The first half of Siva’s new film Annaatthe starring superstar Rajinikanth is what if Sundar C directed Viswasam. And the second half of the movie is Udanpirappe on steroids, something that is bound to happen since the hero is Rajinikanth. If you belong to that category of the audience who thinks that the village dramas in Tamil cinema that repeats the template every single time to provide the same pattern entertainment to the B and C center should not be criticized for the lack of freshness, well let me just save your time by telling you that this isn’t the review you are looking for. Actually, I don’t think anyone who has seen the trailer of the movie would be looking for a review to decide whether to watch it or not.
Kaaliyan, our hero, is the Village President, and he is that all in all package of justice. He has a sister named Thanga Meenakshi, who went out of the village for higher studies. When Thanga Meenakshi came home after her studies, Kaaliyan decided to fix her wedding at the earliest. But some unfortunate events happened prior to the marriage, causing some heavy damage to the relationship between the siblings. What caused the disruption and what all they had to go through after that is what we see in Annaatthe.
I was not expecting any exceptional craft or a unique story in a festival release like Annaatthe. But you need to give the viewer some sense of excitement beyond the hero’s slow-motion walks. Some may say that this is what a B and C center audience wants in a Deepavali release. But seeing the same story over and over makes me feel that the moviemakers are kind of restricting the exposure of that audience to a particular type of movie. The thing with movies like Annaatthe is that there is no aspiration to be memorable. The writing is such that even the makers don’t care if you leave the film at the theater. Characters are added to the script to make it look star-studded, and the humor only creates cringe.
Siva is known for broad-stroke narratives, family man heroes, and loud villains. Annaatthe is basically an amalgamation of his movies. As I said, the first half has the bits of Viswasam where the hero is projected as the protector of the villages. And in the second half, Visawasam gets mixed with Vedalam. The sentiments between Annan and Thankachi induce cringe every single time. The excuses the script creates to avoid the “meeting” of the duo, just to create “mass” moments for the hero, just doesn’t have the flow. The villains are written so badly, and their number just keeps on increasing pointlessly. The cinematography of the movie made it feel like a relaxed Hari movie. D Imman follows his Viswasam style once again, and my personal favorite was the Marudhani song.
Rajinikanth is trying to bring his usual swagger to the movie. Even though it kind of works in the initial parts of the film where humor has a greater emphasis, that smoothness is missing in action sequences and emotional bits. Keerthy Suresh is playing the role of Thanga Meenakshi. In emotional scenes, even she seems confused about whether the scene would work or not. Superstar Nayanthara isn’t playing an essential character to the plot. Actors like Khushbu and Meena are added to the movie simply to increase the length with ridiculous subplots. Jagapathi Babu and Abhimanyu Singh are those typical loud Siva-villains who sound funny rather than intimidating. Prakash Raj’s character isn’t that barbaric, so he is forgiven. Soori goes back to his old-style comedy.
Annaatthe clearly gave an indication about its packaging in the promos, and what the film has offered is precisely that. The visual effects that got criticized when the teaser dropped were improved to an extent. I wasn’t a fan of even Veeram and Viswasam. So, there is a slight possibility of you feeling Annaatthe as a passable film if the reason for you to like Siva-Ajith movies was the treatment rather than the hero.
Annaatthe clearly gave an indication about its packaging in the promos, and what the film has offered is precisely that.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended