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Anbe Sivam is a story about an unexpected journey undertaken by two men Anbarasu and Nallasivam. The two men have widely contrasting characters, but the story revolves how they get along with one another. The two meet each other while they await their flight to Chennai at the Bhubaneswar airport. When the flight gets canceled, hardly did they know that they are going to spend the next few hours of their lives together. While Anbarasu (Aras) is moving to Chennai for his wedding, Nallasivam (Nalla) has to hand over a cheque to union workers. As they start their journey to reach their destination as fast as possible, Nalla uses his presence of mind to get Aras out of trouble. While they are waiting at the railway station, Nalla tells Aras his story.
A few years ago Nalla was a street theater performer working for the union workers. As a result, Kandasamy Padayatchi, a factory owner was against him. However, Nalla and Padayatchi’s daughter Bala fell in love, but they were aware that Padayatchi would never agree to their relationship. Before Nalla and Bala could elope as per their plan, Nalla suffers an accident that leaves him partially paralyzed for life. A few years later when Nalla goes back to meet Bala, he is informed that Bala is already married and shifted abroad. It was this incident that turns Nalla to a firm believer in humanity and love and becomes a social worker. When Aras and Nalla reach Chennai, Aras delivers Nalla’s cheque and invites him to his wedding.
Nalla then finds out that Aras is getting married to none other than Bala. Padayatchi spots Nalla and asks him to leave the ceremony to avoid a menace, in return of which Nalla asks him to sign a paper that will enable his factory workers to get a raise. Padayatchi does so but then asks his assistant to kill Nalla, but he realizes all the wrongful acts that he had done for Padayatchi had resulted in the death of his daughter, and so he advises Nalla to leave the city for good. Nalla immediately agrees and leaves after which the story comes to an end.
Analysis: The film has received a lot of attention from both critics and viewers appreciating the remarkable storyline. It is true the story is as straightforward as it could be but it is also appealing and very different from the regular Tamil films that viewers are accustomed to watching. The film is not just about the respect that the two men end up having to each other, rather it is about ideas. In the backdrop of a small and usual love story, is a conflict of ideas and attitudes between the two ranging from love, God, religion, communism, society, and many others. All credits for the story go to Kamal Hassan himself for this film which will always stand apart from other Tamil movies.
The director is Sundar C, but his effort and work are not much recognizable when the story and direction are by Kamal Hassan. The music by Vidyasagar is also appreciable. Arthur A. Wilson does the cinematography well enough. The film does not have an exotic foreign location, but it uses the sites in the state itself and makes it look stunning. The movie has its best in every possible way though it was not accepted widely. It has a mixture of humor and satire and uses it skillfully not to miss out the main theme of the film.
Star Performances: Kamal Hassan plays the lead as Nalla and just like in story-writing; he excels in this as well. His role is accepted as one of his best performances Hassan has delivered till now. Hassan’s role shows his versatility as an artist as he flawlessly depicts the character of Nalla expressing all his thoughts and emotions with satire and humor to it. R. Madhavan plays Aras and as usual, he does full justice to his role of an ad filmmaker.
He too, just like Hassan, portrays the ideas of his character and fulfills the needs excellently well. Kiran Rathod plays Bala, the kind-hearted young girl who is against her father’s ideas. Nassar as Kandasamy Padayatchi also excels in his part. Overall, the film has very experienced and skilled acting.
The movie has everything that one would want to watch.
What’s not there?
There is nothing as such that lacks in the film.
Verdict: It has a story which very far away from the usual Tamil ones and this is what makes it so extraordinary. Anbe Sivam is one such movie that is certainly not to be missed.
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