There was an entire row of audience who got free tickets for the movie Anuragam (I knew it because they had to send a selfie to someone as proof they watched the film). In the middle of the second half, one of them said this movie might have worked if it had been released in 2010, to which the rest disagreed. Well, that anecdote is pretty much the short review of this new film from Shahad, which has an entirely outdated sensibility. With every scene becoming cringe-worthy or utterly cheesy, Aswin Jose’s attempt at writing is just a collage of cliches.
Aswin is our main protagonist, and he is this frustrated one-sided lover who is in love with his best friend, Janani. He tried to propose to her on Valentine’s Day. But she rejected him, and they decided to continue as best friends upon his apology. Janani’s father is a famous musician, and the equation between her parents has been going through a rough patch. Aswin’s efforts to patch them up to impress Janani and how that goes is what we see in the film Anuragam.
Looking at how the movie begins with an awkwardly comical proposal scene followed by a dance number, I wondered whether they initially planned this as a Tamil film. Because the film had that texture of those Sivakarthikeyan movies when he was busy building the stalking star image. Luckily, a few minutes after that song, the movie returns to that Malayalam movie zone. But the writing had already run out of ideas, and I couldn’t really blame those audience members for their facepalm reactions to the terrible jokes and dramatic dialogues.
Aswin Jose tries his luck as a hero in a movie he wrote, and the performance is pretty much similar to what he had done in Queen. The insensitive obsessive Romeo has a stereotypical style in our films, and Aswin follows the same pattern. Gouri G Kishan has tried her best to make Janani a real character while the writing explores that character very peripherally. Poor Gautham Vasudev Menon has that why on earth I signed this film kind of attitude in every scene.
Johny Antony was actually funny toward the climax of the movie. The franticness he shows in the initial portions of the movie becomes very repetitive in his acting. Devayani as, Aswin’s mother, did a fine job. Lenaa as Janani’s mother, tries her best to reduce the theatricality in the dialogue but gives up after a point. Durga Krishna plays the shallow snooty husband snatcher. Sheela (cringe max), Sudhish, Jaffar Idukki, and Manikandan Pattambi are the other major names in the film’s star cast.
This is Shahad’s second film after Prakashan Parakkatte, and he is still trying to emulate the success of commercial films rather than creating something of his own. Many scenes and song placements are very forceful; even the audience members question what made the makers think it would work. The writing is running after excessive goodness, and to avoid the criticism of being a “Nanma” overdose package, Aswin tries to infuse dialogue-humor at the end of every such scene. But sadly, even that trick has got exposed these days. The cinematography by Suresh Gopi (ya, you heard it right) focuses on making the frames look beautiful through flat lighting and colorful elements. The music was actually good, but the placement was so poor that you will find yourself exclaiming, “Yet another song!”
Anuragam is the result of the makers thinking that entertainers are some sort of assembled stories that ticks all the boxes. Father-daughter sentiments, late romance, husband-wife tussle, mother-son equation, and several other dynamics are explored in Anuragam. In fact, the movie’s basic idea had three different types of romances. But the writing was too clueless on how to blend them, and what we get is a tasteless banal romantic comedy.
With every scene becoming cringe-worthy or utterly cheesy, Aswin Jose's attempt at writing is just a collage of cliches.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended