Anwar has all that Amal Neerad's previous films had - remarkable style, incredible technique and an unparalleled panache in delivery. But unfortunately it also lacks what Amal's previous films did. With Anwar, the script fails Amal consecutively for the third time.
Prithviraj is Anwar, a Muslim youngster who finds himself in jail after a hawala deal goes bust. He meets Babu Sait (Lal) behind bars and son strikes up a rapport with the terrorist. Out on the streets of Mattanchery, Anwar becomes Sait's most trusted aide and assists him in planting bombs all around the city. Meanwhile a chemical engineer Ayesha (Mamta Mohandas) is arrested by ATS DIG Stalin Manimaran (Prakash Raj) as a terrorist suspect, and it doesn't take long before he comes hunting for Anwar as well.
Yet another film that tells a story on terrorism is bound to be met with a lot of skepticism. Anwar doesn't break any new ground with its story; in fact all this has been told so many times already.
It takes a while for Anwar to muster up some strength and the first hour of the film is where it really shows. The core issues are kept at bay, and the film instead focuses on some visual detailing that gets a bit tedious after a while. The action sequences are well shot, but are a bit too drawn out and stretched to never ending lengths.
The absence of a solid script becomes apparent when finally there is some movement in the story that occurs during the last half hour of the film. The twist that has almost become mandatory for films these days arrives, and if you haven't been guessing it all along, you might remain entertained for the rest of the film.
What is real surprising is the manner in which some scenes in Amal's films have started looking exactly like one another. The rain shots with the black umbrellas are something that have almost become a trademark and also the climatic sequences that are shot on a beach.
The performances in the film are top notch. Prithvi delivers a striking performance as the fanatic who discovers that sometimes unclear pathways are revealed before you at the most unforeseen moments. Prakash Raj and Lal in their respective roles comes up with notable feats and Mamta in a brief role leaves an impact as well.
The camerawork as expected is superlative and the editing modish to the core. There are two songs in the film (if you exclude the one that appears as the credits begin to roll), beautifully composed by Gopi Sundar and exceptionally well picturised, but which appear at an unbelievable interval.
Amal's films have always impressed me for the technical finesse that they so unashamedly flaunt. Which is why I have always longed for the director to come across a good script that could have taken his film to great heights. Sadly it seems like the wait will have to go on; at least for now.