Unnaipol Oruvan (2009 film)

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Unnaipol Oruvan
Unnaipol Oruvan 2009.jpg
Theatrical release poster of Tamil version
Directed byChakri Toleti
Produced byKamal Haasan
Chandra Haasan
Ronnie Screwvala
Written byNeeraj Pandey
Kamal Haasan
E. R. Murugan
StarringKamal Haasan
Mohanlal (Tamil)
Venkatesh (Telugu)
Lakshmi
Ganesh Venkatraman
Anuja Iyer
Music byShruti Haasan
CinematographyManoj Soni
Edited byRameshwar S. Bhagat
Production
companies
Release date
  • 18 September 2009 (2009-09-18)
Running time
109 minutes (Tamil)
106 minutes (Telugu)
CountryIndia
LanguagesTamil
Telugu

Unnaipol Oruvan (transl. Someone like You) is a 2009 Indian Tamil-language thriller film directed by Chakri Toleti in his directorial debut. It stars Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal. The film was simultaneously made in Telugu as Eenadu (transl. Today) with Venkatesh playing Mohanlal's role,[1] both remakes of the Hindi film A Wednesday!.[2]

The film tells the story of City Police Commissioner (Mohanlal / Venkatesh) who gets an anonymous call. The caller (Kamal Haasan) demands that he release militants in exchange for information about many bombs planted across the city. The caller is serious as the police find a bomb planted very close to their headquarters. The commissioner is later cornered between releasing militants who had been responsible for killing innocent people and stopping bomb blasts around the city. Whatever he chooses forms the rest of the plot. Both Unnaipol Oruvan and Eenadu received positive reviews from the critics[3][4] and was a commercial success. The Tamil version film was dubbed and released in Malayalam as Oru Budhanazhcha.

Plot[edit]

The recently dismissed police commissioner of Chennai (Hyderabad in Telugu version), Maraar (Eashwar Prasad in Telugu version) describes in a voice-over about his sudden termination for police, due to a common man who walked into his life. An unnamed man is shown strategically placing a travel bag in a train in the Chennai Central railway station and in a shopping mall. He proceeds to place another bag, under the pretence of lodging an FIR, in the toilet of a police station in Anna Salai, Chennai (Lakdi-ka-pool, Hyderabad in Telugu version). He then arrives on the rooftop of an under-construction building and sets up his base of operations, equipped with gadgets and instruments. He calls up Maraar and informs him that five bombs have been planted in locations throughout Chennai, which are programmed to explode simultaneously within four hours.

The caller demands that he would like to negotiate with a senior government official, who has the full authority. Maraar seeks the services of the chief secretary to act as the negotiator. Maraar also alerts his team involved in intelligence research and surveillance, tapping all the available resources in gathering preliminary information and tracing the location of the caller. Meanwhile, the caller tips off news reporter Natasha Rajkumar, telling her to reach Anna Salai police station immediately.

Maraar initially suspects the caller to be bluffing, but his doubts are dispelled as the caller, to prove his seriousness and the police force's helplessness, reveals that a bomb has been planted in the Anna Salai police station. When the bomb disposal squad find the bomb, there is only three minutes left. They manage to deactivate the bomb after following the caller's instructions. Natasha reaches the scene on the caller's instructions and reports about the situation. An intense debate ensues between Maraar and the chief secretary on who would act as the negotiator with the caller. The chief secretary appoints Maraar as the State's negotiator with unrestricted power for one day. The caller talks full of life logics and religious philosophy and finally asks Maarar to release three terrorists and one convicted arms seller, all who were arrested by him years ago.

Maraar's men realise that the caller is using advanced software to automatically switch the numbers and locations of his mobile phone SIM card every minute, rendering their manpower and the obsolete equipment useless and prompting them to employ the services of a young hacker, an IIT drop-out. In the meantime, Maraar is able to obtain a facial composite of the caller with help of the police officer to whom the caller had approached to lodge the fake FIR, but much of the time passes without any concrete results on the identity or the location of the caller.

Ultimately, Maraar agrees with the caller's demand and puts two of his best men, Arif Khan and Sethuraman (Gautham Reddy in Telugu version), in charge of handing over the four terrorists at the Sholavaram airstrip. Once there, the caller confirms the identity of the four men via a conference call with Arif and Maraar. He then asks Arif and Sethu to unlock their handcuffs and leave them alone at a particular spot. Sethu orders his men to do as told but, at the last moment, Arif decides not to hand over terrorist Abdullah, to ensure all the information regarding the locations of the bombs can be forced out from the caller. Sethu argues with Arif and demands he do as ordered, but Arif forcefully grabs Abdullah and starts walking away. The other three enter a car which explodes soon after, killing them. But the caller knows that Abdullah is alive.

