Sekhar Kammula’s Nayantara starrer, Tamil film Nee Enge En Anbe, tells a different Kahaani than the one Vidya Balan helped Sujoy Ghosh narrate in his thriller set in Kolkata. In fact, the film (in Telugu, titled Anamika, and whose English translation would be, Where Are You My Love) has chosen to merely take the inspiration from Kahaani. For, the core of the plot in the Tamil and Telugu versions (if I may call them so) is completely different from Kahaani’s.
Direction: Sekhar Kammula
Cast: Nayantara, Vaibhav Reddy, Pasupathy
Running Time: 140 minutes
Nayantara, who steps into Balan’s role as Anamika, arrives in Hyderabad (not Kolkata) from the US and heads, like in Kahaani, straight to the police station to report her husband’s disappearance. Her cabbie is amused by this; “I have never taken anyone from the airport to the police chowki”, he quips to Anamika.
A lot of what happens thereafter – including her friendship with Sarathy (Vaibhav Reddy), the Tamil-speaking cop (in a city where Anamika has a language problem, because everybody talks in Telugu), her decision to stay in a seedy lodging house (because her husband was there before he vanished) and the way she is brutalised by law enforcement officer Khan (Pasupathy, who arrives from Delhi to investigate terror and the disappearance) -- has all been seen in Kahaani.
There are some additions, though, in Nee Enge En Anbe – like a special task force humiliating Anamika in her hotel room, like Sarathy taking her to meet his mother and so on.
However, Anamika is not pregnant like Balan’s Vidya Bagchi, and Kammula, who has written the script along with Sai Prasad, gives a climatic twist which is completely different from Ghosh’s.
Nevertheless, Nee Enge En Anbe’s plot and narrative style gripped me as much as Kahaani’s did. The Tamil movie is mounted well, and although it is not a nail-biting thriller, it is still very engaging. I did not find a dull moment, thanks also to some smart editing.
What however disappointed me were the mediocre performances. Reddy is a poor patch on Parambrata Chatterjee (Ritwick Ghatak’s grandson who played the part of the cop, Satyoki 'Rana' Sinha in Kahaani, and befriends Bagchi). And Nayantara does not measure up to Balan, who was simply superb as a woman wronged by fate. But, yes, Pasupathy is as powerful as Nawazuddin Siddiqui was in a similar avatar in the Hindi edition.
All said and done, Nee Enge En Anbe is a good shot at a remake of sorts, and could offer 240 minutes of engrossing story-telling to all those not adept in Hindi.