Today I went to see the movie ‘Ananthabhadram’ at Ajanta theatre. It is the 39th anniversary of the theatre. In the morning my cousin Aravind ringed me up put forward the idea. So after a sumptuous lunch at my cousin Nandu’s place, 7 of us (5 cousins including myself, Arun and Vimal), started of Aravind had gone early to get the tickets and we were doubtful of getting them as it is the first day. Eventhough there was a lot of rush we got tickets in the 7th row and braced ourselves for the movie.
I have been waiting for this one for some time now after hearing lot of praise about the eponymous novel it is based on written by Sunil Parameswaran. Screenplay is also penned by him. The movie is directed and cinematographed by one of the best cinematographers in the country, Santhosh Sivan. It is produced by actor Maniyanpilla Raju.
Main Cast: Prithviraj, Manoj.K.Jayan, Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon, Cochin Haneefa, Kavya Madhavan, Riya Sen Etc.
Here’s my take on the movie:
The opening of the movie starts with Revathy telling a story to her little son, Prithviraj about her village. Though a bit dramatic acting by Revathy, it does not feel much bad as it sets the tone of the movie.
Her family has a pedigree of being great magicians in this place Sivapuram. They hold the ‘Nagamanikyam’ and extremely powerful crystal which gives immense power to the holder. Since they are goody two shoes, they keep it in a secret place guarded by snakes, especially one tiny snake called ‘Kunjootan’. The crystal can be taken with the help of only a maiden in the family. There is this evil magician who abducts Revathy and tries to get the crystal. Before he could succeed, her grandfather stabbed him a spear of poison. The magician just before his death gave a thumb ring of great power to his grandson, Digambaran, and advised him to learn Transmigration. Revathy was supposed to become a Goddess in her family temple according to the custom but she took off with Prithvi’s dad and later settled in the US.
Then we see the current situation in the train with Prithvi bringing his mother‘s ashes to her place to do the rituals and light 1000 lamps in their family temple. There are some foreigners in the train and we get a good outlook of his character as well as Cochin Haneefa’s ‘Maravi Mathai’, a guy forgetting everything. Prithvi learns that en route to his ancestral place there is his family temple of which the natives are terribly afraid of owing to the exploits of Digambaran. He sees a beautiful girl there in some black ritual and is attacked by Digambaran.
I am not spilling the entire story here. It is difficult to type all these!
The biggest attraction of the movie is cinematography and direction. Simply a sublime show by the director. The takings are brilliant and pace is frenetic in the first half (makes you even doubt about the existence of a second half) but slows down a bit in the second. The script is also wonderful and the dialogues avoid cliché and is believable.
The man who steals the show is Manoj K Jayan. He ranks without any doubt, in the top echelon of Malayalam actors. He is awesome as Digambaran and downright scary. A very versatile actor. Rating:*****
Prithviraj is good as the homecoming guy as he was in Nandanam. May be he is good for these kinds of roles only. He is good as a romantic dude and not bad as the transmigrated Digambaran in the second half. Rating:****
Kalabhavan Mani is brilliant as a blind martial arts expert and an avid Digambaran hater. He puts a great performance as an enraged but helpless brother. Rating: ****
Cochin Haneefa plays a comedy role and plays it to perfection. Rating: ***1/2
Biju Menon was a disappointment. I was bracing for a restrained performance from him and well he was restrained and pretty useless. His father says earlier that my son will come with the power of 1000 suns. Some power indeed!. Rating: **
Kavya Madhavan started of as a really strong and playful character but in the turned out a whimpering damsel as usual. But she gets marks for being beautiful. She is very pretty in this movie. Rating: ****
Riya Sen is the sister of Mani(!) and is enslaved by Digambaran. She is controlled by Digambaran, who uses her to do some rituals to fulfill his wishes for getting back his lost ‘love’. She doesn’t say much. Thanks to her inability to talk in Malayalam. But the story is said in such a manner that it’s believable. But she gets points for being so piping hot! This woman is gorgeous! Rating: *****
Background score is brilliant and songs are good to hear with an ethnic touch. The songs with Riya Sen are great. The one with Manoj is sexy and libidic without being vulgar or sleaze. The one with Mani puzzled me. I wouldn’t let my sister wear those kind of sarees much below her navel and dance in the rain. Anyway, good to watch.
The gripe is that the first half is really brilliant, but the second doesn’t match it (but believe it is really good!). The ending was quite good but it could’ve been better.
There has been good usage of graphics with its usage at necessities. Unlike Tamil movies which use CG and waste money.
Funny Moment: Manoj bawling after Riya makes love with him saying,
”Nee enne nashipichu!”( You destroyed me(my virginity)) Laugh riot in the hall, usually women in Malayalam say this stock dialogue.
The verdict?
A brilliant movie. Better than the last two movies I watched at a cinema hall. Way,Way ahead of Bharatchandran I.P.S and better than Anniyan(!).
I would give it ****1/2.
Will it be a success? Hmmmm. Marketing is the key. But if you don’t see it, it is a miss. One of the best movies (if not the best) this year.


kickassso said...

loved the way u rated riya sen better than kavya!

Mmmmmm...! Riya Sen...!

Erosimian said...

nice review.

I usually never go and see malayalam movies.

but I might give this one a chance. :-)

haris said...

Hey Who directed this film ??? SanjeevSankar !!!! ? Shame on u
U forgot our prodigal fellow SanthoshShivan

Unknown said...

Ya Sorry ! I thght about it after I posted! But conection had gone by then!

danya said...

hey who told u anniyan is bad!!!it is a story which can be a reality...c the "aarogyam " magazine this month...u cant just turn down the movie saying tht it is beyond the reality...

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