Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth’s much-awaited movie, ‘Annaatthe’, released on Diwali (November 4) to mixed response. Many say the film has nothing much to offer, but the usual family drama, a regular path followed by director Siva since ‘Vedhalam’ and ‘Viswasam’. It might work with the family audience, especially in rural areas.
Starring Nayanthara, Prakash Raj, Keerthy Suresh, Meena, Kushbu, Soori, Jagapathi Babu and others, ‘Annaatthe’ is a melodrama that talks about the brother-sister relationship.
Set in a village named Soorakkottai, the film portrays the story of a loving brother, Kalaiyan (a character Rajini earlier played in the film ‘Murattu Kalai’), who can go to any extent to protect his sister Thanga Meenatchi (Keerthy Suresh). While Kalaiyan is busy arranging for his sister’s wedding, an unexpected challenge crops up. ‘Annaatthe’ is about how Kalaiyan overcomes the problem and brings peace to his sister’s life.
The first half of the film tests audience’s patience with flowery sibling bonding and some unwanted comedy scenes that fail to evoke laughter despite the presence of known comic actors like Sathyam, Soori and Sathish. Also, the roles played by Meena and Kushbu seem wasted since they have nothing much to contribute to the film’s plot.
It appears that film director Siva is trying to project Kolkata as the new Mumbai with underworld dons shooting at will. In ‘Vedhalam’ too, significant portions of the film were shot in Kolkata. To give weightage to Rajini’s character, the film has three villains — Prakash Raj, Jagapathi Babu and Abhimanyu Singh. However, as it turns out, the characterisation of these antiheroes is weak. Overall, the screenplay looks very predictable.
National Award-winning composer D Imman’s music is the saving grace. Songs like ‘Annaatthe’ and ‘Sara Sara Katre’ keep the audience glued. The background scores in action sequences too make an impact.
Film buff Chakara Rajan said ‘Annaatthe’ is ‘Siruthai’ Siva’s serial-style cringefest.
“Darbar was so much better. If that is the baseline, I will leave it to your imagination how bad this movie is. There’s no way this movie is going to get better from here,” Rajan tweeted.
Film critic Suguna Diwakar commented that if Rajini had acted in ‘Mudhalvan’ (1999), directed by Shankar, he could have become a chief minister at least in the film. Notably, Shankar had approached Rajini for the film, but he turned it down and the opportunity went to Arjun. “It’s a pity that after his failed attempts at entering real politics, Rajini plays the role of a panchayat president in this film,” Diwakar said.
Another fan, Ilangovan, said that Siva has wasted the opportunity of directing Rajini.
Overall, ‘Annaatthe’ comes across as a one-time watch, that too for family audience.
Rajinikanth was recently honoured with the country’s topmost honour, the Dadasaheb Phalke award.