Fresh printed bank notes to the value of incredible 10 billion rupies are stolen in India from a train by the henchmen of super-gangster Vikram living in London. The code card only being ... See full summary »
Fresh printed bank notes to the value of incredible 10 billion rupies are stolen in India from a train by the henchmen of super-gangster Vikram living in London. The code card only being able to open the container with the money comes into the possession of beautiful Chandralekha. On the way to Vikram she comes across the two thieves Kadir and Azhagu who are on the run from the police - having in tow country-girl Rajathi whom they kept from committing suicide and who then ran away from her ruthless uncle. After some attempts of cheating each other Chandralekha is making friends with the thieves. When she discovers that Vikram is stopping at nothing - especially not at dead bodies - on his hunt after the loot, she informs the three others about the real value of the code card. In the following pursuit between Vikram, the four heroes and a special police brigade which has to get back the money before a state crisis comes about, not only fierce action, but also love comes to its own. Written by
Mani Ratnam's adroit transposition of the Butch and Sundance story into a quirky rural setting with a distinctively Indian sensibility is ceaselessly entertaining, if eventually a little too long. You can find in it the major elements of Indian commercial cinema -- set-piece action scenes and dance numbers--but the film distinguishes itself with stylish camera work, superb music and, above all, a deliciously maverick, fantastical tone embellished with sparkling humor, very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Time Bandits, Adventures of Baron Munchhausen) in his prime.
The film borrows liberally from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", both in letter and spirit. The more-or-less irrelevant plot involves two small-time thieves who inadvertently end up in control of the vast loot resulting from a major heist. Hot on their heels are the original mastermind of the heist, and a frantic police force led by an overweight, deceptively slow detective (S.P. Balasubramanian in the role of his life). Predictable complications ensue, but the pleasure is in the perceptive, droll sense of humor and the Indiana Jones-esque sense of adventure with which the story is told.
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