Comparisons are inevitable when one remakes a critically acclaimed film like Vidya Balan starrer Kahani and in the case of Anaamika, Sekhar Kammula almost gets away because he deviates from the original plot to a large extent.
Movie Review :
Anaamika is an unlikely film from the stable of Sekhar Kammula and him making a thriller is surprising, to say the least. For a change, the director resists the temptation of imbibing some of his favourite themes like social inequality, coming-of-age theme and innocence. This in turn gives a distinct tone to Anaamika compared to his previous films; however, the film leaves a lot to be desired, in terms of eliciting an emotional response from the audience.
The film's opening scene, which is set in the bylanes near Charminar, sets the tone for a gripping drama, but before we get sucked in to the drama, Sekhar Kammula takes his own sweet time to establish the characters. Soon after Anaamika Sastry comes to Hyderabad, the film slowly into a laborious exercise, where we are told what exactly she does on a daily basis. The only solace during this process is M M Keeravani's scintillating background score, which keeps us hooked on to the screen despite the sheer lack of drama for nearly half the film's running time. Moreover, most part of the film's first half unfolds within the precincts of a police station and a hotel, which in turn restricts the characters and storytelling.
Then there's Parthasarathy (Vaibhav Reddy), the only police officer whom Anaamika can trust, who goes out of his way to solve the case, much to the displeasure of his senior official. The film's most interesting character, however, is another police official named Khan, an encounter specialist played with aplomb by Pasupathy. His frustration can be measured from the puffs of smoke he exhales every minute and surprisingly, he's the most intense character in the film. The second half is a redeeming factor and almost immediately the story moves ahead with enough speed, to make up for all the lost time in setting up the story.
Comparisons are inevitable when one remakes a critically acclaimed film like Vidya Balan starrer Kahani and in the case of Anaamika, Sekhar Kammula almost gets away because he deviates from the original plot to a large extent. Nayanthara is no match to Vidya Balan, but she does a decent job in portraying the role of a woman who is helpless. It's tough to understand what's going through her mind and when the big twist in the film is revealed, we are left wondering how she figured it all out.
Anaamika is by no means a solid thriller, but it's a good effort from Sekhar Kammula who is enamoured with the idea of a helpless woman struggling to find her husband in a city which has learnt to embrace all its contradictions. The only thing missing in the story is edge-of-the-seat drama and that makes all the difference. Watch it if you haven't seen Kahani.