Anegan: falling in love, many times over

A still from 'Anegan'. Photo: Special Arrangement

A still from 'Anegan'. Photo: Special Arrangement

K.V. Anand’s Anegan could be read as his commentary on how Tamil cinema recycles its stories again and again, without any real love. Perhaps, Anand wanted to openly admit this fact and decided to make Anegan.

Anegan is a film about a couple (Dhanush and Amyra Dastur), whose souls (?) are caught in perpetual loop. The events in their life keep repeating across different eras. The film begins curiously in Burma in 1960s with the love story of Samudra (Amyra) and Murugan (Dhanush). He is a migrant worker indulged in construction work while Samudra is born to a top ranked General in the Burmese army.

The resolution of this story needs no elaboration, but the events that lead to their separation repeats thrice again (as Kali and Kalyani in ’87 in Vyasarpadi, Madras, as King and his Princess and as Ashwin and Madhu in the present). Can the couple intervene and swing it in their favour in the present? This is the film in a nutshell.

One must grant that a fairly simple story was laid out quite nicely until the filmmaker succumbed to what is beginning to look like his fancy: the big ‘Capitalist Conspiracy’.

Yesteryear heartthrob Karthik is cast the owner of a big gaming company, who manipulates his employees into taking pills just so that their dreams can make his games more creative. While it is the actor makes a formidable comeback, the new angle nonetheless takes the focus away from the central story – a love story in a loop.

Director: K. V. Anand Cast: Dhanush, Amyra Dastur Cinematographer: OM Prakash Music: Harris Jayaraj

Dhanush is refreshing in all the three roles and is certainly the best actor amongst the younger lot. The new find Amyra Dastur is a great find and could become a sought-after actor in the coming years.

The film can also be called progressive in a limited sense that it casually includes a gay man. It is heartening to find that Tamil filmmakers have come to terms with existence of sexual minorities.

While the film sags at many places, several factors make it work – the sets and cinematography in particular. Om Prakash (also did Vaagai Sooda Va and Arrambam) has shot the Burma of the 60s and Vyasarpadi of the late 80s so exquisitely.

While the narrative makes love out to be a routine, it is also its strength. With most commercial films recycling the usual plot and its many tropes, full credit to K.V. Anand for striving to narrate a banal plot – full of déjà vu and clichés – in an enterprising manner.

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Printable version | Aug 20, 2022 1:08:35 am |