Sep 20, 2008

Anniyanai Vidathu Karuppu

Warning: Some spoilers of the movie 'Anniyan' and the TV serial 'Marma Desam: VidAthu karuppu' will be found.
During the time when Anniyan was released, I was very thrilled with the concept and the fact that it was a vigilante movie by Shankar further fuelled my interest on the movie, which culminated in a string of posts in May-June 2005. After watching the movie too, I was very impressed by it. Logistics and the irritating 'Remo' apart, it was quite a nice portrayal of multiple-personality disorder (MPD) or split personality. Add to that some fine acting by Vikram, it was a movie I never got bored of watching any number of times.
Then I happened to watch 'VidAthu karuppu' on a website recently. It was totally awesome. It was such a different tele-serial that I felt like I was watching a very long and superb movie. This is easily the best tele-serial I have ever watched. So many visitors of the website were anxiously waiting for the posting of each episode. The suspense was too much to take. It has nearly ended, and, towards the end came the shocking revelation of the split personality of a main character which was the 'Karuppu'. It was then that the 'Anniyan' connection became clear.
A few bloggers have compared Anniyan with Vidathu Karuppu, but none of the famous movie reviewers nor the professional reviewers pointed the 'inspiration' for Shankar. Let me point them all:

1) The 'normal' personality is a scary goose.
2) The normal one has witnessed some gory deaths and societal injustice in the childhood, which becomes the seed for the eventual growth of a new personality.
3) An elderly female character in the family talks about punishment by God, of the people who do wrong, which goes into the thinking process leading to the split personality.
4) The girl whom the normal one loves, likes him as a harmless friend, but doesnt love him since she views him to be boring and cowardly.
5) The girl is the one who first becomes aware of the dual/multiple personality of the main character.
6) The persons who are killed by the split personality are those whom the normal guy has seen doing wrong.
7) A confusion/defeat for the split personality is suggested/shown to cause the disappearance of that personality.
8) The imporant parts of the MPD, which is the transition from one personality to the other, the accompanying confusion, and the timing of revelation of the second personality, are not discussed.
9) In the climax, rapid switching between the personalities were acted well by characters in both the serial and TV. So, the famous MGR-Sivaji-Kamal-Rajni scene of Vikram is a heavy inspiration from the serial.
10) Both the second personalities have a voice rougher than and different from the original voice.
From these points, it must be clear how ground-breaking the serial was, which was telecast over 9 years ago. The director, Naga is a film institute student, and is the cinematographer for the serial too. So, he has superbly captured the beauty of the village, and the mystery of the nights with clever camera angles. Each role has been brilliantly played by everyone, with Chetan winning the award with an unforgettable performance. Devadarshini delivers a strong female performance, but her character is shown to be clever, independent and, unlike in movies, unsubmissive. Even the supporting cast is not naive at all. Care has gone into the sculpting of each character and the story line, which proceeds in two parallel timelines - past and present. Not to forget the subtle, but brilliant and natural performance by the little boy, Logesh. Where is he now?
While the tele-serial proceeds with both the supernatural, and hence scientifically unexplainable events and the MPD, Shankar simply chose only MPD. Vidaathu Karuppu has touched upon several fine aspects of love and society which are: Friendship, feminism, caste differences, commanality among religions, village way of life, thieves as a part of social structure, the rich people who indirectly steal from commoners and hence are more dangerous, mythical beliefs, revenge, punishment, confusion arising from clash of beliefs, and control through religion.
The recent news about Shankar producing a big budget movie to be directed by Naga is interesting. Not having credited or even mentioend Naga for the inspiration, it appears to be Shankar's attempt towards salvation to remove his guilt. Having said that, can't wait to watch 'Anthapurathu Veedu'.
Quoting dance master Sridhar, "Indha mAdhiri serial edungappA.. edhavadhu sollanumnu thonudhA?".


Anonymous said...

Hi Raju,
I'm surprised that you are not aware of "Vidathu Karuppu", it was very well narrated serial,i think many of the Tamilnadu TV viewers were seen the tele serial.Even his last serial "Chidambara Ragasham" (Teleserial based on "Nadi Jodhidam" and Bio medicine)also was good. The main part which was boosted Naga's serial was the story and teleplay which was very well handled by writer Indra Soundarajan. Ofcourse Naga's direction was good too,obvisouly he was assistant to maniratnam in his earlier movies.After the "Chidambara raghashyam" no tele serial is handled by Naga.May be due to the bad impact of the Mega serials which are mostly occupies the evening time.Hope his big screen attembt to be very succesful.


Rajesh Thiagarajan said...

Hi Raju

Came to your blog via bbthots.

I remember my interest in 'vidadhu karrupu'. I was a +2 student when the serial was broadcasted. Back then I used to do group studies (if you know what I mean!) at a friends place about 3 kms away from mine. They had no cable tv at that time. So, I used to ride my 2 wheeler back to my house just to catch this serial. One of my favourite. Really different from other mindless soaps that were popular back then.

I didn't think of comparing this with Anniyan. Interesting to see your take.


Matrix said...

