Annaatthe review: Rajinikanth’s film is a colossal mess, weakest in Siva’s filmography
- Annaatthe review: Rajinikanth is earnest as always but cannot save the film from being a colossal disaster.
Director Siva, who has joined hands with actor Rajinikanth for the first time in Annaatthe, is nine films old and enjoys a very high success rate. Siva is one of the safest filmmakers in Tamil cinema and is content making films by taking the tried-and-tested route. The only time he tried to make something out of his comfort zone was when he made Vivegam with Ajith, and it didn’t work at the box office. He followed it up with a highly predictable rural entertainer, Viswasam, and it ended up as one of the biggest hits of the Tamil film industry.
Siva’s latest release Annaatthe feels like it has been made by taking a leaf out of the success of Viswasam, but unfortunately, the formula doesn’t work in the film’s favour. Despite all the hype and Rajinikanth’s on-screen charisma, Annaatthe ends up as a colossal mess, and that’s putting it mildly.
Rajinikanth plays Kaaliyan, a village president who only bows to goodness and moral fairness, in Annaatthe. His world revolves around his sister Thanga Meenakshi, played by Keerthy Suresh. When she returns home after completing her education, Kaaliyan turns her arrival into a grand celebration. During the festivities, some members of the family feel that it’s time to get Meenakshi married, and they convey the same to Kaaliyan.
Unsure of the suggestion, Kaaliyan consults with his sister about the idea, and she tells him that it’s his decision that matters the most to her. Meenakshi gets married and shifts to Kolkata where she faces some unknown threats. Just when she feels things are going out of her hand, her brother comes to her aid.
If Siva’s last film was about a father-daughter relationship, it’s the brother-sister relationship that he explores in Annaatthe. While things worked in Viswasam, even though the film was high on melodrama, the same can’t be said about Annaatthe because not a single scene stands out. The film is bogged down by the highly melodramatic scenes between Rajinikanth and Keerthy Suresh which usually end in either of the characters crying. In scenes where they aren’t shedding tears, it’s the audiences who are left to suffer. Some amount of realism in the key scenes between these characters would have helped the film stay more engaging.
It’s alright to make an out-and-out, logicless commercial film with Rajinikanth but Annaatthe is just the kind of film you should stop making. Also, Siva’s obsession with filling the film with so many characters just doesn’t make sense when you forget most of them when you walk out. It was disappointing to see actors like Khushbu and Meena being wasted in silly roles that absolutely have no purpose.
Rajinikanth is earnest as always but there’s not much that he could do to salvage the film. When the story shifts to Kolkata after a dreadful first half that’s mostly filled with scenes between Rajinikanth and Keerthy, the film gets even more painful to sit through, courtesy of the roles played by Jagapathi Babu and Abhimanyu Singh, who play the antagonists.
Annaatthe is unarguably the weakest film in Siva’s filmography. For all those who complained Darbar was Rajinikanth’s lamest film in recent years, they’ll change their opinion as they step out of Annaatthe.
Cast: Rajinikanth, Keerthy Suresh, Jagapathi Babu, Khushbu Sundar and Meena