Sizes do matter. Big is beautiful, especially when it costs Rs 27 Crore. For months, everybody has been talking about this Shankar directed big budget fantasy movie. However, the beauty of Anniyan lies in Vikram’s characters which have been superbly presented by Shankar.
For Shankar, cinema is a packaged fantasy with a message and he has lived up to his expectations with Anniyan, a yarn spun beautifully to entice the moviegoers to part with their hard-earned money for three hours of pure entertainment. The film holds you riveted due to its racy narration, a relevant message backed with technical wizardry, never-seen before colourful song picturisation and above all the performance of Vikram.
Ramanujam alias Ambi(Vikram) is a lawyer who goes by the rule book. He reacts to people who disobey traffic rules, eve teasing in transport buses, spitting on roads, not providing standard meals in trains and so on… Ambi takes up cases of the underdog but loses in court due to lack of evidence. Everyone calls him `Rules Ramanujam`.
Ambi cribs and his favourite line is- “I hate disorder”. His father Parthsarathy (Nedumudi Venu) keeps advising him that he can’t change the world, his best friend Chari (Vivek) says he is obsessed by law and Ambi is shattered when Nandini (Sada) the girl whom he loves feels that he is a big bore and is not worth loving!
One day he stumbles on a website which follows the Garudapuranam, the Hindu equivalent of the Christian judgment which says “Those who sin will be punished in hell”. And the mild mannered Ambi turns into Anniyan, a modern day avatar of ‘Chitraguptan’ who keeps account in ‘Yamalokam’ (hell).
Anniyan is a vigilante who wreaks havoc on people who cheat, loots or conned Ambi including Nandini. By the time Ambi reaches police station to file a complaint, he realizes that the accused is already killed by Anniyan! Meanwhile there is another character Remo, a suave supermodel who tries to woo Nandini and she falls head over heels in love with him.
Well, what Ambi suffers is Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) that is diagnosed by a psychiatrist (Nassar). In split seconds, Ambi changes into Anniyan and then to Remo much to the surprise of the doctors and Nandini. In a flashback, Shankar tries to explain why Ambi suffers from MPD. Meanwhile, a cop Prabhakar (Prakash Raj), is investigating the mystery behind the murders happening in the city. What happens to Ambi, Remo and Anniyan in the climax forms the rest of the story.
When you first heard the songs of Harris Jayaraj, it left you cold, but on screen all the five songs are visual treats. The first song “Kumaari…Kumaari…” shot in the tulip fields of Amsterdam is breath taking. The Iyengaru Veetu Azhage…is simply stunning and hats off to art director Sabu Cyril and cameraman Manikandan for recreating the Thyagaraja Thiruvizha along with veteran musicians like Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and Sudha Raghunath.
The third song “Kathal Yanai…” shot on a ramp choreographed by Ahmed Khan and shot by Ravi Varman is stylish. The peppy number “Kannum Kannum Nokia…” is brilliantly captured at KL airport under Raju Sundaram and the surprise packet is “Andangkakka…”, a visual stunner. The special effects and graphics are awesome. Ravi Varman's amazing camera and the action choreography by Peter Haynes with the slicing technique used in stunt scenes needs mention.
Anniyan truly belongs to Vikram and the film is unthinkable without him. He is superb and does the roles with conviction, suaveness and chill into the three characters of Ambi, Remo and Anniyan that he portrays. His body languages and voice modulation is amazing as he plays all the characters with different style, get-up and attitude. It is a role that could have been reduced to a caricature by a lesser actor.
The movie is clearly at its best in the climax scene when Vikram changes from Ambi to Anniyan in split seconds in the confrontation scene with Prakash Raj and truly the versatile actor walks away with all the accolades. Sada is good and does her part well, Vivek’s comedy is bankable and Prakash Raj is good. Nedumudi, Kalabhavan Mani, Haneefa and Nassar in cameo roles fit in well.
On the downside the plot of Anniyan is a rehash of Indian and Muthalvan with the character of Ambi etched out of Jim Carrey’s The Mask, about a mild mannered guy changing into a one-man army, craving to see natural justice realised.
The film is too lengthy at three hours and the story is too thin on logic and depends largely on the three characters played by Vikram to take it forward. Anyway, it is an escapist comic book like fantasy family entertainer sans any vulgarity or bloodshed.
Verdict: Must See