Anegan review: Is Dhanush going the Rajinikanth's mannerisms way?

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Feb 14, 2015 15:13 IST

Direction: KV Anand
Cast: Dhanush, Amyra Dastur, Karthik
Rating: **

Tamil cinema's disposition to build a bridge between the rich and the poor, between the underdog and the powerful has turned into a compulsive obsessive disorder. KV Anand's Anegan, however, goes beyond cementing this divide. The film gets into the 1960s mood--when Indian cinema played around with plots centring on reincarnation and the paranormal.

Anand has besides directing, written the story and screenplay of the film.

Dhanush--who is now beginning to copy his father-in-law Rajinikanth's mannerisms--plays three different roles--actually three different men living in three different eras. As the movie begins, we are transported to the 1962 Burma where a Tamil coolie, Murugappa, falls in love with Samudra (Amyra Dastur), the young and vivacious daughter of a powerful Burmese military officer. A coup there leads to Indians being deported, and when Murugappa tries to flee with his sweetheart on board a ship, both are killed.

The two meet again in the 1987 Madras as Kaali, a rowdy, and Kalyani, this time the daughter of a pious middle-class brahmin. Death intervenes again, this time in the form of a corrupt businessman, Kiran, a new look Karthik.

When the lovers are reborn in present-day Chennai -- as Ashwin and Madhu, two software professionals, it does not need much guessing to figure out what holds for the seemingly inseparable lovers.

If Anegan is a mishmash of many films that one has seen over the years, the performances are passé. Yes, a new look Karthik may be a novelty, but Dhanush appears to be disinterested in changing his style or his roles. And with an unimpressive screen presence, it is always incredulous how the most attractive of women swoon when he comes along.

But then the present-day Tamil cinema hardly cares about logic or authenticity. It dishes out caricatures that fans adore. And when the darkness of a cinema auditorium offers perfect anonymity, they just go berserk.

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