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Aneethi Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, July 21, 2023 • Tamil ]
Aneethi Review
Urban Boyz Studios
Arjun Das, Dushara Vijayan
M.Krishna Kumar, Murugan Gnanavel, Varadharajan Manickam, G.Vasanthabalan
Prakash Kumar

Aneethi - Vasantha Balan returns to form with emotionally charged thriller

Vasanthabalan, a former associate of Shankar right from his first hit 'Veiyil' has authentically captured the livelihood and pains of the lower middle class.  In his latest offering 'Aneethi' he has attempted to chronicle the injustice in the social system framed within a psychothriller and has succeeded to a great extent.

Thiru (Arjun Das) is a food delivery boy in Chennai, suffering from a form of OCD that gives him an urge to kill most people he comes across in daily life.  During one of his deliveries to a rich neighbourhood he strikes a friendship with  Subbulakshmi (Dushara Vijayan) that turns into love and has a healing effect on him.  However Subbu is not what she seems to be and when the old matriarch (Shantha Dhananjeyan) of the rich household dies suddenly, tragedy strikes in the lives of both the youngsters that completely destroy the semblance of hope in them.  What happens next leads to a riveting and touching climax where the strong message of the filmmaker is driven home emphatically. 

Arjun Das, famous for his villainy in 'Kaithi' and 'Vikram' has turned protagonist with a dark shade in 'Aneedhi'.  He excels in the role of Thiru expressing the angst of his illness, slowly embracing love and finally exploding due to the emotional pressure.  His final moments transforming from a monster to the vulnerable son is proof of his caliber.  Dushara Vijayan once again makes a rather deceptive character, her own with her impeccable histrionics.  Her character arc from a rich girl to a maid to a caring lover to one who betrays him and then selfishly seizes an opportunity is pretty interesting.  Kaali Venkat gives yet another award worthy performance as the innocent father of the hero who meets a tragic end.  He has perfect the Nellai accent this time to perfection and if there is a genius actor to be celebrated in the current generation it is him.  T. Siva, Vanitha Vijayakumar, Shantha Dhananjayan, Sharaa and Arjun Chidambaram have portrayed various shades of antagonism that serve the film very well.  

Coming to the plusses of 'Aneethi' the opening scenes of Arjun Das dragging a bloody garden spade evokes enough interest that is then sustained by his mental illness.  The questions that rise over what the backstory of Thiru could be as well as whether Subbu is an angel or a monster keeps the interest going.  When the old lady's death happens and the couple are forced to hide it things start escalating that reaches its peak when the family arrives from abroad. The police station sequences apart from showcasing the torture also causes irreparable damage to the lovers relationship.   The real reason for the death shows the pain of lonely parents who seem to be taking care of their children from abroad but in truth are actually abandoned. The flashback sequence involving the young Thiru, his father and the humiliation they suffer due to a mere chocolate is heart-rending.  It not only justifies the hero's characterization and his actions but also pays off when he forgives the girl in a similar situation.

On the downside there is a big letdown after the interval in the scenes involving Aranthangi Nisha.  There is also excessive drama in the arrival of Vanitha Vijayakumar and Arjun Chidambaram that dilutes the good work done before that.  The 'Knives Out' inspired twist is not explored enough to make any significant impact on the screenplay. Among the contrivances the most notable is unnecessarily trying to show the good side of Thiru by forcing an accident on his roommate and colleague played by Bharani.  The pacing is uneven and the visuals are not of the high quality that one expects with the available equipments

G.V. Prakash Kumar's songs are intertwined with the story flow while as usual he compliments the narration with his BGM.  The rest of the technicalities just about match the telling.  Vasanthabalan has devised his own comeback by producing the film along with his friends.   As a filmmaker Vasanthabalan makes a strong comeback through  'Aneethi'.  He has framed the film as a psycho thriller but has touched various issues such as the exploitations of the food delivery men, the injustices that the rich and mighty keep piling on the unfortunate and get away with.  But above all he has succeeded in expressing in a relatable manner the murderous rage that the victims suppress within them and whether they break or not is in the hands of the society around them.

Verdict : Go for this emotionally charged, multilayered socio psychological thriller

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

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