At its core, Anugraheethan Antony has an interesting fantasy element, and if you are someone who has enjoyed romantic comedies like Thattathin Marayathu, there is that kind of fun too in this Prince Joy movie. But where it fumbles is in handling the melodrama. The fantasy ingredient in the script is such that it demands a certain level of emotional drama. But the excessive dose of it and Sunny Wayne’s flawed acting in those portions makes Anugraheethan Antony the kind of fun film that you would wish was slightly better.
As the title suggests, the movie is revolving around Antony. He is this lazy son of his father who has no hopes for him. His father even decides to buy two dogs as he considers them more loyal and obedient. To this life of Antony comes a girl named Sanjana who worked in her father’s flour mill. But something drastic happens in Antony’s life at that point and what we see in Anugraheethan Antony is the repercussions of that incident.
Major Spoiler Alert! As the movie’s central element is not revealed in its promo materials, it will be a bit difficult to review it without mildly spoiling it. Death and its aftermath, the conversations of dead people, the world of dead people, etc., are exciting concepts that we have discretely seen in Malayalam cinema. Anugraheethan Antony is also trying to explore that fictional terrain. There are moments in the movie when that track is used to generate sarcastic black comedy. But as the movie progresses, the sentimental bits in the screenplay start to feel like a major burden for the movie. Editor Appu Bhattathiri is trying to reduce the clutter by using cross-cutting. But I think even he felt exhausted towards the end of the film.
When it comes to setting the mood for a fun film, Prince Joy manages to achieve that in those flashbacks portions. When you see how the love story between Antony and Sanjana blossoms, you would find it entertaining even though it is typical. But it is the inability of the script to balance the various flavors in the story that causes the problem. Post the intermission, the amount of cheesy melodrama one has to sit through is too much. The movie’s multiple tracks were colliding with one another rather than converging to give it that complete feel. The music is already a chartbuster, and the soundtracks did help the movie a lot in achieving the feel it wanted.
There is a scene in the movie where Antony apologizes to his father for not being a good son. And there are also some more scenes where Antony is talking things on a very serious note. Sunny Wayne fails miserably in those portions mainly because of the stiff and by heart dialogue delivery. His usual sloppy style in dialogue rendering suited the tone of the movie in those humorous moments. Gouri G Kishen, with that pleasant smile, became Sanjana, and she was a convincing choice. Siddique managed to bring in some variation from his usual performance as the father. Even though it was more like an extended cameo, Suraj Venjaramood was memorable, and so was Jaffer Idukki.
Anugraheethan Antony started off as an interesting blend of treatments. But slowly, it became monotonous, and because of the overloaded melodrama in the second half, it felt a bit tedious. I didn’t really dislike the movie, but I thought they could have utilized the opportunity to create something more original rather than something cheesy.
I didn't really dislike the movie, but I thought they could have utilized the opportunity to create something more original rather than something cheesy.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended