Annaatthe – Even Rajinikanth can’t redeem Annaaatthe since it’s poorly written.
We observe a troubled woman heading out of a bar where the individuals who have been bothering her are laying in horrible shape, due to a mysterious man, during the scene that leads up the intermission in Annaatthe. As she goes away, we notice a saviour perched atop a building, throwing a giant shadow that appears to follow her around like a protecting shield. It’s a fantastic visual theme that perfectly captures the narrative of Annaatthe – a brother defending his sister from any harm. However, it also gives a new layer of significance to the movie.
A Rajini film nowadays works better when his presence is represented by a shadow or silhouette rather than the man himself, who has gradually grown to resemble a shadow of the Superstar we know. In a scene set outside a court, when he admonishes Prakash Raj, who comes in a thankless role as a minor adversary who is rehabilitated by the hero, we catch him trying to portray the Rajinikanth fans know from 15 years ago.
Yes, he still performs everything we expect to see him do on film at the age of 70. He mouths punchlines (which lack punch now how he has made his political intentions clear), playsfully romances the heroine (here, it’s Nayanthara, who is content to play a role this was more of an extensive cameo), gets emotional, throws us throwbacks to his previous films (here, it’s Khushbu and Meena, one-time Rajini heroines whom are comic supporting actors), shakes a leg to D Imman’s peppy songs However, there is one adversary that even Rajinikanth can’t defeat: lousy writing! And this tyrant is simply too powerful in Annaatthe.
The plot centres around panchayat president Kaalaiyan (Rajinikanth) and his sister Thanga Meenatchi, who are affectionately referred to as Annaatthe by everyone (Keerthy Suresh, who seems to be auditioning for the sad face smiley in an emoji movie). They are completely devoted to one other. What evidence do we have for this? So we’ve been told. In an early scene, we witness Kaalayian driving Meenatchi home from Kolkata, where she had recently finished her studies. When an elderly woman notes how lonely the brother was without his sister, Meenatchi becomes too sentimental, and we see a flashback of a mother dying in delivery and a brother taking over the mother’s responsibilities and caring for his sister.
Kaalaiyan then decides to set up a relationship for his sister. Why? Just because a handful of elderly ladies inquire about his plans to marry her! But he also wants his sister to be within a 5-kilometer radius of him so that he can aid her anytime she needs it. When a marriage proposal comes their way (the groom is a doctor), Kaalaiyan accepts. Why? Even if his sister marries a multi-billionaire, she will need to see a doctor, so why not make the groom a doctor? No, this isn’t addressed in a lighthearted way, as it is in the moments before it, when grooms refuse to marry the man because of his violent tendencies, but rather in a serious tone.
In comparison to previous ostensibly humorous scenes, this sequence is comedy gold.
Meanwhile, fate intervenes, separating the brother and sister. He follows her to Kolkata, where he sees her in serious difficulties. Kaalaiyan chooses to go for the man who has made his sister’s life so difficult since Meenatchi does not want her brother to see her in such a situation.
If Petta was a parody of Rajinikanth’s flicks, Annaatthe appears to be a collage of filmmaker Siva’s filmography’s poorer parts. Siruthai’s villains, Veeram’s’saviour who cannot divulge his name’ perspective, Vedalam’s brother-sister emotion, and Viswasam’s rural environment are all present. As a result, the emotional beats of the film appear contrived and manipulative. Given the centrality of the sibling connection, we anticipate sequences demonstrating why and how Kaalaiyan and Meenatchi are so close. Rather, like in the previous Udanpirappe, the protagonists solely chat about their romance!
D Imman’s choice of a sentimental tune rarely provides an emotional punch to the action scenes, which are shot in a generic fashion, as a result of this resulting to an unaffecting storey.
The antagonists are also poorly written, which doesn’t help matters. Abhimanyu’s Manoj Palekar is built up as the villain for a long time, yet all he does after that is watch his goons be beaten up and escape for his life. Then, in the shape of his half-brother Uddhav Palekar, we have another, apparently even more merciless monster (Jagapathi Babu, who has become the go-to actor for lazily written antagonists).
And he becomes even less of a threat as a result! We were simply saddened to learn that villains in Rajinikanth flicks had descended to this level from Mark Antony and Neelambari! Not only does the Superstar need stronger villains, but he also needs better writers and directors.
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