Teenage is "18 Till I Die" so sang pop giant Bryan Adams many years ago. Seeing the juveniles in 'Anandam' I get the feeling time is appropriate to bring that anthem back to the silver screen once and for all. For boys are always naughty, girls kinky forever and this teenage friendship movie of all - is one for the well and truly screwy.
3 out of 5 (Good)
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Teenage is "18 Till I Die" so sung pop giant Bryan Adams many years ago. Seeing the juveniles in 'Anandam' I get the feeling time is appropriate to bring that anthem back to the silver screen once and for all. For boys are always naughty, girls kinky forever and this teenage friendship movie of all - is one for the well and truly screwy.
Staying true to the title: Anandam's plot revolves around a gang of 19-Year old graduates and their ballyhoo amidst an Industry Visit to Hampi and Goa. To watch them play treasure trove, truth/dare etc., amidst what is seemingly an IV is to roll your eyes over in sheer amusement. And, to give in its own somewhat monotonous narrative: It is a tad outlandish story telling method as well for this is essentially a college movie, set in panoramic locations, that revels in its own generic tropes.
We do not quite get characters with depth; what we get is strictly type personalities. Kuppi (Vishak Nair), for want of a better word, is one of them. In a hilarious bit, we see him literally EFF up the clandestine of Varun (Arjun Kurian); Dia (Siddhi Mahajanakatti); Akshay (Thomas Mathew); and Devika (Anu Antony) - in the highlight of the film.
By this time, they are all in Goa, mind you, not Hampi. And, the rib-tickling Vishak Nair with cues from maybe Jr. Sreenivasan himself; shows you how and why getting stoned out of your minds is the same Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall stuff despite all the years of upbringing.
In a way, it is quite fitting that Vineeth Sreenivasan (Producer) and Ganesh Raj (Director) has cast a nigh amateurish ensemble cast that strives to circumvent cliche for the most part. They all get their moments to shine, in a movie that gently reminds why high school is a quagmire of 'oohs' and 'ahs' with the odd aghast moments.
For people of a certain vintage, more than the claptrap jokes in Anandam; it is Kuppi's lament much late in the film that might as well resonate long hours after watching this work. As the lovers part ways, the genial ones are left to wallow around the panorama i.e., one moment of weeping nostalgia in a film filled with precious little.
But, then again truth be told no movie is perfect. There are negatives here too like the ill-timed songs in the initial portions of the movie. Or, the middling appearance of these characters as well that may not necessarily augur well for a more grown up audience. There are one too many characters in fact, and having liked each and every one of them - I felt disappointed in not being able to know them better.
Aye, there the good old devil's advocate spot. Before I even don the critic's hat and bubble along nicely with late in the night quibbles - I must admit a modest affection for this work, one that prompts a second viewing. For better enjoying its aesthetical minimalism in its Camera, for instance. The over enthusiastic crowd here in my native didn't quite let me see Hampi properly. That despite the exceedingly well edited 130 minutes abbreviated running time coasts along in rollicking speeds. Like getting past high school itself; that narrative is some achievement from a debutante filmmaker and all the others behind this noble venture. Unless I just missed the full toss.
3 out of 5 (Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good