Naan Adimai Illai is a Tamil movie released in 1986 starring Rajnikanth & Sridevi and directed by Dwarkish.
If you find emotional-overflow and relationship-dynamics interesting, you can watch this (somewhat) sad movie. Otherwise, skip it.
I never realized there were some sad/realistic movies starring Rajnikanth. I have seen a few, but by the time I started watching movies, he was already a SUPERSTAR and people could just not accept him being sad (like throughout the movie). So, this movie was a pleasant surprise to me.
The movie doesn’t start sad, it starts with the routine ‘hero saves heroine and they instantly fall in love’ formula of those days. This story didn’t need all that – it could have started right after their marriage. But the considerable opposition from Sridevi’s parents – who were rich and were against Rajnikanth marrying their daughter as he was just a photographer – had to be shown and that (sort of) justifies the few quick initial reels of the movie.
The real movie starts after the marriage as Rajnikanth faces considerable pressure to join the upper-strata of the society (from Sridevi & her rich parents) and he keeps refusing because he values self-respect over the wealth that was thrown on his face. This climaxes when Sridevi’s father ‘sponsors’ Rajnikanth’s promotion and Rajnikanth (accidentally) discovers it. In a fit of rage, he sends Sridevi out of the house and after some intrigue by the father, tensions increase and they separate.
Sridevi then becomes pregnant but Rajnikanth moves out of town (to Ooty). Due to the will of the director, the baby, initially destined to an orphanage home, reaches Rajnikanth’s hands. There are two fights – one here and one before – that involves a maximum of 6 men against Rajnikanth. I was laughing at the ignorance of the Villain. Man, Rajnikanth managed 100 men in the previous movie, and you are trying to take him down with 6? Go get some sense!! 😛
Thereupon, the kid grows up with Rajnikanth, who – unable to forget Sridevi – becomes an alcoholic. Actually, there is a tree on which Sridevi had carved a heart earlier (while they were on honeymoon) and that – along with the kid – plays a pivotal role in deciding whether Rajnikanth and Sridevi join together in the climax. I am sure you can guess the ending 🙂
The melodrama, over-use of emotions and sad overtone of the movie did not impress me much, but it did create an impact & I guess I’ll remember many scenes. It’s very difficult to retake this story in modern times because one Facebook message between the hero/heroine would have negated all the father’s intrigue!
This movie was a superhit in those days, it seems. If you like the story-line, you might as well watch it. I liked it until the point it was realistic. After the kid grows up, melodrama and emotions are forced upon us (IMO) and it becomes artificial. BTW, this was Sridevi’s last movie (as a heroine) in Tamil – after this, she focused exclusively on her career in Bollywood.