Monday, February 18, 2008

Anjathe - Movie Review


Mysskin’s eagerly awaited follow up to Chitiram Pesuthadi does not disappoint. Anjathe, a tale of two friends Sathya & Kiruba played by Narain and Ajmal (debut), defies plot synopsis with its many twists and turns. The lives of these friends take turns they least expect - at times by destiny and at other times by desperation. They take paths so different from each other that when their paths cross accidentally; it results in a big loss for one of them.

Narain and Ajmal are sons of two police constables living in the same colony. They are the best of friends-but the similarities end there. While Ajmal nurses a sub inspector dream by day and night, Narain is a guy with a conscience but with no aim in life.


In an interesting turn of events, a bit of luck, ‘under the table’ dealings and ‘influence’ leads Narain rather than Ajmal to bag the SI post. A naturally disappointed Ajmal is further hurt by the change of attitude towards him at home. A brooding Ajmal slowly loses his grip on life and slips away into the dark lanes of intoxication in spite of Narain’s efforts. Crime comes as a natural consequence of events, with money being the motivation. These are the sequence of events that have been set forth in Anjathe. How well has this been narrated?

At the outset, the story is pretty interesting with enough events to keep you hooked for over three hours. The high point of the movie is definitely the casting. The crew must be lauded for showing the courage to think beyond the Daniel Balajis’ and other typical bad guys and casting Prasanna (the chocolate boy) as the lead baddie with comedy veteran Pandiarajan keeping him company. How Prasanna fares as a ‘no holds barred’ criminal is interesting to watch. Prasanna is the one who woos Ajmal into the world of crime by throwing easy and fast money and convincing him that life on the wrong side of the law is possible.



The kidnapping racket that they run in the city and the ensuing events have been niftily narrated. The police investigation that has a tough time tracking them down also forms an interesting part of the narrative. All this builds up to the climatic sequences where the two old friends have to face each other once again.

The highlight of Anjathe is definitely the performances. Prasanna, Narain and Ajmal carry off the main roles very convincingly, with Prasanna finally looking like he has managed to pull out of his ‘chocolate boy’ image trap. The way Vijayalakshmi settles scores at the end with Prasanna is also worth a mention. However, it has to be pointed out that the characters, particularly that played by Narain contain contradictions. In one scene Narain shirks from confronting violence, in another he’s fighting with all his heart. Pandiarajan’s character also disappoints a little. After being introduced as a hardcore criminal, the element of toughness in his character has been sacrificed for some customary Pandiarajan brand of comedy that fails to work; a waste of what could have been an interesting character.

The rest of the cast -Ponvannan (as the investigating officer), Livingston and M.S. Bhaskar, have all played their roles neatly. The script is a good piece of work; keeping an

audience interested for more than three hours is not an easy task, but the film pulls it off rather neatly. However, there are certain issues that could have been polished and rounded off before the climax. These loose knots remain untied till the end of the movie. The other pitfall is the seeming nonchalance with which Prasanna and Ajmal dupe the entire police force while kidnapping sons, daughters and others related to big shots of the city. This bit is a little hard to swallow, especially since you know that they don’t have much of a criminal network within the city.

Camera by Mahesh Muthusamy is interesting, there seems to be a touch of P.C. Sreeram inspiration here, especially in the lighting (some scenes that are half-lit and shaded dark for atmosphere). Out of the three songs scored by Sundar. C. Babu, one stands out. The background score just passes muster.

Anjathe looks and feels good. The tempo rarely slackens, remaining consistently interesting and seldom boring. This, and the good performances in Anjathe, makes it more than just watchable fair.
This is Not a bad follow up to Chitiram at all.

Rating - 4/10

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