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Cast: Madhavan, Surya, Siddardh, Trisha, Meera Jasmine, Isha Deol, Janak Raj, Sriman and Bharati Raja
Production: Mani Rathnam, Madras Talkies-Murali Films
Camera: Ravi K Chandran
Dialogues: Rama Krishna
Music: AR Rehman
Art: Sabu Cyril
Choreography: Brinda
Stunts: Vikram Dharma
Editing: Srikar Prasad
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Mani Rathnam
Producer: Sunkara Madhu Murali
Date of Theatrical Release : 21st May 2004

Story : VStory : Micheal (Surya) is a popular student and a revolutionary who thinks youngsters like him should enter politics to cleanse the system. He and his student brigade causes a lot of obstructions to the local MLA (Bharati Raja) who decides to eliminate him with his henchman - Samba (Madhavan). Arjun (Siddardh) is a desi Casanova, who wants to push off to the USA mainly to have a great time,than to study. Samba's wife Sashi (Meera Jasmine) tries to change her husband's dangerous lifestyle but in vain. Esha Deol is the love interest of Micheal, and Meera (Trisha), Arjun happen to hook up at a nightclub where they exchange numbers and begin flirting. While Siddarth proposes to Trisha on a bridge, Madhavan tries to shoot Suryah who is travelling in a bike. The bike skids and flies over Arjun, who notices it and saves him. Now, the contact between the three characters has been established. The rest of the story is how, Samba continues his rough, maniac ways and Michael, Arjun's run up to the MLA elections and finally into the assembly.

Performances : Surya is best of the cast, and is a perfect example to the phrase 'tall, dark and handsome'. His relaxed, cool look is really good, and he excels in the fights. Next comes Madhavan who suffers from a split-personality. Though good at heart, something always keeps pulling his legs to commit crime. His rough, tonsured, unshaven look gels with his character perfectly. Siddarth's character is a mere extension of his role in Boys, and nothing more. Amongst the heroines, Meera Jasmine is top notch. Though she appears without make-up, and deglamorized, her acting skills more than make up for it. Trisha is a good, but would have looked better had she used make-up. This role is a total cakewalk for her. Esha Doel's character is half-baked, and the director should have opted for some one who looks more South Indian for this role. Bharati Raja a great director is known for extracting the maximum 'juice' from an artiste. And when he acts himself, he is no less. He acted well as a politician who suppresses his anger, emotions while speaking to others, as he is a public servant.

Technical Department : The beginning of the film is very similar to Alejandro Gonzalez's Oscar-nominated Spanish film Amores Perros and throughout the director adopted a Three-Act narration for the film. Mani Rathnam chooses the subject which he is best at - politics, but he should have stuck just to that instead of involving youngsters. First Madhavan's life and his character were established, meanwhile it moves to Surya. The title reads - 'Micheal's life 6 motnhs ago' and the flashback begins. Suryah's straight-speak and encounter with the politician is good. Siddardh and Trisha are introduced post-interval. Even Siddarth's track was established with a similar title card. While the director establishes all the character and the main plot of the movie, he has lost grip over the subject. Mani Rathnam who is known for his different style of narration, uses a new style of narrating, but that doesn't mean it interesting. To make the film a 'star studded' one, the director introduced too many characters in the film. Also, the scenes in the film were prolonged beyond reason. The editor Srikar Prasad should have done a better job, while it comes to the trimming of the scenes. On the technical side, cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran is the best. Next comes Vikram dharma's extremely stylish and well edited, crisp fights. The sound effect used in the fights literally sends a gulp down your throats. Sabu Cyril's artwork goes unnoticed. A.R Rehman's music was not put to full use. The background score, especially Suryah's was very good. But the song's lyrics could have been better penned. But the sad part is except for the 'Nevavaro' starring Siddardh, Trisha, and 'Oh Yuva' with Suryah in the lead no other songs makes a good impact. The choreogaphy by Brinda could have been more 'screen-filling'. Dialouges by Rama Krishna are evident that they were merely dubbed.

Analysis : The three tracks were good in parts. While Madhavan, Meera Jasmine's characters portray the hardships faced by the economically poorer couples, we do not understand why after a big fight, they suddenly break down and begin getting intimate. Surya and Esha Deol's love is pre-established and they are shown as lovers from the beginning. The way Esha lies to her guardians that she is pregnant and runs away from home is good. Trisha was shown as the uptown girl, who is confused whether to stick to the flirty Siddarth or marry the rich man from a town, who her parents suggest. The stylized-mass fights by Virkam Dharma are an asset to the film, so is A.R Rehman's music. Looks like only a director of Mani's stature can extract the best output from Rehman. The first half of the film is partly good. But the pace of the film goes at leisurely pace, and lags only to end abruptly. Also the characters are not fully established. We do not know what's the motive, intention behind each charecters. Siddardh who wants to fly off to USA, all of a sudden wants to become an MLA. Madhavan promises his wife that he will give up his aggressive behaviour, after she undergoes an abortion to teach him a lesson, but suddenly he is back to his good, old ways and remains a gangster. There should be some logic, why these people do such things. Only Surya's character is well established. The climax ends showing the students entering the parliament. That's it! The film opened to mixed reactions. The film opened to housefuls, but the 'fall' is inevitable. The film is just over 160 minutes in duration but the content is only 90 minutes. Also the lack of telugu stars in the cast is a big drawback.

Strengths: Technical Values, A.R Rehman's music, Trisha, Mani Rathnam's craze, fights, cinematography, Surya.
Weakness: Song Picturization, Slow Narration, Lack of Proper story and Logic, Tremendous Hype, Only-tamil star cast.

Courtesy: Non Stop Cinema

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