This is definitely one of the best serial- story line, screen play, and direction, that I’ve ever watched . I first watched it when it was aired 9 years ago and rewatched it recently , and it kept me even more intrigued. I had a different perspective now, every scene has a reason -the andru scene where the aunt says raasu has chu-chu the floor ( in indru you wud come to know that the wetness is due to him falling in the river after slaughtering pechi kilavi). This is rarely one of the serial which was logical in tying the loose ends.

It’s so unethical of Shankar not giving Naga and Soundarajan the credit. It makes me to doubt if his other movies are also rip off of some greek spanish soap operas. This guy should be shot dead. Did you check out Endhiran’s stills? Nothing spectacular. Guys is tribal suit, how many movies have already had this ? * yawn *

Another probable reason of why this serial is close to my heart is that it’s the only, not close but nearly a close depiction of my grandmother ( pechi kelavi minus the smoking and killing part). So, you know who can it be if you read news that a superhero on a biycle running over nasty guys in Manhattan during off-peak.

mitr_bayarea said...

This is one dark post, didn't know about vidathu karuppu before.

Nitin said...

nice post Raju. I have met Naga, and we sublet our apartment in adyar to him. he is a genious, the title maniratnam of tv serial is apt for him. his last tv show on suntv was also great chidambara ragasiyam,it was an entirely unique experience to watch his shows. i used to anxiously await the 30mins each week. suntv towards the end rushed him to finish it, and it ended quite fast. he also was working on adhu matrum ragasiyam, but midway director switched and everything went haywire with that serial. vidathu karuppu, though i haven't seen any of those eps, i remember this show came out during my 6th or 7th standard, and my fellow students would watch it, and discuss it in class.i will definitely need to start watching this show from the beginning, if you could post us a link of where to watch all the eps, it would be great. thanks Raju. btw,looking forward to his venture under Shankar production.

Anu said...

I knew a lot of people who were stuck on marma desam.. nice compare, and after your review, would like to the serial too.. could you let me know the site where you watched?

Raju said...

Murthy, u know where I was during that time, rite? No clue about what is happening in movie world, so forget the tv world.. I remember watching 1 or 2 episodes when I came to RMM during home-shifting...
Yeah me too heard that Chidambara Ragasiyam is very good.. I am looking forward to watching whenever it is posted.
Rajesh, welcome here.. :)
Hmmm.. interesting to know that the serial was liked by all age groups.
Matrix, yeah very true.. one of the best indeed. Very addictive. Usually only in thriller movies or Kamal movies we get to see things in new perspectives while watching second or third time.. Interesting to know that you had it while watching VK. And yeah, the logic was well-handled.

True, Shankar should have give credit; but nowadays which director does? On that note, check this page out.. Scene by scene lift but the director still doesnt want to acknowledge that, keeping all the glory to himself. I have watched Babel and unlike what he says, the resemblance is very weak.. Shame indeed..

Raju said...

Matrix, forgot to mention that I LOL'ed at ur attack on Shankar and Endhiran.

Also funny about ur comparison of Pechi kizhavi.. She is aptly called Pei kizhavi..
Mitr, :) dark-dhan.. As you mentioned, a lot of scenes in both the serial and movie happen in the dark.
Nitin, ohh.. interesting.. I watched his interview and he seems to be a very down-to-earth person, which was very good and rare to see..
Anu and Nitin, You can get watch Vidathu Karuppu here. Enjoy the enthralling ride!!

rohini said...

hi raju,
tat was a nice comparison. I remember bits n pieces of MD.. but hardly understood when i watched it yrs ago.. Probably i should watch it once again now..

Rajesh Thiagarajan said...


The link to the vidadhu karuppu does not work. Can you please post the link again?


Raju said...

Rohini, thanx.. Yeah it is a complicated serial.. I recommend you re-watch it...
Rajesh, sorry.. I thought that the link would take you to the direct page but probably some glitch...

TO ALL: Here is the link: Click here to watch VIdathu Karuppu.

Nitin said...

Hi Raju, yeah, he is very down to earth. You can never tell by looking at him, that he made these serials. I also met him once during a Crazy Mohan drama, I am watching vidathu karuppu right now, already on episode 50, once you start watching you dont want to stop. btw, did you also watch Marma Desam, the one that came before vidathu karuppu, how is that?

Raju said...

Nitin, ohh ok.. True.. I had a different image of Naga while watching the serials.
:) I know how addictive his serials are.. you are lucky that you can get to watch all the episodes at once.. I used to impatiently wait for a new episode to be posted.. Due to the tremendous popularity of the serial, the website owners posted the episodes with long time delays..
I did watch Marma Desam too.. within 2 days, I guess.. It was very engaging too.. I liked it.

Vijay said...

'Vidatha Karuppu' and its predecessor 'Chidambara ragasiyam' were very popular at that time. We used to watch it regularly. Since they were 30 minute episodes with ads in between, it would appear as though the story is moving very slowly every week. We would all be eagerly waiting for the next episode :)

Hi, I stumbled on to your blog while I was "blog jumping" following links from my blog. :)

Raju said...

Vijay, welcome here..

VK was the predecessor to Chidambara Ragasiyam, rite? Hmm.. i understand the eagerness between the serials. Thankfully and luckily, the gap is not usually that much while watching it online.. :)

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Anonymous said...

hi im really excited about his recent release ananthapura veedu hmmm can i get the link of vidathu karuppu