Movie Review
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Athisaya Piravi
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Movie Review


Rajnikanth and AVM productions had a mutually beneficial relationship in the eighties. The string of Rajnikanth movies for AVM helped reintroduce the term 'masala movie' into tamil cinema terminology. Movies like Murattu Kaalai, Nallavanukku Nallavan and Manidhan (not coicidentally, all three were directed by S.P.Muthuraman) steadfastly stuck to the 'masala' formula and raked in the money at the box-office while at the same time, helping Rajnikanth climb to the top rung of tamil stardom. But Ejamaan, released much later, is predominantly a sentimental movie that does not offer much for the typical Rajni fan. Predictably, it did not enjoy as much success at the box-office as its peers.

Ejamaan also brought back to the fore, the controversy about old heros being paired with young heroines. Ejamaan highlighted the issue since Rajni's heroine was Meena, who had acted as a child performer with him in movies like Anbulla Rajnikanth and Engeyo Kaetta Kural. But the controversy died a natural death and Meena went on to act with Rajnikanth in Veera and Muthu, both of which were hugely successful.

Vaanavaraayan(Rajnikanth) is the village leader, adored and respected by the people. Based in his advice, they abstain from voting in the elections and instead, pool the money given by the candidates to get themselves some basic amenities. Vallavaraayan(Napoleon) is his arch enemy. Their enmity is further sharpened when Vaanavaraayan wins the hand of Vaitheeswari (Meena), whom Vallavaraayan had also wished to wed. So Vallavaraayan convinces the priest at the temple to mix a potion in the holy water that Vaitheeswari drinks. This destroys her ability to become a mother. When Vaanavaraayan learns of this, he hides this news from Vaitheeswari so that she is not hurt. But surprisingly, Vaitheeswari soon becomes pregnant.

The movie incorporates more sentiments than usual Rajnikanth movies. Both Rajni and Meena compete in showering love and affection on each other. These sections are designed to touch the hearts of the womenfolk. Every woman in the audience will wish for a husband like Vaanavaraayan, especially when he says that "a husband who allows tears in his wife's eyes is no man". The sequence where he lists out the things he would get for Meena(before dashing off to catch her a butterfly) is another such sequence. But the overemphasis on a woman becoming a mother and the continuous talk about begetting a child tends to get on one's nerves.

Rajnikanth's characters are always a mix of both action and comedy. But that does not fit into the character here and results in poor characterization. One hand he commands the respect of the villagers and on the other he steals food from the lunchboxes of the villagers. But his encounters with Napoleon offer solace to the Rajni fan with enough bravura challenges and double entendre dialogs which hint at his personal appeal and political stance. The bullock cart race sequence (particularly the list of comparisons between Rajni and Napoleon before the actual race) is the pick of the lot. The scene where the government officials come and ask him for accounts of his land is also funny.

The comedy, usually one of the strongpoints of a Rajnikanth movie, oversteps the boundaries of decency to descend into vulgarity. Nambiar's actions, where he hides the Kamasutra inside the Bhagvad Geetha and reads it, are an insult both to his age and the holy book. Aishwarya's accusation about Rajnikanth and her song when she tries to seduce Rajnikanth also make the movie more adult than other Rajni movies.

Rajnikanth plays the role softly and in a very mellow manner. His style in this movie is flipping the towel on his shoulder. Meena looks pretty and the pairing proves to be a good one. She melts our heart when she thanks Rajnikanth for getting her what she wants. Napoleon looks royal and dignified in portraying a ruthless but classy villain. Aishwarya(with some extra make-up to fit into the village milieu) is adequate. Koundamani and Senthil have a fun time spoofing the Prabhu-Karthik encounters in Agni Natchathiram. Ilaiyaraja comes up with a very melodious soundtrack. Aalappol Velappol..., Oru Naalum Unai Maravaadha... and Nilave Mugam Kaattu... are all very easy on the ears. Adi Raakku Muthu... has very impressive beats and is very well choreographed.


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