Anna Bond (Kannada)
Cast: Puneet Rajkumar, Rangayana Raghu, Priyamani, Nidhi Subbaiah, Avinash, Jackie Shroff, Ninasam Satish
The much-awaited Anna Bond lives up to expectations on at least one count. It satiates Puneet Rajkumar's fans with thrilling action, lavish dances, picturesque locations and the star's omnipresence. But it disappoints those who expect Suri's signature style.
Anna Bond has no connection with Annavru's Bond. While Puneet's father Rajkumar donned the role of James Bond on assignment, our Anna Bond takes on the drug mafia on his own to save the female lead.
Hero-centric rather than director centric, the film is an example of a creative director losing confidence in himself and taking the much-treaded commercial path. Consequently, it is an action-packed entertainer, tailor-made for Puneet and his fans.
Suri is clearly influenced by other films, especially City of God, the Brazilian crime drama by Fernando Meirelles. (The opening scene is reminiscent of this film.) Similarly Rangayana Raghu, emptying a machinegun in a panicked state, is a clear lift from True Lies, James Cameron's action comedy.
To his credit, Suri packed flesh and blood into a wafer-thin storyline. His screenplay, melding violence and romance, is gripping enough.
Bond Ravi (Puneet) is the helpful cool dude of his village whose friend is Chapathi Babu (Rangayana Raghu) and love interest is Meera (Priyamani), who comes to film rural lives. At her suggestion, he leaves home “to become great”. On his way, he ‘accidentally' meets Major Chandrakanth (Avinash), who, incidentally, is Meera's father, and saves his life. In the process, he antagonises Charlie (Jackie Shroff) a drug dealer, who abducts Meera. How Anna Bond saves his sweetheart and eliminates Charlie's empire, is the crux of the story.
Suri portrays the underworld in its gritty avatar. But Anna Bond is no Jockey or Junglee. The director exposed the subterranean world of human trafficking in Jockey. Though the film deals with drug trafficking here, if you've paid for your ticket, it is better to accept the cinematic logic without breaking your head over it.The love angle is stale and has traces of Paramatma. Excellent technical support by cinematographer Satya Hegde, art direction by Shashidhara Adapa (skeleton bike, well-furnished house on four-wheeler), choreography by Imran Sardharia, stunts by Danny and Ravi Varma, songs of Yogaraj Bhat (“Tumba Nodbedi Lovvu Aitade”) are the film's plus points, as is its humour.
The dialogues are crisp and edgy. Suri takes pot-shots at everyone around, film industry included, as well as himself. Rangayana Raghu's comedy works and his chemistry with Puneet is perfect.
Performance-wise, Puneet leads the way and Rangayana Raghu and Ninasam Satish are brilliant. Jackie Shroff is a huge letdown and his Kannada is intolerable. As Nidhi Subbaiah's character is as slim as her physique, it is not fair to expect anything from her. Priyamani is good to some extent.