The plot of the movie is quite familiar : the poor man meets rich girl ..rich girl falls in love.. poor man says no ....rich girl nags on .. poor man agrees... and evil father-in-law makes life miserable for poor man.But don't let that stop you from watching the movie - it is refreshingly interesting.That is mainly because of the trio of Kamal Hassan,Thilakan and Jayaram. They fit in so well into their roles as if they were born into them. Kamal Hassan puts up an extremely brilliant performance , both as Johnson the unemployed church choir violinist and as Johnson the intelligent avenger who weaves the web around his enemy with infinite accuracy.Thilakan too puts up a great show as MadhavaMenon, the chief minister of Kerala(!)whose daughter Renu(Urmila) is in love with Johnson.He takes every trick in the book to make Johnson leave his daughter alone but as they say Love is blind ( ..and silly) and so he goes for the extreme measure .He ruins Johnson's family .. makes them commit suicide and leaves a very battered Johnson to rot in a railway track. Johnson gets a double shock as he learns that Renu committed suicide.
What does he do? Unlike the ordinary hero who would either drink and die or takes up an axe to hack the villain,he decides to ruin MadhavaMenon's life slowly and steadily.He uses Jayaram to mimic Mr Menon's voice and switches his election campaign ... first on radio and then on TV .. then he makes huge withdrawals from banks from the CM's fund ... and finally traps the CM in a nail biting climax. Jayaram's love interests and Madhu as the investigating officer consist the further part of the movie. The movie Chanakyan also introduces Urmila Matonkar into filmdom but she doesn't have much to do except look pretty.
And of course there is that theme music that follows Kamal Hassan around as he goes on in search of his prey.The music is simply scintillating and it makes you feel so very involved in the film. Mohan Sithara can take credit for that.
Overall it is a good bet if you are interested in a good revenge-seeker film and I give it a 9/10 ( the one point taken of due to the excessive dosage of drama) and be sure to watch it on a stormy Saturday evening..
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