Directed by Shankar with music by AR Rahman, "INDIAN" boasts of a strong cast consisting of Kamal, Manisha Koirala, Urmila Matdaonkar, Sukanya, Nedumudi Venu ,Goundamani, Senthil, 'Nizhalgal' Ravi etc. The sets are by Thota Tharani, choregraphy by Raju Sundaram.
The story runs on two tracks, one is that of Chandra (Kamal),a smalltime broker outside the RTO (Road Transport office) who gets people their licences etc for hefty sums. He is supported in this work by Goundamani. Senthil is an officer in the RTO and as usual has conflicts with Goundamani. Unlike the usual Senthil Goundamani comedy which is normally very loudmouthed and crude, we are spared of it all and the comedy does evoke laughs. Aishwarya (Manisha) and Chandra are in love with each other. Sapna (Urmila) is the daughter of a high level officer in the RTO. Her dad has promised to get Chandra a good job if he runs errands for them, which he does, as well as dances with Sapna in the process.
The other track is of Senapathy, alias INDIAN (Kamal), an old 70 year old man who kills top government officials (like Corporation commissioners etc.) since he is firmly opposed to corruption. Nedumudi Venu is an intelligence officer out to nab the INDIAN. He manages to somehow trace his way to Senapathy's house and poses as an ex freedom fighter. Archived newspaper reports said that Senapathy was an INA soldier who was an extremist. Senapathy's wife is Sukanya. When she is asked about what Senapathy did to deserve a freedom fighter tag, we are taken to the 1940s. Rebellions against the British, atrocities etc are shown culminating in Senapathy marrying Sukanya but leaving for Singapore to join Subash Chandra Bose as part of the Indian National Army. He returns after independence.(lots of Films Division Documentaries attached along with Forrest Gump attempts to show Kamal along with Bose) Nedumudi Venu tries to arrest Senapathy but his attempt is foiled thanks to a perfected, rare, dying out martial art known to few people.
Senapathy then goes on to commit a murder in front of television audiences by killing 'Nizhalgal' Ravi, a doctor who had refused to attend immediately to Senapathy's daughter (Kasturi) who was suffering from third degree burns and insisted on a bribe, which obviously Senapathy refused. Chandra (Kamal) parts ways with his father because of his excessive insistence on honesty etc. and considers these values to be dead and worthless. How Senapathy evades the police and escapes when arrested forms a major portion of the remaining part of the story. Public support is very high for the INDIAN because he is exposing so many corrupt people. Senapathy doesnt show any favours for his son either. Chandra had earlier taken a bribe and given a licence for a bus driver whose bus was in abysmal condition. The bus meets with an accident and thus Chandra is responsible. Senapathy is bent on giving Chandra the same punishment as he gives for others, ie death. In a not-so-good climax, Senapathy kills Chandra and escapes the clutches of the cops too.
The plus points of the movie are some good acting by Kamal and Nedumudi Venu, excellent make up for the older Kamal (Senapathy) and Sukanya, brilliant picturisation of songs (really a visual treat !), good choreography. Further the flashback (pre independence) has also been shown well in black and white with the correct dresses and mannerisms. Extensive usage of Computer Graphics is also a plus point, especially when Kamal meets Subash Chandra Bose, the morphing in the Kappal Eri Poyachu song ending etc. In all, a good movie worth seeing definitely. Urmila and Manisha dont really have much work except that they both look glamorous and appear for songs mainly. The minus points are its more of a masala movie, probably average performances by the rest of the cast, an unconvincing climax etc. But with this movie, Shankar, IMHO, has proved that he can do a decent job of directing a stalwart like Kamal apart from trashy movies like Gentleman and Kaadhalan

Back to Reviews