Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
Director of the controversial blockbuster Bombay (1995), Mani Rathnam has come up with another entertaining film which threads between high art and soft soap opera. Struggling actor Anandan (Mohanlal) meets poet, screenwriter, and active politician Selvam (Prakash Raj), and a long friendship develops despite the constant shadow of rivalry. This Tamil-language film contains most of Rathnam's constant themes -- power, politics, love, and betrayal -- in the context of Indian politics which have been notoriously linked to cinema. The rise to fame of actor and cult-figure Anandan is loosely based on the life of legendary movie star M.G. Ramachandran (MGR), who became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in the 1970's and stayed in power for ten years. Rathnam parodies Indian politics as well as popular Bollywood cinema. In one particularly daring musical sequence, viewers are given traditional Indian song and dance as part of a film-within-a-film, then see it being shot on set and later fragmented into the real story.
actor, friendship, India (subcontinent), love, politics, power, writer