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Aaytha Ezhuthu

Aaytha Ezhuthu is an Indian Tamil anthology political drama film written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Suriya, Madhavan, Siddharth, Meera Jasmine, Trisha Krishnan, and Esha Deol in the lead roles, while Bharathiraja, Janagaraj, Sriman, Praveen, Kamala Krishnaswamy, Viji Chandrasekhar, Five Star Krishna, Shankar Sundaram, R.S.Shivaji and Suchitra appears in pivotal role. The film's score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman, while Ravi K. Chandran was the cinematographer and Sreekar Prasad was the editor.

Plot: Michael, a student leader, is shot on Napier Bridge by Lallan, a thug. Arjun, a young man who happens to be on the bridge with his girlfriend, witnesses this shooting.

Lallan, a product of the streets, has struggled for every inch of his life. He turns to violence to achieve his needs. He is married to Sasi a lower middle-class girl. Lallan, in jail for an earlier crime, is released on parole, with help from his brother, Gopal. Lallan goes to his wife's house and takes her away against her parents will. At home, he agrees to take up a new job that his father-in-law has procured him. At the press where he is on the security detail, he begins instead to extort the owner. Gopal asks Lallan to work with him, and Sashi's objection leads to a quarrel between husband and wife. Lallan organises a public meeting for minister Prasenjeet, who is impressed and offers him a gas agency dealership.  Lallan carries on his hooliganism for the minister and Gopal. The minister faces a lot of trouble from a student leader called Michael, and when he loses his post, he asks Lallan to kill Michael, leading to the shooting.

Michael, a student leader who is ready to tackle issues head on, truly believes that the educated youth should enter the political arena to make a difference. He is from a middle class family with two sisters and mother. He wants to carry on the legacy of his late father, also a social activist. Michael loves Radhika, his neighbor's niece and childhood friend. He helps a village stand up to Gopal's men who steal water and sand from them and never lets the villagers stand for election. A representative from the village contests the Councillor election and wins, much to the chagrin of the minister. The minister loses his post and sends Lallan to kill Michael. Michael is shot on the bridge and Arjun sees the shootout.

Arjun is a hip urban guy with a degree from BITS, Pilani and dreams of going to the USA the minute he gets his visa. He lives with his younger brother and father, an IAS officer. He meets Mira in a disco. She is engaged to a rich guy in Sivakasi, a betrothal fixed by her parents. Arjun goes on a couple of casual dates with Mira and they end up falling in love. He proposes to her on the bridge where he sees the shootout.

Arjun rescues Michael and is amazed at the life that Michael leads and the number of people he has influenced. Michael recovers and Arjun joins him in his fight against Prasenjeet. They decide to stand in the by-elections. Mira returns from Sivakasi. Meanwhile, as the police search for the man who had shot Michael, the minister asks Gopal to kill Lallan to cover up the case. Lallan ends up killing Gopal and kidnaps three of the four candidates. When they escape, Lallan chases Arjun to the same bridge on which he shot Michael. Michael enters the fight just as Lallan is finishing off Arjun. Lallan is overpowered and handed to the police. 

Michael and Arjun win the election and become MLAs. Lallan is returned to prison.

Director's Note:

Aayitha Ezhuthu - the title of the film came about the last. The character came several years back, based on the life of a student of Osmania University. The research was done, but the structure for the script was not worked out at that point. The germ, however, remained with me for years.

Last year, the structure fell into place. Six weeks into the shoot, the title Aayitha Ezhuthu was finalized.

When something happens around us, be it good or bad, everyone has a way of reacting to it. Some of us see how it can be useful to us. And if we can, we make the best of it and get on.

Some others think that they can step in and help, chip in, contribute, be proactive. They believe in the power of ONE. That each and every individual can make a difference if one puts one's mind to it.

There are certain others, probably the majority of us, especially in this time and age, that believe that if we take care of ourselves the world will take care of itself.

These three views form Aayitha Ezhuthu.

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