I won’t say Aanandam is strictly for those who have done engineering in the last decade or so. And when it comes to the maturity and treatment of the content, it is definitely better than Happy Days to which it got compared when the promos got released. Slightly inspired from the Zoya Akhthar – Farhan Akhthar format feel good films, Aanandam from debutant director Ganesh Raj is a really pleasing entertainer feel good movie. Baring its posh backdrop, there is very less to complain about Aanandam.
The story is set in the backdrop of the first IV (Industrial Visit) of a batch of IT students. There is this one side lover boy who desperately wants to express his love. There is this “responsible” fellow who takes care of the whole program. The jovial guy, cool couple, a silent girl and all the sort of characters one could imagine in a campus life (engineering). How this IV manages to create changes in a better way in their life is what Aanandam telling us.
By choosing the most happening part of college life, Ganesh has successfully tackled the main issue of establishing characters. It is not Happy Days were we are seeing the whole four years in a span of two and a half hours or so. By the time the film starts we are in that world and the characters are introduced effectively. The writing also gives space to each character. Even the largely silent Darshana has a role in making the overall film a heartening one. The subplots lingering on each character doesn’t have any lose ends and they all have a purpose. The linking of all these conflicts actually gives more of a structure to the film.
About the cast, my favorite was Roshan Mathew who portrayed the role of Gautham. His acting had a natural feel to it. His character had interesting layers and the new comer handled it effectively. Vishak Nair as Kuppi is definitely a promising talent. Even though some of his dialogues failed to impress in being humorous (blame the writing) the guy managed to be that lovable rascal. Arun Kurien was okay as Varun and Thomas Mathew looked convincing as the unconfident Akshay. Like how Akshay says it in the film, Siddhi Mahajankatti is cute and is a very compelling choice as the charming Dia. Annu Antony as Devika was also an apt casting. Anarkali had that innocence to be the mysterious silent girl. Rony David Raj in his comical role was fine.
Ganesh Raj maintains that vibrancy throughout the film. The two hours never looks too short. Even though the cinematic drama is there, the scenes never go to an exaggerated level. Like I said, the story assigns conflicts and mysteries to each character and unfolds them at the end. As all these unfolding happen in a connected manner, Aanandam manages to be that feel good movie with solutions. The possible issue one could sense in this film is the same criticism Zoya and Farhan has faced for their films. The backdrop largely has the tone of an upper class and with all these proms and candle light dinners happening, the relatable factor slightly gets lost. But the dilemmas and confusions happening to characters are significant or I should say nostalgic. Things like overcoming fear, not having regrets, forgiving each other etc. gets space in the narrative without breaking the rhythm of the film. Anand C Chandran’s frames suited the feel of the movie. All those emotional montages towards the end and numerous song excerpts where knitted impressively. Songs were nice.
To sum it up, I would say Aanandam has done justice to its title. It has enough entertainment and enlightenment to make you happy. It is thoroughly enjoyable for those who did BTech and is a passable one without much regrets for the rest.
Rating : 3.5/5
I would say Aanandam has done justice to its title. It has enough entertainment and enlightenment to make you happy.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended