Vikram (1986 Tamil film)
|Edited by||R. Vittal|
|29 May 1986|
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. 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, crossing 100 days in theatres.
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.
- Kamal Haasan as Commander Arun Kumar Vikram aka A. K. Vikram, a ruthless and intelligent RAW agent
- Sathyaraj as Sugirtharaja
- Lissy as Preethi, a computer expert and IIT Madras graduate in Computer engineering (Voice-over by Raadhika Sarathkumar).
- Amjad Khan as the Sultan, Kingdom of Salamia, a fictional kingdom (presumably in Central Asia)
- Ambika as Vikram's wife
- Dimple Kapadia as Inimaasi, Princess and sister of Sultan, Kingdom of Salamia.
- Charuhasan as Mr.Rao, chief of Research and Analysis Wing
- Janagaraj as Dubash-Tamil translator in Salamia
- Manorama as Pallathor Ramadevi, Consort of Sultan, Kingdom of Salamia
- Vikram Dharma as Sugirtharaja's henchman
- V. K. Ramasamy as Minister
- T. S. Raghavendra as Thangaraj, secretary at Research and Analysis Wing office
- R. S. Shivaji as Sugirtharaja's henchman
- Sabu Cyril as Sugirtharaja's henchman
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. 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), and features a made-up language spoken in the fictional country Salamia. In the reality television show Bigg Boss, Haasan admitted that the language was actually created by him. The Salamia scenes were filmed in Rajasthan.
Vikram was released on 29 May 1986. 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. 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". 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.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
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.
|1.||"Vikram Vikram"||Vairamuthu||Kamal Haasan||4:49|
|2.||"Vanithamani"||Vairamuthu||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, Kamal Haasan||4:54|
|3.||"Sippikkul Oru Muthu"||Vairamuthu||K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki||4:42|
|4.||"En Jodi Manja Kuruvi"||Gangai Amaran||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja, K. S. Chithra, Gangai Amaran||4:48|
|5.||"Meendum Meendum Vaa"||Vaali||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki||5:06|
|1.||"Vikram Vikram"||Rajashri||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|2.||"Vanithamani"||Rajashri||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja|
|3.||"Na Jodi"||Rajashri||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja, Ramesh & Chorus|
|4.||"Vayasu"||Rajashri||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. P. Sailaja|
In other media
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." 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.
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