Director: Sharavanan Subbiah
  Cast: Vasundra Das, Meena, Nagma, Ajay Ratnam, Pandian, Devan.

  Release: 09.06.2001

A district collector, a judge, and a police official are all kidnapped in broad daylight, the kidnapper cocking-a-snook at the establishment, calling himself 'Citizen' and appearing in different disguises to get at his targets. C.B.I. officer Sarojini (Nagma) finally traces the common factor among the kidnapped trio to Athippatti, a small hamlet consisting of fishermen. But to her surprise both the village and its 600 odd inhabitants seemed to have been wiped away from the face of the earth. The diggings tell a story of a mass massacre that must have taken place about a couple of decades back. 'Citizen' is finally apprehended. He comes out with his story of the gory happenings at Athippatti and how he, as a little boy, had been the sole survivor of the nightmare that gripped the village that day, twenty years back.

It looks more like the work of a seasoned master, than a debutant, for Saravanan Subbiah has planned his script meticulously to make it look different from the routine ones. The narration moves at a fast pace, and the scenes are expertly handled - particularly the ones relating to the discovery of the mass grave. There are a couple of loose ends, some unanswered questions and a lagging in the second part where the scenes relating to the 'Flashback' are narrated. The end too is rather tame, for 'Citizen' is let scot-free by the court. The men he had kidnapped had been produced alive, and he did have his reasons. But then what about all those cops on duty, who were killed by this man? One wouldn't also agree with the 'Citizen's' suggestion of the method of punishment to be meted out to the three culprits. Rather mild for the men who were responsible for the mass gory murders!

Ajith has put in a lot of effort, handled his dual role and all those disguises with élan. His best scenes are as the tormented fisherman of Athippatti. Vasundhara, as the bubbly, naughty Indu, wearing her heart on her sleeves and tirelessly wooing the hero, seems to have finally found her slot, and can give the existing heroines a run for their money. Meena as the fisherman's wife, and Nagma as the C.B.I officer play their parts well. Though it did take time to get used to the new harsh voice dubbed for Nagma!

Deva's music is catchy. 'I like you…' sung by Vasundra herself (though it reminded one of an old Hindi song), and 'Chikki mukki…' are well rendered and picturised. Setting the mood to the scenes with his brilliant lighting is the excellent cinematography of Ravi. K. Chandran. 'Citizen' is a movie to be watched and is the most ambitious project from the Ajith - NIC arts combination.

Malini Mannath

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