Movie: This song appeared in 2005 Oscar Films’ runaway hit Tamil psychological thriller Anniyan (Stranger) directed by S Shankar and produced by V Ravichandran. The movie starred Vikram, Sada, Vivek, Prakash Raj, Nassar, Nedumudi Venu, Saurabh Shukla, etc.
Ramanujam Iyengar aka Ambi (Vikram) comes from an orthodox Brahmin and an honest consumer protection advocate from Triplicane, Chennai. He is idealistic and law-abiding. He is so naïve that he expects everyone to follow the rules and the law and prosecutes the violators. He is in love with his neighbor and classical singer, Nandini (Sada). But, he is never confident enough to propose to her. A chain letter arrives at his home. It says that Anniyan has appeared and would solve all problems. Ambi begins to complain about all the issues that he had been facing. And the serial murders begin. The murderer always leaves an anagram code near the place of murder.
Ambi proposes his alliance for Nandini to her parents through a letter, saying that giving a love letter to a girl is morally wrong. Guess what the letter contains? It is his CV! Nandini outright rejects him for always talking rules and not being practical. He gets very dejected due to the rejection. Soon, falls in love with a model Remo, without knowing that he is Ambi’s alter ego. Ambi visits her to tell her that he almost committed suicide, unable to deal with the rejection. But, he stopped himself because at that time suicide was a crime in India. She reveals to him that she is in love with someone else. That breaks him and he is crying while going to his office. On the way, he is kidnapped by the goons of a businessman, against whom Ambi had filed litigation. Ambi is beaten up and thrown in a gutter. He regains consciousness. He wakes up but not as Ambi, as Anniyan!
Anniyan not only beats up the goons but also finds the owner of the company (Saurabh Shukla) he had filed the petition against. He throws leaches on the man, to kill him. DCP Prabhakar finds it fishy and takes the help of Chari (Vivek) to meet a Sanskrit Scholar because the words left by the murderer at the murder location seemed to be from that language. Chari takes his boss to his friend Ambi, who immediately deciphers the words and the different hells and punishments mentioned in Garuda Purana for the wrong-doers. Prabhakar gets suspicious when a leech is found moving in Ambi’s house.
Nandini’s marriage is fixed with Remo. She purchases some land for her dowry and evades stamp duty by undervaluing the property. Ambi accompanies her to the registration and admonishes her for the act. She ignores him and goes ahead with the registration. Soon, she is with Remo for a date. He turns into Anniyan and tries to punish her for the crime. He is about to kill her when she calls out for Ambi. Anniyan turns into Ambi and faints.
Nandini takes him to the hospital where she studies. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. The chief psychiatrist (Nassar) uses recovered memory therapy to uncover Ambi’s past. It turns out that he had lost his younger sister at the age of 14, due to the negligence of a government official. His lawyer father could not get justice for the incident, due to civic apathy. The incident left him with deep emotional scar for life. This was the reason for his lofty ideals. The psychiatrist also realizes that while Remo and Anniyan, knew about Ambi as a separate person, Ambi did not know that the other 2 were present inside him. The psychiatrist informs Nandini that Remo will exit if she accepts Ambi’s love. But Anniyan will leave only when the society mends its ways.
Just before Nandini’s first classical music performance, which Ambi has selflessly arranged, Nandini accepts Ambi’s love and Remo disappears. It is at this time that Ambi thinks he is performing this song with Nandini.
Song: The lyrics of this song were penned by Vairamuthu and the music was composed by Harris Jairaj. Krishnakumar from Rediff.com had said that the lyrics are forgotten sometime after listening to the song. According to me, almost all the other songs have tongue-twister lyrics. But, while doing the reviews, I picked up the first few words and can fairly sing them. On the other hand, I found it easy to pick up the words of this particular song after listening to it for a couple of times, the first time I saw the movie.
The man sings praises of his beloved, through this song.
Video: Cinematography is by V Manikandan (left the project halfway) and Ravi Varman. Dance choreography is by Kalyan-Ahmad Khan-Raju Sundaram.
The video opens with Vikram beginning to dance to the tune of the music that has already begun. He is dancing with some male dancers, whose faces are covered with white cloths. Sada is also dancing, with some female dancers. Female chorus is heard in the background. All the men perform the same steps. So do the girls.
Vikram begins to sing as well. Soon, all the male dancers swing their arms together for a clap. For the first few rounds, Vikram is serious. Then, he smiles. I happen to remember something at this point. It was my first stage performance, as a child. All the girls were told to smile all through the performance. I was so nervous that I did not smile until the end of the performance.
Then, I smiled with relief that the dance was over! I am sure Vikram would not have been nervous, like me. He might have been concentrating on the coordination with the other dancers, due to which he might have forgotten to smile. All of them are seen dancing on wood bridges and rocks over a river. They dance with some colorful trucks in the background.
At this point, Sada is seen wearing headgear that looks like a crow! Actually, Tamilians consider the word andangaka as derogatory. It means dark as a crow. But, here it means that the leading lady’s hair is as black as a crow. It is like the English saying, “Black as a raven.”
The song rises to a crescendo and the video ends as all the dancers salute the audience.
Artists: The playback of this song has been sung by Jassie Gift, Kay Kay, Shreya Ghoshal and Saindhavi and the onscreen performances are by Vikram, Sada and others.
Cultural Influence: This typically filmi song has a lot of folk influence on it. The song and artists are very good. The video is watchable for the same.