The caller threatens to blow up the remaining bombs across the city unless Arif and Sethu kill Abdullah. The Chief Secretary tells Maraar that the Chief Minister has to know about the current situation but Maraar disagrees and tells her that he will face the consequences, and orders Arif to kill the terrorist. Arif kills Abdullah and Sethu shoots Arif in the hand to make it look like an attack for self-defense. The caller confirms it via the news and reveals that he was bluffing and there are no more bombs anywhere in Chennai. He tells that as terrorism is instant, justice and safety must be so. Then Maarar questions the IIT hacker to trace the caller, but he refuses. But Maraar looks in the hacker's computer, discovers the location, and leaves abruptly towards the site. The caller, meanwhile destroys all of his gadgets with a mini-bomb inside a drum. As he leaves his hideout with all his camouflage, Maarar catches up to him.

Both shake hands; in a voiceover, Maraar says the caller told him his real name, but does not reveal it as it does not have any significance. He adds that the higher most officials saved themselves by framing him as a recluse and the Chief Minister fired him. Maraar admits that they all knew the caller was disturbed because of the insecure environment and the incompetence of the governing authorities but he never imagined him to go to such lengths and have the guts to do something like that. He also repeats that the facts of this incident cannot be found in any written records but only in the memories of those who actually witnessed it. He acknowledges that although the incident has ambiguous moral significance, he personally feels that whatever happened, happened for the best.

Cast[edit]

  • Kamal Haasan as The Common Man / The Anonymous Caller (Srinivasa Ramanujan / Karamchand)
  • Mohanlal as Irinjalakkuda Govindan Raghavan Maraar IPS, the police commissioner of the Indian Police Service (IPS) in Chennai (Tamil version)
  • Venkatesh as Eashwar Prasad, the police commissioner of the IPS in Hyderabad (Telugu version)
  • Lakshmi as Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu (Tamil version) / Andhra Pradesh (Telugu version)
  • Ganesh Venkatraman as Arif Khan
  • Bharath Reddy as Inspector Sedhuraman (Tamil version) / Gowtham Reddy (Telugu version)
  • Anuja Iyer as Natasha Rajkumar (Tamil version) / Shilpa Krishna (Telugu version)
  • Poonam Kaur as Anuradha / Anu Sedhuraman (Tamil version) / Anu Gowtham (Telugu version)
  • Santhana Bharathi as Karamchand Lala
  • Prem as Inspector Zakria
  • R. S. Shivaji as Sub-Inspector Babu Rao
  • Sriman as Actor Arvind Adhavar
  • Anand Krishnamoorthi as Arun, the hacker
  • M. S. Bhaskar as a man who complains about his wife
  • Karate Raja as a terrorist
  • Mukthar Khan as a terrorist
Cameo appearances in promotional song

Production[edit]

Poster of Telugu version

Casting[edit]

While Kamal Haasan was cast in the lead role; confirmation of Mohanlal's presence in the film followed. The film was announced as a bilingual film with Venkatesh reprising Mohanlal's role in the Telugu version.[1] Ganesh Venkatraman, who debuted in the 2008 film Abhiyum Naanum, was later confirmed for a supporting role. Bharath Reddy, who played a cop in the Telugu film Siddam, is playing another supporting cop role.[5]

UTV Motion Pictures distributed the film along with Raaj Kamal Films International, Haasan's home production company, which produced it. Unnaipol Oruvan was directed by Chakri, a US-based filmmaker and a close friend of Haasan. Chakri had previously played the role of Govind's friend, Sai Ram, in Dasavathaaram, and the role of a child who takes still photographs of Kamal in the 1983 Telugu film Saagara Sangamam. Neeraj Pandey wrote the film's dialogue and screenplay. The music was composed by Kamal Haasan's daughter, Shruthi Haasan.

The title was changed from Thalaivan Irukkiran to Unnaipol Oruvan in early April 2009.[6] Recent news in 2012 confirms that Thalaivan Irukkiran is a different film altogether, that is touted to be a multistarrer.[7]

Filming[edit]

Unnaipol Oruvan started its first filming schedule on 6 February 2009. It completed shooting in 65 days.[8]

Themes[edit]

According to Kamal, Unnaipol Oruvan portrays the "common man's anger, angst and suffering".[9]

Soundtrack[edit]

Unnai Pol Oruvan / Eenadu
Soundtrack album by
Released6 September 2009
Recorded2009
GenreSoundtrack
Length21:26
LanguageTamil
Telugu
LabelSony Music
Aditya Music
External audio
audio icon Official Audio Jukebox (Telugu) on YouTube

The music was composed by Shruti Haasan, daughter of Kamal Haasan. The album contains four songs and a remix. The songs are featured throughout the film. Kamal Haasan, singer Blaaze, and Manyusha Puthran contributed the lyrics. The audio launch was held on 6 September 2009 at Sathyam Cinemas.[10]

