Unnaipol Oruvan (Eng: Someone Like You) is a 2009 Indian Tamil drama-thriller movie directed by Chakri Toleti in his directional debut. It stars Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in the lead roles. Unnaipol Oruvan was simultaneously made in Telugu as Eeenadu with Venkatesh playing Mohanlal’s role, both remakes of the Hindi film A Wednesday! (2008).
Unnaipol Oruvan tells the story of City Police Commissioner of Chennai, Irinjalakkuda Govindan Raghavan Maraar (I.G.Ragavan Marar) (Mohanlal) who gets an anonymous call. The caller (Kamal Haasan) demands that he release militants in exchange for information about many bombs planted across Chennai. The caller is serious as the police find a bomb planted very close to their headquarters. The commissioner is later cornered between releasing militants who had been responsible for killing innocent people and stopping bomb blasts around the city. Whatever he chooses forms the rest of the plot. Unnaipol Oruvan received positive reviews from the critics and was a commercial success.
The recently dismissed police commissioner of Chennai, Irinjalakkuda Govindan Raghavan Maraar (Mohanlal), describes in a voice-over about his sudden termination due to a common man who walked into his life. An unnamed man (Kamal Haasan) is shown strategically placing a travel bag in a train in the Chennai Central railway station and in a shopping mall. He proceeds to place another bag, under the false pretense of lodging an FIR, in the toilet of a police station in Anna Salai, Chennai.
The common man demands that he would like to negotiate with a senior government official, who has the full authority. Maraar seeks the services of the chief secretary (Lakshmi) to act as the negotiator. Maraar also alerts his team involved in intelligence research and surveillance, tapping all the available resources in gathering preliminary information and tracing the location of the caller. Meanwhile, the caller tips off television news reporter Natasha Rajkumar (Anuja Iyer), telling her to reach Anna Salai police station immediately as it is going to be “the most important day of her life”.
Maraar initially suspects the anonymous caller to be bluffing, but his doubts are dispelled as the caller, to prove his seriousness and the police force’s helplessness, reveals that a bomb has been planted in the Anna Salai police station. When the bomb disposal squad find the bomb, there is only three minutes left. The common man calls Maraar and tells him the instructions to deactivate the bomb. Based on these, the bomb is defused. Natasha reaches the scene on the caller’s instructions and reports about the situation. There is intense debate between Maraar and the chief secretary on who would act as the negotiator with the common man. The Chief secretary appoints maarar as the State’s negotiator with unrestricted power for one day.
The common man talks full of life logics and religious philosophy and finally asks Maarar to release 3 convicted jihad terrorists and one hindu -a convicted arms seller, all who were arrested by him years ago. Maraar’s men find out that the caller is using advanced software to automatically switch the numbers and locations of his mobile phone SIM card every minute, rendering their manpower and the obsolete equipment useless and prompting them to employ the services of a young hacker, who turns out to be an IIT dropout. In the meantime, Maraar is able to obtain a facial composite of the caller with help of the police officer to whom the caller had approached to lodge the fake FIR, but much of the time passes without any concrete results on the identity or the location of the caller.
Ultimately, Maraar agrees with the caller’s demand and puts two of his best men, Arif Khan (Ganesh Venkatraman) and Sethuraman (Bharath Reddy), in charge of handing over the four terrorists at the Sozhavaram airstrip. Once there, the caller confirms the identity of the four men via a conference call with Arif and Maraar. He then asks Arif and Sethu to unlock their handcuffs and leave them alone at a particular spot. Sethu orders his men to do as told but, at the last moment, Arif decides not to hand over Abdullah to ensure all the information regarding the locations of the bombs can be forced out from the caller. Sethu argues with Arif and demands he do as ordered, but Arif forcefully grabs the terrorist and starts walking away. The rest 3 get into a car and as they start the car, the car explodes and all 3 die. But the common man knows that Abdullah is alive.
The caller threatens to blow up the remaining bombs across the city unless Arif and Sethu kill Abdullah. The Chief Secretary (Lakshmi) tells Maraar that the Chief Minister has to know about the Current Situation but Maraar disagrees and tells her that he’ll face the consequences, and orders Arif to kill the terrorist. Arif kills Abdullah and Sethu shoots Arif in the hand to make it look like an attack for self-defense. The common man confirms it via the news and reveals that he was bluffing and there are no more bombs anywhere in Chennai. He tells that as terrorism is instant, justice and safety must be so. Then Maarar questions the IIT hacker to trace the common man, but he refuses. But Maraar looks in the hacker’s computer, discovers the location and leaves abruptly towards the site. The common man, meanwhile destroys all of his gadgets with a mini-bomb inside a drum. As he leaves his hideout with all his camouflage, Maarar catches up to him.
Both shake hands, when Maraar’s voice-over cuts back as he says the man told him his real name but his name doesn’t have any significance.Then Maarar says that the higher most officials saved themselves by framing him as a recluse and the CM fired him. The film ends on an idealistic note, with Maraar admitting that they all knew the common man was disturbed because of the insecure environment and the incompetence of the governing authorities but he never imagined him to go to such lengths and have the guts to do something like that. He also repeats that the facts of this incident cannot be found in any written record but only in the memories of those who actually witnessed it, and acknowledges that although the incidence has ambiguous moral significance, he personally feels that whatever happened, happened for the best.
Directed by Chakri Toleti
Produced by Kamal Haasan, S. Chandra Haasan & Ronnie Screwvala
Written by Neeraj Pandey, Kamal Haasan & E. R. Murugan
Starring Kamal Haasan, Mohanlal, Lakshmi, Ganesh Venkatraman, Anuja Iyer
Music by Shruti Haasan
Cinematography Manoj Soni
Edited by Rameshwar S. Bhagat
Production Rajkamal International & UTV Motion Pictures
Release dates 18 September 2009
Running time 106 minutes