The Indian Kaleidoscope + Old Is Gold : Anjali (1990)

I have recently got to having the posts on my blog categorised as features. So far I have done features like ‘Double features’ ,’The Book Club’ and ‘It’s called Hallyu’

Being an Indian and being a blogger especially one who blogs on movies and stuff can never not include Indian movies. Indian movies range across so many languages ,styles, cultures , and ways. It’s so diverse and hence it was necessary that I include all the Indian movies under a separate tag and I decided to name it ‘The Indian Kaleidoscope ‘. Now as the first post to this feature I wanted to select something special , so I chose this film, it’s one of my favorites and it’s name is my name- Anjali.

This film is also a classic and hence I have also included it as a feature to a series on my blog, that I like to call ‘Old is Gold’. (Hence the slightly large title 😁)

Promotional release poster for Anjali (1990)

Country of origin: India

Language : Tamil

Directed by: Mani Ratnam

Written by : Mani Ratnam

Starring: Raghuvaran, Revathi, Shamili

Music: Illaiyaraaja

Released : 12 July 1990

Duration: 155 minutes

Genre: Family, Drama

Raghuvaran as Shekhar and Revathy as Chithra, his wife

The story starts with Raghuvaran, an engineer and his wife Chithra and their two children-Arjun and Anu. The family lives happily together just like any other family like them do. The movie initially starts with how they were about to have a third child, but was sadly still born.

Growing over that grief, the family moves to a new apartment. Both Arjun and Anu get accepted by the little gang of children in the apartment complex and they perform many antics including playing pranks on a mentally disabled watchman and so on. The only person the kids are afraid of is Prabhu Ganesan , an ex-convict.

Shamili as Anjali

As time passes by Chithra notices that her husband is lying to her and going elsewhere. Finally one day she spots with him with another woman and deeply hurt accuses him of cheating and starts to leave. Shekhar then comes home and reveals the truth.

Their third child was not still born but was actually born with a terminal illness to which the doctors said she would survive only for a few months. So Shekhar, wanting to spare the pain for his exhausted wife and young children, tells them that Anjali was still born and takes care of her secretly.

However Anjali, grows up to her second birthday and is physically healthy.

Anjali was then brought back home. Since she is ill, she requires a lot of care and hence her siblings start hating her. She doesn’t know her mother and doesn’t reciprocate her feelings in any way to Chithra. The other families and children in the apartment complex find the child wierd as she doesn’t behave like the other kids and they don’t want their own children being near someone like her. They even demand Anjali to be institutionalised.

The only person that shows a true compassion to Anjali is the ex-convict , Prabhu Ganesan. Although everyone labels him as a scary and “bad” man, he turns out to be much better at heart than the so-called good people. Anjali, whose thoughts are simple, forms an affectionate relationship with him.

The rest of the story is about how Anjali teaches all the people what is acceptance and how some people are just different and how you should never ever judge a book by it’s cover. But during this journey, Anjali’s life hangs on the line as it is ticking time bomb that could go off any moment.

Initially when I was very young, the reason I loved this film was because it was named exactly as my name-Anjali.

But once I grew up, I got to watch the film and take it in for it’s beauty, it’s depth and meaning.

On the surface it’s a family whose entire lives change with the arrival of Anjali. The story revolves around in a very believable manner. If such an incident were to happen in real life, these kind of events are very likely to happen. The story had strong footing. It will grip the deepest emotions in your heart as a small child will show us some of the biggest meanings in life. Some that even “adults” overlook.

As for the acting, an exceptional performance by Shamili who acted as Anjali. Being so young (and incredibly adorable) and to give off such an amazing performance on screen was a pleasure to watch. Her performance was the crux to the movie, but so were the remaining characters. A father who just wants to protect his child. A mother who wants to give the affection and love she wasn’t able to. The struggles at that would really make us feel heavy in the heart. The siblings who even though were young, but eventually understood their sibling and stood by her- just like family should. And an ex-convict who showed us never to judge a book by it’s cover.

Illaiyaraaja is a maestro as far as Indian music is concerned and the musical rendition to this film is no less than that. There is one song called ‘Anjali’ in this movie , which you can watch here. It will really give you a feel of the movie and it’s music. The translation of the lyrics basically talk about how Anjali is not someone wierd, but is the Apple of our eye, a symbol of unconditional love.

This film goes to show a view into how sometimes society may deem certain things good or bad. Perceptions always exist but it shouldn’t cloud our thoughts completely. This film really makes us broaden our hearts and our minds as we learn about unconditional love and most importantly – FAMILY.

Image courtesy : Google Image Search

For any queries please e-mail me at or you can tag me or DM me on Twitter @DoWhatYouLove96


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s