Friday, November 13, 2015

അനാർക്കലി (Anarkali) (2015)

Director: Sachy
Writer:    Sachy
Cast:       Prithviraj, Biju Menon, Priyal Gor, Miya George, Kabir Bedi, Suresh Krishna, Sudev Nair
Language: Malayalam

Prithviraj plays the role of a diving instructor who is newly assigned to Kavaratti, Lakshadweep. There is a story behind why he has chosen to come there and that unfolds during the first two thirds of the film. He is in search for his love interest with whom he has lost contact and the last third of the film deals with whether he gets to meet her. 

Film can be best summed up as the Moideen-Kanchanamala story from 'Ennu Ninte Moideen' set to modern times. Difference between the two lies in its treatment. Anarkali works as a suspense comedy and the writer director uses the vast majority of its running time to gradually lay out the sequence of events in their love story in front of the audience. This is done expertly with him choosing not to dwell much time on establishing their love per se. This was one weakness of ENM where the development of love was done in a very superficial manner which was not in keeping with the depth that it required for the characters in the larger context. In this one also it is very superficial but the events that happen after that kind of strengthens it and gives credibility to the story. Life in Lakshadweep is portrayed very well and it wouldn't be surprising if the film gives a boost to Lakshadweep tourism. The last act of the film is kind of silly but it is done with a lack of seriousness and adequate dose of comedy that you forgive and go along with it. The slight twist can be seen from miles off.

Performance wise it is good from all concerned and Kabir Bedi is excellent as the girl's father. Priyal Gor is also very good and is suited for the role which demands a non-malayalee actress. Biju Menon is in a typical friend role for the main lead and pulls off the comedy pretty well although everything doesn't land all that well. It is not to say that he is the routine comedy crutch for the film as the comedy is pretty well spread among other characters as well. Its a role that could have gone to someone like Aju Varghese normally and am glad they chose someone more rounded, literally and figuratively. It was also a relief that they didn't add any cringy romance angle for that character as well even though an obvious candidate was there. Sudev Nair, who won state award recently, plays an important role.

To sum up, it is a good watch with a story-line that could have looked really silly but for the tight script and interesting presentation style. Songs are used to move the story and there are some breathtaking aerial shots. That said, one particular green-screened scene in the lighthouse didn't look that good. It is close to three hours long and they could have easily shaved off some twenty minutes. The opening scene where they show the lead's family is a very obvious one for the cut. Prithviraj had two blockbusters recently with Ennu Ninte Moideen and Amar Akbar Anthony and this one could very well make it three in a row.

Rating: 3/5