Tamil Track List
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Unnaipol Oruvan"Kamal HaasanShruthi Haasan, Akshara Haasan, Subbalakshmi, Satish, Leo, Krishnan Swaminathan, Bala, Mira, Tara, Aiden3:43
2."Nilai Varumaa"Kamal HaasanBombay Jayashree, Kamal Haasan4:44
3."Vaanam Ellai...Illai"Kamal Haasan, Blaaze (Rap bit)Shruti Haasan, Blaaze3:15
4."Allah Jaane"ManushyaputhiranKamal Haasan5:10
5."Allah Jaane (Remix)"Remix by VinayakaShruti Haasan4:34
Total length:21:26
Telugu Track List
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Eenaadu"VennelakantiShruthi Haasan, Subbalakshmi, Satish, Leo, Krishnan Swaminathan, Bala, Mira, Tara, Aiden3:43
2."Eenaadu Ee Samaram""VennelakantiBombay Jayashree, Kamal Haasan4:44
3."Ningi Haddu"Bhuvana Chandra, Blaaze (Rap bit)Shruti Haasan, Blaaze3:15
4."Allah Jaane"Veturi Sundararama MurthyKamal Haasan5:10
5."Allah Jaane (Remix)"Veturi Sundararama MurthyShruti Haasan4:34
Total length:21:26

Release[edit]

It was initially set to release on 12 August 2009, since the date coincided with the release of Kamal Haasan's first film Kalathur Kannamma and his entry into Tamil cinema in 1959, marking 2009 as Haasan's 50th year in cinema. However, owing to technical and administrative difficulties, the release was postponed to 18 September.[11] The film was given a U/A (Parental Guidance) rating from the Central Board of Film Certification, mainly because of its theme – terrorism.[12] In 2015, Telugu version Eeenadu was screened at the Habitat Film Festival.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Unnaipol Oruvan[edit]

Unnaipol Oruvan received positive reviews from critics. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Unnaipol Oruvan is "far more engaging and energetic than its predecessor" and that "superstar Mohanlal plays Chennai police commissioner Raghavan Maraar with rare finesse and extraordinary subtlety ... His screen presence is so overwhelming that an equally great Tamil superstar, Kamal Haasan, as the nameless Common Man, is overshadowed".[14] Sify said that technically the film is picture-perfect and that both Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal coming together is worth the ticket money. It mentioned that unlike in the Hindi version where Naseeruddin Shah had an edge over Anupam Kher, here the best dialogues were almost equally given to Mohanlal as well, "what elevates the film to a new high is the crisp presentation and outstanding performances from the lead actors, mainly Kamal and Mohanlal, who simply rock".[3]

Behindwoods rated that overall it was a brilliant work which will be appreciated by every socially responsible citizen of India.[4] Indiaglitz commented that Unnaipol Oruvan deserves to be watched to see how Kamal & Mohanlal pit against Naseer & Kher.[15] Kollywood Today praised that the movie was stupendously awesome and was a must-watch.[16] Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff.com provided 4 stars and also had the same comments.[17]

Eenadu[edit]

Regarding the Telugu version, Rediff.com stated that "For the Telugu audience, Eenadu is a film which is out of the formulaic pattern and the hero warp Telugu cinema is in, and shows that films like it can be made too which can be seen and enjoyed with the audience taking home something extra too!"[18] The Times of India gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated that "The much-awaited Eenadu lives up to the big expectations and carries the essence of the original (A Wednesday)".[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

57th Filmfare Awards South
Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kamal, Mohanlal & Venkatesh join hands". Behindwoods. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Kamal starts shooting bilingual remake of 'A Wednesday'". The Hindu. 10 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Movie Review:Unnaipol Oruvan". Sify. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Unnaipol Oruvan – Tamil Movie Reviews". Behindwoods. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Ajith as encounter specialist! - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Thalaivan Irukkiran changes". Behindwoods. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Kamal's next is 'Thalaivan Irukiran' – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Kamal to start A Wednesday remake!". Sify. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  9. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (17 September 2009). "Anger, action, reaction" – via www.thehindu.com.
  10. ^ "Kamal Haasan's 'Thalaivan Irukiran' is 'Unnai Pol Oruvan'". Kollywood Today. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Unnaipol Oruvan's release". Behindwoods. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  12. ^ Super Admin (14 September 2009). "Tamil Movie Unnaipol Oruvan". OneIndia. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  13. ^ "The 10th Habitat Film Festival 2015" (PDF). Habitat Film Club. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  14. ^ Bhaskaran, Gautaman (24 September 2009). "Someone Like You -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Unnaipol Oruvan Tamil Movie Review". IndiaGlitz. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Review – Unnai Pol Oruvan". Kollywoodtoday.in. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  17. ^ "Unnai Pol... A rocking Tamil remake of A Wednesday". Rediff. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  18. ^ https://www.rediff.com/movies/review/south-telugu-movie-review-eenadu/20090918.htm
  19. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/telugu/movie-reviews/eenadu/movie-review/5033874.cms

External links[edit]