The genre tag given to Annabelle Sethupathi in Hotstar is horror. But in my experience, it transitioned into that genre only in the very last minute of the movie, where they made an announcement that there would be a second part for this lame horror-comedy. Taapsee Pannu and Vijay Sethupathi, who are now at a phase where they are doing exciting content, seem to have chosen this project just to get a feel of what ordinary content feels like. With a silly story getting burdened by humor, Annabelle Sethupathi is a dull film.
The story is set around a palace that was built in 1945 by Veera Sethupathi. Because of the haunted tag, the owner of the palace is unable to use it. Everyone who goes inside that palace dies, and the owner decides to use a gang of thieves to clear the issue once and for all (Sorry for the lack of elaboration). The ghosts inside the palace were waiting for someone who could free them, and how this entry of the gang of thieves changes things is what we see in Annabelle Sethupathi.
I used to have this feeling that Raghava Lawrence’s Kaanchana series would have been better if they were less eccentric and less sleazy. But Annabelle Sethupathi kind of showed it to me that even if you try that way, if the story is basically the same, then you can’t save the movie from being a bore. At one point in the movie, Veera Sethupathi explains to his main aid Shanmugam why he bought a worthless hill for a higher price. The sarcastic banter in that scene should have been the tone of the whole movie. But sadly, the film takes itself seriously, and thus, what we get is a story that can’t be called as imaginative and a script that feels way too familiar.
There is absolutely no challenge here for Taapsee Pannu as Rudra and Annabelle. It’s just a cakewalk character who doesn’t have many layers. Vijay Sethupathi doesn’t have extensive screen time in the film, but his usual charm was enough to make the character likable. Jagapathi Babu plays an extremely naïve antagonist in this movie. The only character I enjoyed in the whole film was Shanmugham, played by Yogi Babu.
Deepak Sundarrajan is trying to work on a spoof-like horror-comedy. He is trying to make fun of the clichés we see in horror films in many places. But where he fails is in making the content engaging for the viewer. The broad stroke nature of the writing is constantly making us feel that it’s just another version of the same story. The film depends heavily on improvised mumbling jokes from character actors. Some of the chaos-comedy in the movie is totally unbearable. With its overall brightness and color richness, the cinematography tries to make it a visually glossy film. The visual effects aren’t that great, while the songs managed to create a good impression.
Seeing a pointless introduction song totally out of sync with the movie at the very beginning of the film is a clear indication that not much of an effort has been made in the writing department of the movie. With two fine actors in an underwhelming comedy that depends on lifeless humor lines, Annabelle Sethupathi pretty much feels like a scam. If the second part is made, I don’t think many people would approach it with optimism.
With two fine actors in an underwhelming comedy that depends on lifeless humor lines, Annabelle Sethupathi pretty much feels like a scam.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended