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Reminiscing Anbe Sivam

For a blog predominantly running on reviews, surprised to note that till date haven’t posted about Anbe sivam, one of my all-time favorites. There was a time when Kamal’s movies were fun to watch and of the lot Anbe Sivam was his crown jewel. Though director’s credit shows Sundar.C, not even he would believe it to be his movie. Though story and screenplay are the only items credited to Kamal, its widely known to be ghost directed by him. Dialogues are by Cartoonist Madhan of Aanandha Vikatan fame. They are not just witty but razor sharp and intellectually stimulating. Couldn’t miss out Kamal’s impression on this area as well. Most of the dialogues sound custom made or probably assisted by him for him. Its regarded as one of his best ever movies critically but his worst failure at box office as well. For a movie released almost a decade and half back, it has a score of 97% in rotten tomatoes. Have never seen such high a score for any tamil movie. Ever.
Though its Kamal everywhere and everything in the movie, the other characters shine as bright if not more. Madhavan, who technically is the second lead, has performed his career best as that of an up class rich guy, spoilt for choices and prejudices but having innocence of a child. His role makes you love him, hate him, feel sorry for him and root for him. A very difficult role which he made it look neat. Nasser, the usual partner in crime on most of Kamal’s movies has a strong character in this one as well. With his portrayal of cunning hypocrite of a capitalist who would go to any extent to exploit his employees plus typical villain dad must have been a cake walk of a performance for him. Yet the strong negative vibes are pretty easily identifiable with his character even when smiling or silent. Kiran rathod, the heroine, despite her obvious lack of exposure to such kind of roles and probably must’ve been pretty new to the industry in itself, does as best a justice she can for her character. Next stand out performer for me is Yugi Sedhu. He comes for just ten minutes, but the essence of his role ties up Madhavan’s view point about Kamal from start and makes an interesting co-relation. The way Sedhu confronts his victims from whom he had stolen and dares them to take to police shows the stark reality of today. The other stand out performer is the music director. When I heard the album for the very first time, a friend of mine heard the “Gnnaaaa ugnaaaa ugannaaa” portion of “Naatukoru sedhi” song and passed his verdict on the movie, which turned out to be pretty accurate. I was actually super impressed by the lyrics and rest of the songs as well and was under the impression that it was another Ilayaraja master piece. When I got to know that it was Vidyasagar who tuned those songs I became a big time fan of him ever since. Though there are few albums of him I could recollect, Run, Mozhi, Ponniyin Selvan, Karna have some really hummable numbers. Lastly, Kamal. Be it injecting the concept of communism, scene after scene, songs and dialogues and picturisation, it’s a master class of many levels by him. The famed “Kadavul illainu naan enga sonnen” sequence is one for the “dialogues wall of fame”. Madhan being the dialogue writer, his comic timing was top notch throughout the movie. Be it the scenes involving disfigured Kamal and Maddy, Maddy on phone, his escapades during the travel, the train sequence, even in break heart sad situations, some or other wit shines throughout the movie. The final crowning moment is the way Kamal takes leaves from the person who is assigned to kill him, allowing/permitting rather, his killer to escape and laughingly making his way, is probably one of the best ever climaxes in Tamil cinema. Another un-missable thread that runs throughout the movie is the concept of Love. True to its name, its Love and its emphasis across every single frame. An wonderful movie, which is a must watch for any movie fan.


Ramesh said…
Have never heard of the movie of course, but even a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score won't make me see it unless Gilsu is taking me along !!

By the way isn't Kamal 97 years old. Even 10 years ago, I think that was his age. Isn't he ever retiring ??
gils said…
ehhehehe...sure thala..he must be close to that age for sure :D

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