Anegan Review - Script is King
After the big success of Velai Illa Pattathari last year, Dhanush is back to pair up with director KV Anand for Anegan. After 2 years, KV Anand has co-scripted and directed Anegan in his inimitable characteristic style. The director deviates a bit from his social themed movies to take up a story of love spanning multiple time periods narrated in a thrilling manner. Dhanush steps away from his usual useless-boy-next-door-boy role and explores multiple new looks in Anegan.
Script and Direction:
KV Anand's movies are mounted on an interesting backdrop, with unique style of story-telling filled with twists and turns logically peppered with grand visuals accompanied by songs. Anegan is no exception and fits the above description to the T. One would wonder how the script writers must have come up with such a uniquely original story with multiple layers. It takes a lot of guts to film such a difficult script without making it too complex nor complicated on the viewers. This is where KV Anand's experience as cinematographer and director come to the fore in achieving the vision. KV Anand's screenplay interweaves multiple story tracks without making it look choppy or complex. KV Anand and Suba trio have proved that script is king. Suba's dialogues are logical and critical to the movie's flow.
The movie is filled with a lot of interesting details without distracting the audience from the main story. In one scene, Burmese current activist leader Aang San Suu Kyi is shown as the heroine's class mate during a class roll-call. For people following the current affairs closely, they will get a kick out of these intricate details subtlely shown in the movie. It is also interesting to see how Burmese Tamil history on how they came to India in 1960s is weaved into the script naturally. There are similar research on the gaming industry efficiently explained through crisp dialogues. The first half unfolds a lot of threads and systematically tie them all in the second half.
The casting of Dhanush, Amyra and Karthik are some of the strong points of the movie. Every body gets enough space and scope to showcase their performance. For e.g., Amyra scores during the initial reels set in Burma, Dhanush as Kali in 1987 is splendid and Karthik looks like a suave CEO in present day story.
Dhanush shows a great acting range across 4 characters. Kali's character sets the screen on fire with his effortless acting. Dhanush's Dangamari song is a total riot as audience starts dancing. As soon as the Kali portion begins, there is a perceivable shot of energy penetrating the hall. Dhanush as the Tamil born Burmese boy and his hairdo is oddly interesting. The only challenge is the present day character of Dhanush(Ashwin) shown as system administrator appears to be a bit out-of-place due to lack of crisp dialogues. In the second half, Dhanush instantly finds his groove and starts scoring big right after the interval. Dhanush's fans are in for a treat in the climax scene when he mimics Karthik.
The surprise package is Amyra. She proves all the naysayers wrong with her impressive acting abilities especially in the first half. Amyra makes an impressive debut in Tamil. Amyra looks very convicing as the half-Burmese girl. The decision to cast a newcomer is a risk that the director has taken which has paid off well. Karthik carries himself convincingly as a dashing gaming company CEO in his 50s and also looks young in the flashback portions set in 1987. Karthik's stylish Americanized accent is flawless and dialogues are natural. Karthik delivers some interesting one-liners with style and elegance. Ashish Vidyarthi as commissioner plays a small yet important role. Other star casts including Aishwarya, Lena, Mukesh and Jagan have small yet important roles to play.
Music and Technicalities
To summarize, the biggest accomplishment is Anegan looks like a big budget movie due to the overall quality of the visuals. It is commendable that every single technical department has worked for the script. Harris Jayaraj is in great form throughout the movie in both departments -- background and songs. The theatre erupts during the beginning of Dangamari songs. The opening title card song, "aathadi" and the "thodu vaanam" songs are excellently picturized and propels the story. As a welcome change, KV Anand has decided to not use any abrupt or forced song in the movie. Om Prakash's cinematography is the backbone in teaming with the writing department. The experience of having 2 cinematographers behind the camera is evident in every shot. Kiran's art direction in Burma and 1987 Kali portions are carefully done with a lot of attention for details. It is evident that a lot of timeline specific set properties, background artifacts, and posters are apt.
The editing for such a heavily loaded script is extremely difficult. Editor Anthony played a pivotal role in ensuring the audience stay engaged throughout. During the songs, only gripe is one would wish Anthony slowed down his cuts and multiple ramp-edits so it would have given extra time for audience to savour the beautiful locales and picture-perfect shots.
Kudos to KV Anand and the writing team for mounting seemingly familiar stories on unconventional backdrops narrated in an engaging manner. The movie stands tall for the painstaking level of details and attention given to tie all the open threads without underestimating audience intelligence.
Anegan will keep you guessing from first shot till the rolling end credits. Must Watch!
Rating: 3.5 / 5