Aparichitudu is the story of a man with a split personality who takes on corruption through his persona non grata counterpart. Shankar's latest opus is braided with big money (some Rs. 26 crores), but is marked by a plot that is terse on logic and frothing with the utopian fantasy of a childish romantic. Using a superhero to fight corruption is like, well, watching a movie. Outside the theater, there's a real world, and the superheroes take bribes. The ordinary man in Aparichitudu can change nothing, and that's what makes this an ordinary movie.
In many ways, Aparichitudu is a desperate version of Shankar's celebrated diatribe against venality, Bharateeyudu. Bharateeyudu had a man with special fighting skills that he painstakingly built and perfected over a lifetime. Aparichitudu has a man who exists in extended psychology syllabus. Which is what makes it desperate - when all fails, pray for a miracle that there's another side to you that comes railroading at mach 10 to get the baddies. Oh, but this is just a movie. Pardon me all over the place.
Ramu (Vikram) is a vermilion-clad, Luna-wielding orthodox Brahmin lawyer, helping dispossessed poor people fight for justice, and meeting with mixed success (okay, none). He thinks that every citizen should be like Gandhi, and unfortunately takes his thoughts very seriously. An indomitable whiner, he alienates Nandini (Sada), the woman he's soft about, with his incessant complaints to authorities over every transgression in civil life.
Ramu's distress and frustration are not all in vain, though. Extreme emotions result in his transformation from the mild-mannered forgiving Brahmin to a ruthless avenger, Aparichitudu. Superhumanly powerful and brutally intolerant of corruption, insensitivity and lethargy in people, Aparichitudu simply kills the persons that Ramu filed under the above heads. Then he flips into Ramu all over again, and so on.
The plot has too many holes to even bother with. The logic behind Aparichitudu's killing people for minor mistakes is off even the fringe - you don't kill people for cooking poor quality food or, worse, just being lazy. There are also issues of continuity, and there is no reason for Aparichitudu being as discordantly powerful or adept at combat as he is. While the film is about multiple personality disorder, the alter avatar is actually superhuman.
The plus points of the film are the visual opulence studding almost every frame, the music, the stunts and the performances. Vikram, fast waxing into Tamil's numero uno star, performs pretty eloquently in a quasi-dual role, especially towards the end. Sada is fairly expressive, too, in a character that has more wardrobe than meat in it. Prakash Raj assumes disguises for seemingly no reason - another instance of the callousness in scripting detail that marks this project. He's his normal talented self.
The music (Harris Jairaj) is good, especially the song Rainbow Remo. The settings for the songs range from artful to sleek, and are a general visual feast. The cinematography is expectedly outstanding. And the stunt sequences where Aparichitudu takes on an entire martial arts school would rate among the more well-choreographed and edited in Indian films.
The first half is interrupted by too much unnecessary characterization, and is relatively slow, compared to a more motivated second half. On the whole, this is a film that needs a suspension of logical reasoning, and might not be a great bet for everyone.