Anniyan (English: Outsider or Stranger) is a 2005 Indian Tamil-language psychological thriller film written and directed by S. Shankar and produced by V. Ravichandran of Aascar Films. The plot centres on a disillusioned everyman whose frustration at what he sees as increasing social apathy and public negligence leads to a split personality that attempts to right the system. Vikram stars as Ramanujam, an idealistic, law-abiding lawyer who suffers from multiple personality disorder and develops two other identities: a metrosexual fashion model Remo and a vigilante serial killer named Anniyan. Sadha plays his love interest, Nandini. Actors Vivek, Prakash Raj, Nedumudi Venu and Nassar also feature in the film.
Shankar conceived the film in mid-2003 during the post-production period of his previous film, Boys. He based the film on his own life experiences during his formative years when he was disturbed by what he saw around him, and his eventual displeasure with society. Pre-production for Anniyan began in November 2003 and principal photography in March 2004. The making of the film, which included numerous production delays, took 14 months. The film was shot at Hyderabad, Thanjavur, Villupuram and Chennai, and the song sequences were filmed in Amsterdam, Mumbai, Malaysia and Tenkasi. The film was notable for its recreation of the Tyagaraja Aradhana music festival and the extensive use of time slice photography in an action sequence.
Cinematographer V. Manikandan abandoned the project halfway through, until he was replaced with Ravi Varman. The technical departments were headed by V. T. Vijayan (editing), Sabu Cyril (production design), and Peter Hein (stunt choreography), and the soundtrack was composed by Harris Jayaraj, who was in his first collaboration with the director. The film was touted as the director's magnum opus and was budgeted at 263.8 million, making it at the time of its release the most expensive South Indian film ever made. Notably, it was the first South Indian film to obtain institutional finance, and it had the highest insurance coverage available for films at that time.
Originally filmed in Tamil, and released simultaneously in the four South Indian states on 17 June 2005, The film was dubbed into Telugu as Aparichithudu and in Hindi as Aparichit was released a year later on 19 May 2006. Further, the film was also dubbed into French and released in French-speaking countries worldwide by Columbia Tristar. While the film was a commercial success across South India, the Hindi version received a lukewarm response and was a box-office failure. Anniyan received positive responses from critics and audience alike and, together with its dubbed versions, grossed 570 million in its lifetime run. In addition to winning eight Filmfare Awards and six State Film Awards, the film won a National Award in the Special Effects category.