There is a conviction issue I always face when I watch psychological serial killer movies in Malayalam. The problem is mainly because of the inability of the makers to convince us about the situation and make us buy that unreal scenario. The good thing about Anjaam Pathiraa directed by Midhun Manuel Thomas was that I was never distracted to think about the practicality of the situations. With the correct placement of detours from the predictions of the viewer, Anjaam Pathiraa keeps you engaged and has a climax that has convincing and engrossing twists to its credit.
Anwar Hussain is a psychologist and he is trying for a job in the police as a criminologist. Anwar’s friend Anil asks him to come to a murder site which might help him with his PhD in criminology. But the case wasn’t a usual one and it escalates to a serial killer saga where police officers got killed ruthlessly. The investigation of the police team, of which Anwar is also a part of, is the story of Anjaam Pathiraa.
In a recent interview, Kunchako Boban said that the reason why he accepted this movie was that Midhun Manuel Thomas always took the unpredictable turn whenever he was expecting something in his head. Well, I can confidently say that it wasn’t the usual exaggeration stars do in pre-release events. Even though I was a bit uncomfortable with the stiff dialogues from characters, Midhun manages to excite you with twists at regular intervals of time. And there is so much there after the usual drill of solving the case and the engrossing editing that keeps you interested in the movie makes the second half of the movie more exciting. The movie is not abundant with clap worthy moments similar to something like a Memories from Jeethu Joseph. But this is a movie that won’t bore you with predictability.
Kunchako Boban plays a character that is new to the whole crime-solving thing and his performance had all the insecurities and cluelessness that could be there in such a person. Jinu Joseph as Anil is convincing in terms of look and body language while his dialogue delivery occasionally had some issues. Unnimaya Prasad was an interesting choice to play the role of the assistant police commissioner and she did the role convincingly. I don’t wish to unveil the name of the actor who plays the role of the antagonist (don’t Google the cast and ruin your theatre experience) as it will be a spoiler, his performance was indeed impressive and it feels like he is asking more filmmakers to use him as a versatile character actor. Sreenath Bhasi and his style offered some comic relief. Remya Nambeesan, Harikrishnan, Abhiram, Mathew Thomas, Sudheesh, Indrans, and several other names are there in the elaborate cast. A special mention to the small yet deeply moving performance of Jaffer Idukki.
This is Midhun Manuel Thomas’ first attempt at the thriller genre and with a terrific team backing him this time Midhun shows his ability to tell a story without dragging it. And one thing that was interesting about his treatment was that he brought in a sense of believability to the narrative. It is the second half of the film that has the upper hand and even though the adrenalin rush may not be there in a huge way, there is definitely a delight of seeing something different from what you sort of predicted in your head. Shyju Khalid adds spookiness and scale to this compelling thriller. The go-to person for quality background score, Sushin Shyam has done a terrific job in elevating scenes. Saiju Sreedharan’s cuts, especially towards the climax portions where he handles multiple tracks, was truly impressive.
Anjaam Pathiraa is a thoroughly enjoyable gripping thriller. I never felt that any portion of the movie was unwanted or unnecessarily exaggerated. Diluting the drama in certain dialogues would have been a good thing. There is a fearless approach to the politics of the movie as well. Anjaam Pathiraa in a way proves that a typical thriller story format can still work if the treatment is atypical.
Anjaam Pathiraa is a thoroughly enjoyable gripping thriller. Anjaam Pathiraa in a way proves that a typical thriller story format can still work if the treatment is atypical.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended