- 2 hr 10 min
Anjali is a 1990 Tamil language drama film directed by Mani Ratnam. The movie stars Shamili, Revathi, Raghuvaran, and Prabhu. The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja, and the movie was produced by G. Venkateswaran. The story revolves around a newlywed couple, Shekar (Raghuvaran) and Chitra (Revathi), who experience tremendous loss when their first two children are born with life-threatening ailments and pass away soon after birth. When Chitra becomes pregnant for the third time, she is fearful and apprehensive. Their third child, Anjali (Shamili), is born with an intellectual disability and has a limited lifespan.
The story traces the journey of the family, who learns to accept and love Anjali in their own way. The movie captures the different emotional responses to Anjali's condition - the father who is obsessed with 'curing' her, the mother who is loving but overprotective, and the grandmother who treats Anjali as a normal child. The movie also captures the dynamics between the children in the family - the eldest son Arjun (Master Tarun), who is resentful of the attention given to Anjali, and the second son, who dotes on his younger sister.
The movie deals with the theme of unconditional love and the acceptance of a child with a disability. It explores the different perspectives and reactions of the family members and how they cope with Anjali's condition. Director Mani Ratnam beautifully portrays the emotions of each character and the complexities of their relationships. He avoids stereotyping the persons with disabilities, but portrays them realistically and with sensitivity.
Shamili delivers an outstanding performance as Anjali, and her innocence and charm light up the screen. The other actors deliver powerful performances, with Revathi delivering a restrained and nuanced performance as Chitra, and Raghuvaran an impressive performance as Shekar, who is dealing with his own grief.
Ilaiyaraaja's background score and music are top-notch, and he brings a certain poignancy to the film. The songs are a mix of lively, upbeat numbers and soulful melodies.
The film's production value is impressive, and the cinematography by Madhu Ambat is strikingly beautiful. He captures the changing moods and emotions of the story and brings out the beauty of Chennai's urban landscape. The movie was one of the first Tamil films to use sync sound technology, which enhances the overall cinematic experience.
Overall, Anjali is an emotionally charged and heart-warming film that deals with the realities of coping with a child with intellectual disability. The movie deals with a sensitive subject matter realistically, and the treatment is mature and thought-provoking. Anjali is a movie that will make you laugh and cry, and it is a testament to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit.