Paresh C Palicha reviews the Malayalam film Anwar.
Amal Neerad, cinematographer-turned-director started his career with Ram Gopal Varma's Factory. He then wielded the camera for Ranjith's Black. He went on to direct Big B with Mammootty and Sagar Alias Jackie Reloaded with Mohanlal. Now with his new Malayalam venture Anwar, starring Prithviraj, he proves that his earlier ventures were not flukes.
The backdrop of this film is topical. It's about how the youth of God's own country are recruited by terror modules. The script is filled with recent events that are sure to give you a sense of deja vu. There are punchlines but the slapdash style is kept to a minimum.
Anwar (Prithviraj) is an orphan serving a jail term for money laundering. In jail he meets Babu Sait (Lal), a religious leader cum businessman accused of masterminding a bomb blast in Coimbatore. He slowly takes Anwar under his wings and even arranges for his bail. Then, as expected, Anwar becomes Sait's right hand man playing an important part in carrying out Sait's illicit businesses and even planting explosives in a couple of places.
Among those arrested with him is a young lady Ayesha (Mamta Mohandas) who was working in a chemical factory and is suspected to have provided the raw material for the explosives used in the Coimbatore blast.
The anti-terrorist squad chief of Tamil Nadu police, Stalin Manimaran (Prakash Raj), who had initially arrested Sait and his gang, is still trailing them. Any further unravelling of the story would be a spoiler.
It is interesting if not ingenious how Amal ties all the material together to give us a cohesive ending. It seems to pass of in a jiffy compared to the other parts of the story. The suspense and the tension too seem to have been watered down in the climax. But, that is a small glitch compared to overall impact the film leaves.
Prithviraj as Anwar is good while Mamta Mohandas as Ayesha appears and vanishes a few times in the first half. But, the significance of her character comes to the fore only in the second half. She has a riveting presence for whatever time she gets on the screen. Prakash Raj is effortless as a beedi-smoking investigating officer while Lal is subdued as Babu Sait. They both leave an impact, though.
All in all, the movie impresses. Go for it.