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<i>Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi</i> Movie Review

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Courtesy: Galatta
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi from Shankar's S Productions is truly a masterpiece in Shankar's unique and flamboyant style. This glitzy historical movie is a comical riot with comedy king Vadivelu playing the lead dual roles.

Athough this movie is set in a historical backdrop it conveys important and much needed messages for the current society. People these days blindly have a penchant for foreign goods, and forget the effect this has on the indigenous market. There are many more issues like infanticide, child labour and bribery hinted upon throughout the movie.

Director Simbhudevan has addressed these various issues with a satirical flavour blended skillfully with rib-tickling comedy.

This movie is set during the reign of the British in India. The story starts with the parting of twin princes (Vadivelu) 23aam Pulikesi and Ukkrabuddhan of Veera Chozhapura Palayam kingdom. It is because of the evil plotting of Rajguru cum uncle (Nasser). The Rajguru craves to have the kingdom under his control. So he gets hold of the elder child and blinds his wisdom and makes him a good-for-nothing prince. The younger prince is dropped into the Vaigai River on the border of the kingdom. Fate lands this child in the hands of the palace doctor and his wife.

The elder prince, who is also crowned as King 23aam Pulikesi, grows in the warmth of Rajguru. He turns out to be a cowardly, timid and foolish king. While Ukkrabuddhan blooms into a full- fledged scholar and brave and valiant warrior.

As per the advice of Rajguru, Pulikesi shakes hands with the British, and develops a trade market for them in his kingdom. He agrees to pay tax to the East India Company, and gives leave to the British to dig for gold in his kingdom. Pulikesi also inflames communal riots in his kingdom, by the Rajguru's advice. The people start dreading and disliking their heartless king.

Ukkrabuddhan forms an organization to demolish the rule of Pulikesi and the British in consequence. He decides to kill Pulikesi and Rajguru and whoever encourages the British in his land. Meanwhile Commander-in-chief (Sriman) also plans to murder Pulikesi for the same reason. Due to an unforeseen event, Ukkrabuddhan comes to know of his past and that Pulikesi is his brother.

Does Ukkrabuddhan take revenge on the betrayers in his land? Do the brothers ever unite? What happens to kingdom at last? This is Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi for you. A special reference to Simbu Devan's direction should be made. He has given such solid messages to the public in the form of hilarious comedy. A great applause should be given to him for bringing out the best in Vadivelu and the rest of the cast.

Vadivelu as Pulikesi has impressed all the viewers through his fun provoking punishments, and his funny fight sequences. Ukkrabuddhan has showered patriotic feelings and sentiments. Kudos to Vadivelu who has donned a very different role as Ukkrabuddhan in this movie! This must be Vadivelu's first movie in which he has acted in a serious, silent and intuitive role. The heroines in the movie just grace the screens for brief scenes and songs.

The elderly cast of Nagesh, Manorama, and Vennira Adai Moorthy has definitely impressed the audience. Arthur Wilson's cinematography has brought the historical era alive before our eyes. Sabesh-Murali's music is a good attempt at trying to reproduce the music style of yesteryears. Special mention should be made of the art director P Krishnamurthy who has done a fantastic job with the palatial sets!

On the whole, Imsai is a must watch for everybody! It is a good comical feature with some much needed message for the audience!

Banner: S Pictures
Producer: Shankar
Director: Simbu Devan
Music Composers: Sabesh-Murali
Cast: Vadivelu, Nasser, Nagesh, V A. Murthy, Ilavarasu, Sriman, Manorama, Monica, Nandita, Tejasri, Luxa, M N Rajam Art Krishnamurthy.

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