(Before beginning the review, I wanted to make it clear that I am immensely dazzled with the original version ‘Kahaani’ and if this review gets affected for the same, please do excuse me.)
Behind the Movie Anamika: Sekhar Kammula is a master film maker who understands the realistic sensibilities of Telugu audience. Such a person for the first time is trying a remake of Hindi hit film ‘Kahaani.’ Let us see, how good Nayanathara and Sekhar matched with the original in quality?
In the Movie Anamika: Story begins with huge bomb blast in Hyderabad well executed by a terrorist batch and Government closes the case. While Police Officer Khan (Pasupathy) wants to re-open the file with permission of Home Minister Adi Keshavulu (Senior Naresh) due to a breakthrough tracked down with the image of Milan Damji (Harshavardhan Rane), the master mind behind blast, Home Minister denies permission.
Around same time Anamika (Nayanathara) drops in Hyderabad from USA tracing her missing husband Ajay Shastri, a software engineer working for Datasoft Company and strongly resembles Milan Damji. She registers a police case in Shamsher Gunj PS. Here Anamika meets SI Parthasarathi (Vaibhav Reddy) who starts helping her in investigating the case as it gets more complicated with deaths of CI, contract killer Bob and an Islamic religious head.
Rest is how Anamika, Parthasarathi and Khan solved the case with a surprising round of twists in pre-climax and climax.
Values & Out of the Movie Anamika: For a thriller movie, I feel the basic essence needs to be ‘Engagement’ factor which should tease and needle the audience throughout. When the original ‘Kahaani’ is a nifty thriller with Kolkata backdrop served a great deal, Sekhar attempted the same with un-needed modifications made in script. To match the nativity and tastes of Telugu audiences, backdrop is shifted to Hyderabad and Sekhar readily offered us an authentic old city flavor. However, it’s the enjoyment and uncertainty in narration went completely missed. Right from the moment Anamika lands in Hyderabad till the interval and later on, execution lacked in soul with no worth-while supportive performances from the cast.
A script which should keep audience on toes throwing twists and turns at even intervals has missed in the mark. Instead, a comatose mood sets in to cripple the narration with more realistic approach followed. Never could I sense the depth in puzzler thrown by Sekhar at me. For example, the characters of dumpy looking Bob Biswas or Software HR in the original became a cockamamie here with new character of Islam Religious Head added to justify the climax to handle the original identity of Milan Damji aka Ajay Shastri. This is purely Telugu-nised adaptation of Sekhar Kammula highlighting his mark of treatment.
Such elements although made ‘Anamika’ a different and relatively new from ‘Kahaani’ but what was the need for Sekhar to do so, when the original itself was so captivating?
Yes, I should appreciate Sekhar for dealing the climax episode with lot of maturity but at the same time, when I tried to backtrack on connecting the dots like what I’ve enjoyed in ‘Kahaani,’ I could find nothing here. When the target section of audience for Sekhar is definitely class cum metro, then why he missed in adding those thin curiosity generating elements? In fact, he did not give any commercial touch to the film which is again Sekhar’s style of treatment.
Coming to performances, Nayanathara is a first rate artist driving the whole content. Support from Vaibhav was a bit weak while Pasupathy did a good job. The conversation between Pasupathy-Nayan in PS was a true show of Sekhar Kammula elegance. Naresh was just fine and Harshavardhan Rane did not justify the fundamental terrorism component. Thagubothu Ramesh, Police Men and entire Old City Galaxy Hotel artists are designed to match the Old City’s realistic sensibilities.
On technical front, Vijay C Kumar’s camera work is cloudy and dark with compatibility drawbacks in between scene to scene. Editing of Marthand K Venkatesh should have been little sharper in first half. Although run time is near to 2 hours, it still feels longer. BGM of Keeravani is lifeline to the narrative and this is a tremendous job especially in climax. Dialogues were not that hypnotizing as what we expect from Sekhar. Production values of Endemol, Select Media and Logline are above average.
On the bottom line, Nayan’s characterization which should have got multiple dimensions with shifting emotions needed to give a thriller coloring was not properly designed by Sekhar. As ‘Anamaika’ is a woman narrative, every step of her journey to steer towards a courageous end must add to the credence which isn’t so. The best part is Sekhar took plenty of care in hoisting the backdrop while forgot to add the drama to pull off. Its only post interval, movie gains some steam. Comparatively, ‘Kahaani’ is a far more superior film than ‘Anamika’ which errs on intelligence.
For audience who did not watch ‘Kahaani,’ you can try it once. An expert at generating feel-good with an incredible ease, Sekhar failed to achieve the same in this mysterious suspense-thriller genre. Finally, appreciate Sekhar for not following the copy-paste of original as ‘Anamika’ is a remodeled version of ‘Kahaani.’
Cinejosh Verdict of Anamika: More Pragmatic – Less Hypnotic
Cinejosh Rating: 2.5
Reviewed by Srivaas