Anthiponvettam is a film that holds tremendous promise for the authenticity of its theme. That it goes berserk on its path while striving to deliver the goods, sadly proves to be its undoing.
Jeevan (Arun) and Nithin (Saiju Kurup) play software techies and bosom pals, who give an imperative project the royal chuck, since they decide its time for a much needed break from their monotonous routines. They head hence for Vattathara, a scenic little hamlet amidst the lush locales of North Kerala to Jeevan's ancestral home. Not much later, they discover that things aren't as green as they seem, what with an imminent threat of ecological disaster looming large over the picturesque place. Caught up in a clutter of unforeseen events, they have a few crucial decisions to make that would determine the future of the village and its people.
The USP of a film as this should certainly be its unconventional focus that eloquently sermonizes on the impending calamities of globalization. Sen Guevera (Jagadeesh) is not your proverbial villain on the block; nor does he live by the legendary revolutionary's rules. He could easily be a customary envoy of an aftermath that would befall a society that has turned blind by a sudden flood of light that appeared out of nowhere.
The two lead actors in Anthiponvettam do not complement each other; they exist in a lifeless void on their own, and simply refuse to move out. Their lack of chemistry is profuse and their sense of timing quite unfortunate. Arun is pretty much okay despite his hesitance and wins us over with his definite charm while Saiju hams to the hilt and goes entirely overboard with his carefree act. Remya Nambeeshan is precise and to the point; Jagathy Sreekumar and Nedumudi Venu are at their usual best. Jagadeesh's foray into an unfamiliar forte is slightly embarrassing, the menace and the fire just aren't there.
The over the top acting is pardonable, but surely the vagueness in the plot isn't. Social activism sounds a bit too serious to be muddled up with a triangular love tale that moves little beyond its conception. The triviality that creeps in towards the climax arises out of this ambiguity that's prevalent all over. Flawed by the stumbling story telling, it ultimately remains just another wannabe-sensible-film that wholly misses its point by a mile.
The film does throw a surprise technically; it's far too polished for the kind of low profile that it has maintained and the minimal hype surrounding its release. Add to it a couple of truly hummable tunes and it puts up a pretty picture that's quite easy on the eyes.
A fresh cast, fantastic visuals and some fine concepts find themselves thrown together in Anthiponvettam, a film that sadly declines to significantly connect with the minds and hearts of its viewers. Which is why it's not half as good as it could have claimed to be.
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