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Home > Movies > Reviews

Anandabhairavi is worth a watch

Paresh C Palicha | April 02, 2007 15:32 IST

A still from Anandabhairavi

Director Jayaraj's latest venture Anandabhairavi stars Sai Kumar (who won the Best Actor runner-up prize at the Kerala State Awards for this film) and Master Devdas.

Vasudevan Panikar (Sai Kumar) is a Kathakali artiste specialising in female roles. A widower with a 6-year-old son, who believes that his father transforms into his mother when he is performing these roles -- figuratively showing us that Vasudevan dons the role of a father as well as mother for his son.

Meanwhile, it is discovered that his son Appu (Master Devdas) is prodigiously talented in music; he can point out mistakes in the Krithis sung by the veterans (this situation is used once as a peg to move the story forward). From here onwards the child's journey to fame and fortune becomes the focal point of the story.

The going is good as Appu goes on to perform at one prominent concert to the other; and in the process getting a lot of media hype. He is being termed as 'the Wonder Kid,' etc. He also has a manager (played by Ramachandran, the owner of Atlas Jewellery) with the responsibility of putting Appu into the international circuit.

At this point, we expect a twist, and it happens. It is not the usual pressure taking its toll on the kid kind of stuff, but much worse; Appu is diagnosed as having a terminal illness. This happens at the interval point, and the languorous wait for the ultimate begins.

If you can enjoy classical concerts, then this film is for you; otherwise no. The script does not offer much for a lay viewer who just strolls into the theatre on a whim. This does not mean that the film is perfect for the connoisseurs; but you can enjoy it in spite of its imperfections.

The impediments in the story, if we wish to speak of them, are many; it does not have a subtle tone, most of the happenings are in your face or simply loud. The case of a Thanjavur Bhagavathar challenging the kid after being instigated by the media is a good example. But it is notches above the writer duo Mahesh and Sajeev's earlier film, the pathetic Aswaroodan. This effort can actually be compared to Jayaraj's Deshadanom.

The performance of Sai Kumar is another pivot that holds our attention. Even without the baggage of the controversial award, we would savour this one for sure. It is refreshing to see a restrained Sai Kumar who is not scheming to siphon off property worth crores of rupees, as he does in every second movie these days.

Master Devadas with his rotund body and angelic smile attracts us, but lacks the spontaneity and spark that we see in other child artistes of the day. Here, his performance looks monotonous.

On the whole, this is a film worth watching.

Rediff Rating:

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