I enjoyed watching this movie during my high school days. I never quite knew then that it had been co-written by Mani Ratnam and Ram Gopal Varma. Mani Ratnam directed it and the movie has gained cult status over a period of time.
SPB, a portly middle-aged man, playing the CBI Chief was a welcome change and the ‘Prashanth -Anand’ duo had shades of ‘Jai-Veeru’ from Sholay. Add to it Rahman’s music and P C Sreeram’s cinematography and one had a sure shot winner at hand.
The opening sequence grabs your attention – in about couple of minutes one gets to see the ‘state-of-art’ process by which the new currency notes are minted. Cut over to an exotic train robbery sequence over the bridge and one learns that Rs 1 Billion have been stolen.The bad guys get hold of a sealed container that holds the heist money.
Of course things go wrong fast and they lose the custody of the smart card that can provide them the access to the moolah. And the container disappears as well, since there is an elaborate plan to ship the money out of the Country.
Enter SPB (CBI Chief Laxminarayana) who is trying to board a train along with his wife to reach the holy town of Srirangam to complete their pilgrimage. And then he is the man on the job and he needs to act fast. He is given 10 days to find the 1000 crores. The storyline has been drawn well and it is credible as to how he finds a hot trail to the money.
The movie now moves to the countryside and we come across lovable rascals, ‘Prashanth-Anand’ who roam around in carefree manner and rob the rich landlords in the nearby villages. They rescue Rasathi (Heera Rajagopal) who was planning to commit suicide and then get tangled with Chandralekha (Anu Agarwal) who is Pop singer and a link to the missing booty. They are being chased by the Country bumpkin cop played by Malaysia Vasudevan. And the big boss gets wild about the loss and lands in person to sort out the affairs.
All side plots clash in big bang and we have a ‘all-is-well-that-ends-well’ story. Along the way we are entertained with some lovely numbers – this one of the early films done by Rahman and it helped him establish his signature style. While all numbers entertain, ‘Chandralekha’ and ‘Veerapandi Kottayyile’ were the most popular ones.
A final word is on the rich cinematography – lovely scenes of the rural countryside and forests mark the moments.The train climax sequence is a treat as well. It all adds to the mood and the success of the movie.