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‘Thank You Brother’ movie review: Anasuya Bharadwaj impresses in an otherwise predictable drama

Viraj Ashwin and Anasuya Bharadwaj in the film  

The Telugu film Thank You Brother, which is streaming on Aha, deals with a potentially interesting ‘what if?’ scenario. An affluent, entitled brat who squanders his mother’s money and indulges in one night stands is stuck in an elevator with a heavily pregnant woman from a middle-class background. The rest of the story is easy to guess. It could have been an intriguing suspense drama, but for its rather simplistic narrative.

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In its 90-minute duration, director Ramesh Rapathi’s film spends roughly half the time narrating the stories of the two primary characters. Abhi (Viraj Ashwin) doesn’t bat an eyelid before blowing up ₹85000 on a night out with friends. He hooks up with women and kicks up a storm when his mother (Archana Ananth) tries to explain that he is turning out to be arrogant He resents that his mother moved on after his father’s death to find a soulmate in Dr Prem (Anish Kuruvilla).

Thank You Brother
  • Cast: Anasuya Bharadwaj, Viraj Ashwin
  • Direction: Ramesh Raparthi
  • Streaming on: Aha

The friends, played by Viva Harsha and others, are made to dish out lame jokes. Viraj Ashwin befits the part of a rich brat, but he has a long way to go as an actor.

As Priya, Anasuya Bharadwaj has a commanding screen presence and tries to portray her character with all the earnestness she can muster. We get an idea of the bond she shared with her late husband (Aadarsh Balakrishna in a cameo) and how she now shoulders financial responsibilities, helped by a caring mother in law (Annapurna).

We get that Abhi and Priya are polar opposites, but it would have been nicer to know some more about the circumstances that made them the people they are. Characters needn’t always be starkly black or white. Of the two, Anasuya’s character is etched out better and she tries to carry the weight (pardon the pun) of the film.

In the later portions, there are no surprises. The lockdown and therefore the heightened constraints add to the suspense. The elevator portions give a sense of the claustrophobia (cinematography by Suresh Ragutu) the two protagonists are up against.

Despite the predictability of how things will unravel, I kept watching in the hope that Priya is safe and Abhi rises to the occasion and helps her. It might be an old school way of using motherhood as a tool to teach a man the importance of a woman and her endurance levels, but it still manages to have an emotional impact. If only the preceding portions had some more nuance, the impact of the later portions would have been better.

I haven’t seen the 2019 Nigerian film Elevator Baby, but this one is a passable venture that could have been better.

(Thank You Brother streams on Aha)


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:39:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/thank-you-brother-review-anasuya-bharadwaj-impresses-in-an-otherwise-boring-and-predictable-drama/article34505621.ece

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