A major portion of the movie Anweshanam feels like a very exciting thriller. The story is happening inside a hospital and the makers keep us interested in that mystery to get revealed. From being in that suspense thriller mood, Prasobh Vijayan shifts the movie to a very emotional track in the second half. Even though that shift was really in sync with the movie, the presentation of the climax had a stark contrast with the rest of the movie. It almost felt like they forcefully tweaked it to one of those “message-oriented” films.
Aravind works in the media and his family comprises his wife Kavitha and two kids. One day, Aravind’s elder son falls from the stairs and he was immediately taken to the hospital by Kavitha and their family friend Gautham. The hospital authorities felt the possibility of a child abuse case in the particular accident and certain contradictions in the statements of Aravind and Kavitha make it even more complex. The effort of the police to solve this case at the earliest is the soul of Anweshanam.
The crisscross screenplay actually helps the movie in generating that sense of intensity. The audience will be subconsciously doing the editing inside their head and it is a good way to keep them engaged in a thriller. Towards the interval, we will get a feeling that it is more of a cover-up, rather than an unbelievable twist. Post the interval the movie sort of reveals a portion of the truth from the point of view of certain characters that don’t have an idea about the complete picture. The movie then suddenly shifts its focus from child abuse to a different thing. And then it slightly goes to a zone that doesn’t really have too much of an impact. When Leona Leshoy’s police character says “There is something fishy”, the movie at that point was treated in a way that we will all feel that fishy nature of the whole incident. But when things got resolved in the end, I felt that it became a little too preachy.
Prasobh Vijayan who made an impressive debut with that Samyuktha Menon thriller Lilly in 2018 has not disappointed in terms of the movie-making aspect. He has got the assistance of someone like Sujith Vassudev and the movie is visually very immersive. The visual tone maintains that tension with the camera moving according to the pace of the emotions happening on screen. The screenplay by Francis with dialogues written by Salil V and Ranjeeth Kamalashankar is very crisp and engaging in the beginning portions. But towards the end, you will sort of sense where things are going. The way the investigation ends and the way the truth is shown to us somewhere lacked a bit of a punch. And you will feel a lack of clarity in certain actions by the supporting characters. The editing pattern uses montages occasionally and minimizes the usage of dialogues. The background score was really effective.
Interestingly, we don’t get to see much of Jayasurya in the first half of Anweshanam. Aravind is a very volatile and vulnerable character and we get to see these characteristics in the second half mostly. There is a heartbreaking scene in the movie where he is forced to do a really cruel thing and I loved his performance. Shruti Ramachandran as the conflicted mother Kavitha was really good. Lena was a really good choice for that nurse character and she performed the role very neatly. Srikanth Murali was a good choice for the doctor’s character. Even though it was a small role in terms of screen time, I would say this is Vijay Babu’s best performance to date. Leona Leshoy was convincing as the investigating officer and the idea to make her character pregnant was an interesting one. Actor Nandhu, as usual, did the role convincingly and Jai Vishnu was fine in his first extensive character role. Actor Lal was also there in a major role with minimal screen time.
Anweshanam is certainly a watchable thriller. It is just that when you look at the way it began with the feel of a very gripping grey thriller, the end you get to see in the movie feels a bit on the safe side. Barring this forgivable jitter, I would say Anweshanam is that thriller you won’t regret watching.
Anweshanam is certainly a watchable thriller. When you look at the way it began with the feel of a very gripping grey thriller, the end you get to see in the movie feels a bit on the safe side.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended