song for this movie would have really added punch to the movie.
  10. The 'forumla' Shankar used to cookup the movie can be clearly seen as we watch the movie.

I probably would have enjoyed this more if it came from a different director. I guess my expectations from Shankar screwed up some of the enjoyment. For me, the scariest part is that I have stopped looking forward to the next movie from him. I'll still watch it, but I don't think it will have the same excitement which I felt for Anniyan. If the next movie focuses on killing people who do mistakes, I think it's done-deal!!

I guess it's Bala and MR for me then :)

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