CAST & CREW
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Anju Sundarikal is a movie with a heart for love. It comprises of five short stories, each playing on different themes and perspective. The movie is a rare cinematic gem dealing with a mixed bag of goodies and thorns.
Plot: The first short film is a story of a pretty little girl, in her pre-teens. Her hobby is to stick the pictures of newly married couples from the newspaper to her shabby little scrapbook. Her life changes for worse when she follows a suggestion from her classmate to get a photograph of themselves clicked. The next film begins with a mystery that keeps you hooked to the screen. It is about two young people who meet on new year's eve. The film has total entertainment value where two people try to outsmart each other.
The next movie in sequence is about a couple involved in an inter-religion marriage. They have been partners for three years. One night, a visit to their friends and a demand made by the wife results in their relationship changing. The penultimate short story is the most elaborate story of the anthology. We hear stories born from the observations of a temporarily disabled-professional photographer on a wheelchair. The latest gossip in the air is of a short man and a tall lady who are the new tenants.
The neighbors try speculating the relationship between the couple, naming them even brother and sister. The crafty rumors all disappear when the wife emerges pregnant. The next movie is a story of a reformed businessman who is in deep anxiety and on a long drive. His affectionate spouse, who believes in him tries to keep his awake by asking questions with trick answers. The overnight journey, his demanding boss, and his wife turn it into a night that would be unforgettable, at least for the next few scores of nights.
Analysis: The first movie Sethulakshmi is a gem. The shutter click in the story is the sound of the alarm of the brutal child abuse that follows. The next movie Isha, though a bit out of place, is quite impressive. It provides the ultimate thrill and entertainment in this amalgam of short stories. The next in line Gauri shows the change in the couple's relationship, the involvement of forests and wildlife, and a perplexing puzzle makes the viewer impatient. The movie moves at a very slow pace, but the climax is magnificent. But the ending does leave you dissatisfied.
Kullante Bharya's end puts an anchor on your heart and one feels the pain. The script works wonders for this movie. The last movie Ami is an intriguing tale of a man, who is trying to turn a new leaf and shows bouts of frustration, anger and the difficulty of being good in a world where being bad is so lucrative. The questions asked from him presents us with bittersweet moments throughout the time. It is a worthy ending to a film.
Star Performances: The titular character of Sethulakshmi is portrayed tremendously well. Baby Anikha, sure would grow to become a lovely actress. Child abuse can be felt via her acting. The characters of Kullante Bharya too are portrayed well by Jinu Ben and Reenu Matthews. Opposites attract is something, that seems to fit in that story. The pain of a short husband who is made fun of in the society and his jealousy towards all men trying to befriend his wife is made known meticulously. All leads show their acting prowess. Their portrayal of the character seems so real that you tend to laugh, weep and share their sorrows with them.
1. The sequence of the movies fit aptly.
2. One story shows you liberal parts from all genres, entertainment, social message, family, world cinema, etc.
3. All titular character roles have been portrayed with fervor and incredible feats.
4. Too many cooks, do not spoil the broth.
What's not there?
1. The pace of the script sometimes dips low.
Verdict: It is a must watch. Get your popcorn tub and a glass of fizzed soda and see a marvel of cinema unfold before your eyes.
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