Annaatthe - Movie Review
Superstar Rajinikanth’s much awaited Annaatthe released amidst much fanfare on Thursday, 4 Nov. 2021 across the world to cheering thumps from his fans, followers and devotees alike. The film, produced by Sun Network’s Kalanidhi Maran and directed by Siva who gave a hatrick with Ajith over the past 9 years, is the first big budget film to be released during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic estimated to be produced at a cost of Rs. 230 Crores. While the shooting commenced in early ‘20, it came to a grinding halt in the wake of the first ever lockdown in Mar. 20. Subsequently, shooting progressed intermittently and finally released on Deepavali day, adding to a list of Thalaivar films which have done so in the past 3 decades.
Kalaiyan, (Rajinikanth) fondly addressed as Annaatthe by locals is the Village Panchayat Leader for his town Soorakottai. He brings up his foster sister Thanga Meenakshi (Keerthy Suresh) as his own and is extremely fond of her. Nayanthara is a Lawyer whom Kalaiyan meets during a court case and the duo develop a fondness for each other. Kalaiyan’s cousins (Khushboo & Meena) who couldn’t marry him (and paired with Pandiarajan & Livingston respectively) wish to propose their respective brothers (Satish & Sathyan) to be married to Meenakshi so the family bonds remain intact. However, the marriage alliance is fixed with a local boy but on the 11th hour, Meenakshi elopes with her college love. Drama unfolds and Kaliayan lets her go.
After a few months, Kalaiyan gets to know the truth that Meenakshi in fact wanted his approval for her wedding but due to a twist in the tale, the plot gets missed out. Kalaiyan moves to Kolkata to seek her whereabouts but is shocked that her family has been betrayed by a local gangster and decides to seek revenge. The rest of the film is all about one man beating up the baddies and getting his sister back what she deserves.
Director Siva, who shot to fame with Karthi’s Siruthai has moved from rural subjects like Ajith’s Veeram to intercontinental subjects like Vivegam and has done a decent job with the responsibility bestowed on him. Superstar, who has always bet on newcomers and young directors over the past 25 years, from P. Vasu to KS Ravikumar to C. Sundar to Suresh Krissna has yet again won his risk and handsomely The Director’s knack of deftly handling the scenes involving India’s biggest film icon is no mean feat and kudos to him for doing justice.
Camera works by Vetri Palanisamy is neat and never over the top even once all through the film. Cinematography is top notch and Vetri has shown the Madurai mannu (soil) in a fantastic manner. This could also be due to the nuances that Siva is known for, in his previous outings.
Music Director D. Imman, who recently received a National Award for best composer for Viswasam has done a stellar role with the BGM and songs. The first single title track followed by Saara Saara and Marudhaani have been chartbusters for 3 weeks in a row across leading audio portals and streaming platforms. Imman has deftly handled the emotive portions of the movie, something which he seems to be only getting better with.
The last 30 minutes are extremely gripping and a typical sentimental, emotional drama that pinches the nerves. I could see the same vintage Rajini of Mullum Malarum as Kaali in Annaatthe as Kalaiyan, especially in the scenes involving his sister, Late Director Mahendran and K. Balachander would’ve been proud to see Superstar’s performance yet again. If let be, the film could run full house across theatres from Deepavali to Pongal ‘22 , especially in Tier 2/3/4 towns.
A good family outing, as expected.