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Times of India
: Shantanu reaches Lakshadweep to work as a deep sea diving instructor, but he is also in a mission to track down someone he has searching for the past few years. The inflated egos, red tapes and other hurdles he fights during the quest and the emotional rationale behind it form the heart of the plot.
: The course of true love never did run smooth, and Sachy's debut movie Anarkali is a poignant journey into a few languishing minds, living the idiom. It's no new premise by any means, but the director manages to bring in that special chutzpah into his film, with some refreshing settings and characterisations, bolstered up with brilliant acting and a balanced dose of humour.
For the past few years, Shantanu (Prithviraj) has been trying to track down his lady love Nadira (Priyal Ghor) and he reaches Lakshadweep in the hope of meeting her brother, who works on the island. His friend Zacharia (Biju Menon) and a few islanders join in to help him in the quest.
An adrenaline burst of macho men and pretty women, the visual splendour of the underwater shots and a sensible tale weaving it all together - the movie has a lot to offer. It immensely benefits from apt casting - be it Priyal Ghor as the bold and beautiful Nawabi girl, Sudev Nair as her brother, the daring doctor (Miya) or even Renji Panicker as the outspoken relative. Prithviraj scorches the screen both with his looks and lover-boy acts, and Biju Menon impresses with humour yet again. It's a field day for the cinematographer, as much of the movie is set in the scenic Lakshadweep, often making the film a striking scenery in motion.
As for the flaws, a badly lip-synced song featuring the protagonist's entry almost takes the attention away both from the melody and the frames. At times, the movie also looks like an attempt to sell Lakshadweep as an exotic location. Moreover, it is a tad too lengthy with a running time of nearly three hours. The good news is that they don't spoilt the film's overall charm and Anarkali comes across as a cleanly-crafted entertainer.