Vikram (1986 Tamil film)

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Vikram
Vikram 1986 Tamil poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRajasekhar
Screenplay by
Story bySujatha
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography
  • Velamuri Ranga
  • S. M Anwar (Special Effect Photograph)
Edited byR. Vittal
C. Lancy
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Production
company
Release date
29 May 1986[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil
Budget10 million

Vikram is a 1986 Indian Tamil-language action spy film directed by Rajashekar, starring Kamal Haasan, Ambika, Dimple Kapadia, Lissy, Charuhasan and Janagaraj. This is the first Indian film to use computer for recording the songs and the first film from South India which was made with a budget of 1 crore. The film was adapted from novel of same name written by Sujatha.[2] Although the film opened to mixed reviews, it opened very well in the box office and turned out to be a commercially successful venture for Raaj Kamal Films International,[3] crossing 100 days in theatres.

Plot[edit]

On 15 March 1984, Ashraf Hussain, Francis Adaikalaraj, RD Bohra are convicted for 25 years imprisonment for their involvement in various anti-national activities. Being unremorseful, the convicts play Chinese Chequers whilst the judge sentences them. Approaching the escort van, one of the convicts boisterously rebukes at the press of becoming free soon.

The very next day, a nuclear-capable ICBM, AgniPutra is being dispatched from an unknown location to Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota only to be stolen en route by Sugirtharaja (Sathyaraj) and his henchmen. Back in Headquarters (HQ), a visibly distraught panel of ministers and military top brass led by Mr. Rao, chief of the Research & Analysis Wing (Charu Hasan) mulls over the dangerous prospects of the missile falling into terrorists' hands and finally pick the now off-duty agent Commander Arun Kumar Vikram (Kamal Haasan), to locate the AgniPutra with some resentment. The Secretary in the office, Thangaraj (T. S. Raghavendra), eavesdrop and passes informs Sugirtharaja about Vikram, who sends a henchman (Vikram Dharma) to kill Vikram. The plan fails as Vikram's three-month-pregnant wife (Ambika), accidentally get shot point blank. Enraged Vikram returns to duty and rebukes Rao for the costly leak and deftly exposes the mole, the secretary. After torturing, Thangaraj names Sugirtharaja as the mastermind in front of the panel, and jumps to his death without giving any further details.

Desperate to find the missile, which is designed to auto-ignite within 10 days, Rao introduces Vikram to a computer expert Preethi (Lizy), who knows the design of AgniPutra's on-board computer and its functions. Initially annoyed with Vikram's brutal ways, she mellows down eventually. Sugirtharaja's henchmen (Vikram Dharma) destroys all evidences at Thangaraj's home, before Vikram and Preethi arrives in. The ensuing chase ends at cinema theatre, playing a documentary news reel about India-Salamia friendship, where Vikram spots Sugirtharaja. Upon investigation, Vikram realises that the Kingdom of Salamia discourages intel-sharing with India. With the diplomatic route ruled out, Vikram and Preethi imposing as folk artists embark along with a troupe to Salamia, ruled by Sultan (Amjad Khan).

Being saved from Snakebite by Vikram, Salamia's princess and Sultan's sister Inimaasi (Dimple Kapadia) falls head-over-heels for him. Though Preethi is constantly put off by Vikram's arrogance, she falls for him too. Vikram identifies the location where the missile is, also discovers that the High Priest is a mere puppet under Sugirtharaja's directions, who secretly reprograms the missile, while Preethi being caught by the guards. Preethi then siding with Sugirtharaja, pretending to be cheated by Vikram passes information to Vikram unbeknownst to Sugirtharaja. While trying to reprogram the on-board computer, he loses the information and inadvertently forays into a spa where he meets Inimaasi. His attempts to expose the priest's treason are met with sheer dissent. The sultan catches the couple, suspecting fornication and sentences Vikram to be decapitated in public. Escaping execution and vikram flees towards the desert where a gun-toting Sugirtharaja and royal sentries chases him until he gives in to dehydration and left to dead, when Vikram is bitten by a black cobra.

Back at the Royal Palace, the High priest stages a coup and holds the Sultan at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Inimaasi manages to escape and finds the delirious Vikram in the desert, and nurses him. The couple then returns to the palace and fight off the armed sentries while the Sultan impales the high priest. Sugirtharaja, oblivious to the fact that AgniPutra's on-board computer has been tweaked, launches of hoping to decimate New Delhi. At HQ, the Indian officials observe in despair as their computer screen shows a 2D animation of AgniPutra slowly descending upon New Delhi, only later it drifts and plunges into the Bay of Bengal, disarming automatically. Back in Salamia, the royal guards sabotage the siege and restore order.

