Anniyan, the much hyped, rumored costliest ever, south-indian movie made. Ram C of the blogworld had written an excellent review. He had it nicely balanced out, detailing many of the aspects.
I'd like to add my two cents on top of his review.
With the exception of Kadhalan & Jeans, all of Shankar's movies, have some common trait. They all have a flair for grandeur. There is a strong undercurrent social message for the citizens. There is the hero, a lone warrior, who works towards a mass-movement, never has an easy ending while caught. The hero does not escape the easy route of people shouting the court/government out at the climax. They have more sincerity towards the social message than most other 'claims' made by directors. They have top-class music and good commercial elements housed in it for it to be a commercially viable success.
This movie is no different. There is no denying that, you can repeat the mantra of citizen-responsibility-accountability thousand times and it is still worth repeating. Well, not sure this is applicable in the movie world. It slightly makes one shift in the chair for its repetitive theme. His ideas are still worth applauding.
From a movie perspective, i found the comedy of Vivek, who does not get his 'own track' but nicely integrates and gels with the main movie, to be the best aspect of the entire movie. The acting by Vikram in some cases had an 'affected' style. It was like, you could see he was 'acting' while acting is like making you think they are living it out !. You'd never think Kamal was acting as the Indian thatha. But here, Vikram's Ambi role could clearly be seen as 'affected'. Sada, was at her best, very artifical too. As Ram pointed out, her dancing skills need some serious honing. The music (bgm) just passed the grade. There is nothing that you take out of the movie as hummable pieces. Even though the stunt/choreography was nice, the protracted matrix style frame-freeze technique is pushing the limits of audience's patience. If super-star Rajini's tyre-dodging itself can evoke smiles/laughter at the end of the sequence, there is no double guessing what would be the outcome here. But the stunts themselves were pretty novel. Camera work was good. I felt it to be a bit too-close up. May be my second row from the front had left me with that impression.
The dance sequences, situations, choreography, dresses etc need to be *seriously* revisited by Shankar. One could clearly see the 'Anbe Anbe' (Jeans) effect on 'Iyengaru' and 'Gopala' (Kadhalan) on 'Rendakka'.
As already pointed out by so many people, am not sure as to where all the 27 odd crores of rupees was spent !. I am positive that it could have been completed at less than half the cost, if the matrix-sequence had been cut short.
Sujatha, has, as always, done a wonderful job with dialogues. His command over the language is excellent.
Overall, i left the theater with a mixed feeling. I still have mixed feelings !.
The masses inching out of theater gleefully shouting into the camera could be heard saying...
'oru vaati parkalam'
'vikram acting super'
'idhu oru nalla social awareness padam'