Producer: Rajeev Nair
Production Co: Magic Moon Productions
Music Director: Vidyasagar
Prithviraj Sukumaran,Priyal Gor,Biju Menon,Miya George,Rajiv Menon,Kabir Bedi
Sachi’s ‘Anarkali’ marks a welcome detachment from the script writer duo that he had been a part of, and as an independent writer-director, he displays a panache that was surprisingly invisible as yet.
Santhanu (Prithviraj) arrives at Kavaratti with the hope of unearthing the mystery behind the disappearance of his love Nadira (Priyal Gor), and aided by his friend Zacharia (Biju Menon) and the local acquaintance Koya (Suresh Krishna) endeavours to lay out the climax to his long standing romance.
There aren’t many surprises that ‘Anarkali’ holds in store, as it narrates a tale that we have been told a million times before, apart from the fact that it has been set against the backdrop of a Naval base, where Santhanu happens to be an officer and Nadira, the juvenile daughter of hic commandant Jaffer Iman (Kabir Bedi).
For an astute viewer, ‘Anarkali’ stills holds promise, in that it demonstrates that despite having an oft depicted story at its disposal, a film could very well transform itself into an appealing watch by employing bright strategies that make its premise appear unfamiliar.
Sachi makes an intelligent move in having successfully brought in a massive difference by rooting his tale on the soils of an island, and also in having incorporated the very peculiar social milieu of the place into it. It is only with a sense of curiosity hence, that one can listen to this love yarn, since the writer has very successfully interweaved a commonplace narrative with a strangely unfamiliar environment.
There is a doctor on board as well, Sherin (Mia George) who is the sole person on the island with the power to order an evacuation, and its instances as these, that lend a fresh feel to ‘Anarkali’. The distinctly different setting of Lakshadweep and its people would certainly be foreign to most of the viewers, which makes the spectacles even more interesting.
It does remain however that the crux of the film – the romantic tale that lies embedded within it – is relatively frail, and devoid of any special excitement. Girl loves boy and promises to keep her assurance to love him intact, and it goes on till the boy turns into a man who touches forty and who continues to search for the girl who has disappeared somewhere. There is also the girl’s dad who is hell bent on seeing that the lovers never unite, and the brother (Sudev Nair) who lends a hand of aid.
Prithvi continues his exceptional run this year with ‘Anarkali’ and it has almost customary for the viewers to appreciate this lovely actor even in roles that turn out as exceptional as they are intended to be. Mia George is stunning as the doc who means business, though I wish they had opted for someone else to play Nadira. Priyal, as much as she is efficient and charming, falters when it comes to delivering the heavier goods. The film also has some top-notch cinematography by Sujith Vasudev to brag about.
‘Anarkali’ is thus a charming film that works for the most part, thanks to a stunner of a performance from its lead actor and a wisely written script that skilfully covers up the decorum that lies within. Here is a simple love tale, which could truly make a decent weekend watch!
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)