A disillusioned Sugirtharaja forces Preethi into a glider plane and takes off. Vikram manages to board the plane using lasso through skids. While scuffling and pummelling Sugirtharaja, sets-off a bomb and jumps with the only parachute backpack available strapped-on. As the plane explodes, Vikram and Preethi jump-off in a free fall and reach out Sugirtharaja and grabs his parachute, leaving him dead. Vikram and Preethi romance mid-air and as they touch the ground the princess arrives calling out to Vikram, as Preethi too is in a dilemma Vikram frivolously runs away from both.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Vikram was the second production venture of Kamal Haasan's Raaj Kamal Films International, after Rajapaarvai.

On multiple occasions, Kamal Haasan has mentioned that during the story discussion and pre-production of Vikram, Mani Ratnam was his first choice to direct this film. However, things did not work out due to the fact that Mani was an untested director at that point of time, in terms of big budgeted commercial films.[4] Vikram was the first Tamil film to have a budget of over 10 million (equivalent to 120 million or US$1.5 million in 2020),[5] and features a made-up language spoken in the fictional country Salamia.[6] In the reality television show Bigg Boss, Haasan admitted that the language was actually created by him.[citation needed] The Salamia scenes were filmed in Rajasthan.[7]

Reception[edit]

Vikram was released on 29 May 1986.[8] Upon release, critics drew comparison with the original novel written by Sujatha, and Vikram opened to mixed reviews. However, it did very well in the box office, crossing 100 days in several centres in Chennai and Coimbatore.[9] The Telugu version, titled Agent Vikram 007, too performed well.

According to Haasan, Vikram was unfavourably reviewed by film critics, but became a "commercial hit".[3] Kamal Haasan donated the proceeds of the film's first show to UNICEF, who were then collecting funds for the welfare of underprivileged children in African continent.[10]

Soundtrack[edit]

Vikram
Soundtrack album by
Released1986
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length24:19
LanguageTamil
LabelEcho
External audio
audio icon Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. A total of five songs were composed out of which four were included in the soundtrack. This is the first Indian soundtrack album recorded through computer.[11]

Tamil track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Vikram Vikram"VairamuthuKamal Haasan4:49
2."Vanithamani"VairamuthuS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, Kamal Haasan4:54
3."Sippikkul Oru Muthu"VairamuthuK. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki4:42
4."En Jodi Manja Kuruvi"Gangai AmaranS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja, K. S. Chithra, Gangai Amaran4:48
5."Meendum Meendum Vaa"VaaliS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki5:06
Total length:24:19
Telugu track listing[12][13]
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Vikram Vikram"RajashriS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
2."Vanithamani"RajashriS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja 
3."Na Jodi"RajashriS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja, Ramesh & Chorus 
4."Vayasu"RajashriS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja 

In other media[edit]

The 2016 film Iru Mugan was compared to Vikram as it featured an "ex-agent, who lost his wife as collateral damage. He's been assigned another mission only if he chose to accept it."[14] On 7 November 2020, Kamal Haasan's birthday, the title teaser for his 232rd film was released. Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and music composed by Anirudh Ravichander, the 2 minute teaser revealed the title to be Vikram, with the theme music from the 1986 film being used.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vikram (1986)". Screen4screen. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  2. ^ "திரையுலகில் சுஜாதா: திரையெல்லாம் செண்பகப்பூ". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). 22 February 2019. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b Jeshi, K. (27 September 2004). "No stopping him". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ Haasan, Kamal (20 October 2012). "'Of course Velu Nayakan doesn't dance'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  5. ^ Fritzsche, Sonja, ed. (2014). The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film. Oxford University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-78138-038-3. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  6. ^ Gopalan, Krishna (27 September 2008). "Kamal Hassan, the hero of Indian cinema". The Economic Times. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  7. ^ "மறக்க முடியுமா? - விக்ரம்". Dinamalar (in Tamil). 25 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  8. ^ "33 வருடத்தை நிறைவு செய்யும் விக்ரம்". tamilminutes.com (in Tamil). 29 May 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Vikram (1986)". IMDb (in Tamil). Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  10. ^ ""விக்ரம்" படத்தின் ஒரு காட்சி வசூலை கொடுக்கிறார்!" (in Tamil). Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  11. ^ "10 Technologies brought in by Tamil Cinema". Behindwoods. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Agent Vikram 007 and Chandamama Raave Telugu Vinyl LP". BollywoodVinyl. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Agent Vikram 007". indiancine.ma. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  14. ^ Srivatsan (8 September 2016). "Iru Mugan movie review: Vikram shines as Love, but not the film". India Today. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2017.

External links[edit]