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The Terrorist (1998)

Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 19 October 2000 (Australia)
Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
A young female terrorist goes on a suicide assassination mission, but her resolve to complete it is put to the test.

Director:

Santosh Sivan

Writers:

Santosh Sivan (story), Santosh Sivan (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ayesha Dharker ... Malli
K. Krishna K. Krishna ... Lover
Sonu Sisupal Sonu Sisupal ... Leader
Vishwas Vishwas ... Lotus
Anuradha Anuradha ... Sumitra
Bhavani Bhavani ... Old Lady
Parmeshwaran Parmeshwaran ... Vasu
Gopal Gopal ... Gopal
Saravana Saravana ... Traitor
Anna Durai Anna Durai ... Photographer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bhanu Prakash Bhanu Prakash ... Perumal
Shyam Sunder Shyam Sunder ... Army Officer
Vishnuvardhan ... Thyagu (as Vishnu Vardhan)
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Storyline

Malli is a 19 year old girl, who joined a terrorist organization at a very young age after her brother was killed in the cause. Now in her young adulthood, she volunteers for a suicide assassination mission to kill a VIP in the service of her cause. With intricate preparations and seemingly firm resolve, she makes her way to the target area where the plot will be executed. However, events occur that make her question her determination to complete her mission and the very nature of the sacrifice that she is called upon to make. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her death will not be ordinary. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Tamil

Release Date:

19 October 2000 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Terrorista See more »

Filming Locations:

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

INR1,091,250 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,734, 16 January 2000

Gross USA:

$153,629

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$159,644
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Connections

Version of Malli (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A human face on terrorism
8 February 2000 | by Linda-21See all my reviews

This is a starkly sad and beautiful film by the Indian filmmaker Santosh Sivan, in the Tamil language with English subtitles. It was shot in 17 days on locations in Kerala and Madras with a cast made up entirely of nonprofessional actors on a small budget.

The theme, however, is large.

The lead character, Malli, exquisitely played by Ayesha Dharkar, is a 19-year old woman who lives in a terrorist camp, fighting for her unnamed country. Her eyes are large and her expressions innocent and strong and even though we see her actively participating in an execution, she wins the audience's heart immediately.

She is honored by being chosen to become a suicide bomber. A very important person will come to the town, she will put a garland around his neck, and blow him and herself up by pushing a button which will ignite the bombs strapped to her body. But will she really do it?

When she leaves the guerilla camp she is led through minefields by a young boy named Lotus. We glimpse the horror of the war through his eyes and his boyish bravery. Then she is taken on a boat to spend a few days with a elderly farmer named Vesu who doesn't suspect her mission. As she dresses for the final event, she is torn with conflict.

By subtle complexities in her acting, the audience is drawn in to Malli's dilemma. However, the director sometimes gets a little too arty, with too many close-ups with raindrops on her face. And, in order to show every single emotion, the action of the story moves too slow for my taste.

However, the beauty of the film lies not as much in the actual story, but in the director's ability to put a human face on terrorism. The mood is somber, the cinematography beautiful and the emotions of the individuals caught up in the drama are captured well.

I recommend this film for serious film buffs only who are willing to incorporate sadness and starkness into their movie-going experience. Others will find it too harsh.


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