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Seems the success wave that Prithviraj is riding on is to continue with a hatrick of victories. Anarkali is another good selection from him that he won’t regret as the film is a beautiful and intense love story told in the backdrop of picturesque island of Lakshadweep. With excellent visuals and an engaging screenplay from writer Sachi from Sachi-Sethu duo, the directorial debut from the former is a well executed film that will stay for sometime after leaving cinema halls.
Shantanu who leaves the Indian Navy is a diving instructor at Kavaratty. But he has a haunting past that makes him land in Lakshadweep. Anarkali portray the purpose of his travel to this place and dig deep into the serious and intense love between Shantanu and Nadira.
Sachi is successful in presenting a convincing love story where the biggest factor that worked was the chemistry between the lead pair though the two characters are from different states showing language and religion has no place when it comes to the eternal feel of love.
The first half is excellent and end on a promising note. Though the same momentum could not be sustained in the second half, the story makes us root for Shantanu and Nadira. The second half in a way is too lengthy and it seems Sachy was running out of ideas about how to end the film. But everything gets recouped as the audience do not feel letdown once the film close out things.
On screen, Prithviraj once again deliver with a character that has two shades quite effectively. As the cheerful Naval officer and as the love struck and matured Shantanu, the actor portrayed his portions beautifully. Biju Menon in his trademark style handled the humour part and his combination with Pritvi was successful.
Priyal Gor played Naadira Jamam and fitted into that role perfectly. She play a North Indian and speaks Hindi throughout and hence she was in a safe zone since she hail from Mumbai. Kabeer Bedi as Nadira’s father impressed with his voice and stubborn act.
I am yet to see Sudev Nair’s My Life Partner that won him the State Award for Best actor that he shared with Nivin Pauly. As Naadira’s brother speaking half Malayalam, the guy was quite good. Suresh Krishna as Koya talking in the local dialect of Lakshadweep was in a different role this time and quite convincing too.
Miya George along with a host of directors like Shyamaprasad, Major Ravi and VK Prakash appear in brief roles. Renji Panicker who was once a writer and director is a busy actor these days. He is also part of the drama along with Madhupal.
Anarkali the film would be incomplete without mentioning a word about cinematographer Sujith Vasudev. His visuals, frames and coloring pattern lifted the film a lot. Editing by Renjan Abraham is fine but certainly some trimming was required as the film is a tad too lengthy at 167 minutes.
Music by Vidyasagar is another highlight as the songs were apt and what was needed for a love story and as per the demands of this film.
So its more or less a perfect debut innings by Sachi in his role as a director. The film is a good one watchable for all. Barring that extended second half and little dose of lagness felt towards the latter stages, Anarkali is a movie you can definitely go and see without much thinking.
Review By:- Chandra Mohan Gopinath