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Bhoomika shines in Anasuya
Radhika Rajamani | December 21, 2007 16:59 IST
Suspense films are not a common genre in Telugu. But in the last two weeks we have two such films: Mantra and now Anasuya. The latter is fairly close to reality with some parts touching as it does on television sting operations, some murders, organ donation and so on.
Thanks to the invasion of television with surfeit of channels into homes and the investigative journalism which is mostly the order of the day, people are quite clued in to all this.
The film opens with a murder and a few more follow. A common thread in all of this is the presence of a rose on or near the body and the absence of an organ (heart, kidney, eye etc) in the victim. A task force is supposed to investigate but they are hardly like a task force taking serious charge. (It's almost like belittling them). Anand (Abbas) is part of the force which investigates the murder but without any luck.
Anasuya (Bhumika), an orphan joins N TV (the film is excellent publicity for this recently launched news channel) and in the very first assignment she rescues a little girl Lakshmi working as a domestic help in a minister's house where she is harassed. Anasuya takes charge of Lakshmi. She stays in Joseph Uncle's (Shankar Melkote)'s house who is killed by the same murderer.
Actually Anasuya comes face to face with the killer but he escapes and when she identifies him in the police station, he acts as if he is a lame ward boy and is released. But Anasuya does not subscribe to this and goes on a hunt for him.
In the first half, the reason for the crimes is not established. One only surmises that the killer is a psychopath. The hunt and chase goes on. It's only in the second half that the reason becomes clear.
The first half is rather pacy but the second half is a tad slow. The mystery and suspense is maintained through dim lighting (or rather hardly any lighting) eerie sound effects and a pendulum. An attempt is made to make it an edge-of-the-seat thriller. A 'noir' kind of effect is created to a large extent. Unfortunately, the director fails to induce fear in the audience. As the story progresses the suspense element decreases, the film starts to drag a bit till the climax which is filled with violence in a strange looking place.
The length of the film needs to be short in such films but Anasuya is two hours plus.
And in the middle of all this 'fear drama', a message about organ donations and warning against people superstitions is thrown in for good measure. Ravi Babu who has penned the story and directed the film has attempted to keep the audience engrossed albeit partially.
There was no necessity of a whodunit kind of film to give these messages even though the intention of giving a message is a good one. Technically the film is shot well. But one wonders why the lighting at least in the beginning had to be so dark. If it was only to cause fear, it was rather clich�d like the other sound effects and constant showing of the pendulum.
The film rests solely on Bhumika who plays the title role. She fits the bill as she sails through the role confidently and smoothly. It's a pity that Abbas does not have much to do.
In this serious kind of film there is not much scope for humour except for a few lines now and then thus sparing the audience the usual humour which is ubiquitous in Telugu films.
Thankfully there are not many songs either (the partial item number seems to have been added to impart the commercial element) to distract the viewer.
On the whole, the attempt is sincere but Anasuya may not enthuse the lovers of formula flicks even though it provides a good respite from such films.
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