Saturday, May 31, 2008

Akshay Shah Reviews ANAMIKA (Hindi, 2008)

Akshay Shah Reviews ANAMIKA (Hindi, 2008)

Believe it or not I had some level of hopes from ANAMIKA for a number of reasons, firstly because this was to be Ananth Mahadevan’s last film in his thriller trilogy (AKSAR and AGGAR were the other two which were relatively good time-pass thrillers) and secondly because Dino Morera’s last thriller BHRAM was again a decent effort…however ANAMIKA is a complete dud which leaves the viewer totally disappointed and the biggest culprit is the story.

The movie draws inspiration from the classic novel REBECCA which itself was made by Alfred Hitchcock in to a stunningly crafted thriller. Sadly ANAMIKA decides to add it’s own twists and turns which fall totally flat. The movie revolves around an escort(no, not the LAAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG type) called Jia (Minissha Lambha) who meets and within 2 days (very hard to believe) gets married to Vikram Sisodiya (Dino Morera). Before their wedding Vikram admits to Jia that he used to be married before to Anamika (Aarti Chhabira) who had died under mysterious circumstances.

After marriage Vikram and Jia fly to Gajner (Rajasthan) to his ancestral home. His home is a palace which is managed by Vikram’s childhood friend Malini (Koena Mitra). This is when the story really begins, as everyone in Gajner can’t stop talking about Anamika (and still refer to her as Mrs Sisodiya), it turns out the entire town is obsessed with Anamika, and to make matters worse Jia is constantly compared with her as well. And if that’s not enough one night Jia sees Anamika’s spirit in the palace as well. In a turn of events Anamika’s body resurfaces and all fingers point to Vikram…what is the mystery behind Anamika’s death? How did she die?
Sounds like the premise for a nail-biting thriller? Think again! Writers Ananth Mahadevan and Anand Vardhan had the perfect story to make the best thriller in Mahadevan’s trilogy, however the constant loopholes in the first half, and a completely disappointing climax hinder the movies quality. After the initial hiccup of having Jia say YES to marriage in one day, the movie is well written, the suspense is slow-moving but well built and keeps the viewers at the edge of their seat. When Jia sees Anamika’s spirit again the movie gets exciting, however the second half is a lazy piece of work which clearly rips off films like GUPT and KUCCH TO HAI and leaves a lot to be desired for.

Anand Vardhan’s screenplay is a letdown. While there are moments in the first half which are well done and set the scene for a riveting thriller, it’s the lazily written second half which leaves the viewer exasperated. One wishes that Vardhan had stayed true to his material as there are plenty of other facets which could’ve been explored here. For example, ANAMIKA could’ve been a brilliant ghost story with it’s ambience and setting with the ghost of Anamika possessing Jia? Or perhaps a psychological thriller where Jia gets obsessed with Anamika and starts behaving lke her(which is hinted at in certain parts but never explored).
Ananth Mahadevan clearly had way too much on his plate. ANAMIKA is a film he put on hold after he got half way, and then rushed and made VICTORIA NO.203 and AGGAR, and this has affected the films quality. While the first half is a atmospheric and effective thriller, the second half is a rushed piece of work which he has hurriedly directed for the sake of it. The entire premise of the movie falls apart once the suspense if revealed and nothing makes sense. Why is everyone obsessed with Anamika? Why does Dino never tell his wife the truth in the first place? Why does Gulshan Grover’s character behave the way he does? No doubt Mahadevan is a director who knows the genre well, there is ample evidence in the first half with scenes which are superbly canned however these few scenes don’t make the whole movie….majorly disappointing.

The performances in the movie are flat for the most.

Dino Morera does a re-run of his BRHAM role and is just about OK here. The character is clearly out of his depth and he seems to be struggling in places. Though what is surprising is that Dino pulls off the regal look with complete conviction.

Minissha Lambha is the best thing about the movie. This girl is seriously talented and stunningly gorgeous and needs some better films and roles ASAP! After YAHAAN and SHAURYA, this is another performance which totally impresses. She looks bewitching, and adds a certain aura of innocence and naivety which enhance the characters appeal. Her delivery and presence are splendid, and one feels her talent is wasted in the movie.

Koena Mitra is wooden as a plank of wood and would give Arjun Rampal a run for his money. The girl clearly is easy on the eyes and makes good eye candy but just cannot act, this is the exact same problem I have with Celina Jaitley too.

Aarti Chhabria has nothing to do, infact one hardly gets to see her in the movie. Vishwajeet Pradhan has a confusing role which leads nowhere. Gulshan Grover is reliable as ever.

Technically the movie is good. Pushan Kriplani’s camerawork is splendid, and he captures the atmosphere of the film very well. It’s rather refreshing to see a thriller at the backdrop of a old haveli after such a long time, certainly harks back to yesteryear thrillers of a past era which adds a nice touch, and that’s why it’s all the more frustrating the movie goes so wrong. Sanjib Datta’s editing could’ve been tighter. Jai Singh’s action is OK.

Anu Malik’s music fails to leave a mark which is surprising given AKSAR had a blockbuster soundtrack, and AGGAR even had a decent score.

All up ANAMIKA is a colossal let-down.

Overall Rating: 2.0/10.0


1 comment:

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