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Annamalai Challenge - Scene 10

In the forthcoming posts, I'll comment on some of my favourite scenes from Tamil cinema. As is true with all cinema lists, this list is limited by my exposure to Tamil movies and reflects my taste. Ten just happens to be a comfortable number, though I've enjoyed more scenes.

'Annamalai' is a movie that showcases star power. An yet-another-story elevated by sheer style and charisma, Rajini proves why he's a superstar. Annamalai (Rajini), a poor milkman and Ashok (Sarath Babu), a rich businessman, friends from their teen years are divided over an ego clash between Annamalai and Ashok's father. In a weak moment when Ashok loses his mind, he wishes to flatten Annamalai's home and Ashok's father carries out the order. The demolition of the home which held sentimental values to Annamalai ignites a fire in him.

Rajini walks into Sarath Babu's house and pledges revenge saying that one day he'll climb up the social ladder, surpass him and drive Sarath Babu out of his house. This scene gets it masala settings right - just before the intermission, night time, rain and thunder, a drenched Rajini wonderfully modulates his dialogue delivery in a fashion that will get the audience aroused. Rajini's forte is in letting the common man jump into his shoes and do all the unimaginable heroic things - so that at the end of the movie, the common man has a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Conflicts arising from betraying friends are as common as common cold and Rajini here provides a chance for all those victims to relish a virtual revenge.

PS: I've seen the Telugu version of this movie called 'Iddaru Iddare', which was released before 'Annamalai'. The movie stars (or should I say 'the movie features'?) Krishnam Raju in Rajini's role. Execution of the two movies is pretty much the same in all departments, except, of course, for the hero. Which explains why the Telugu version is a dud.

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