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Anbarivu movie review: Hiphop Tamizha Adhi tries his best in this middling entertainer

The film is old wine in a new bottle, though a few actors engage you partially with their dedicated performances  

  • Thinkal Menon

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 05.40 AM, Jan 07, 2022

cover image

A still from Anbarivu

Story: A youngster from Canada who lives with his father, goes to his village in Madurai to meet his estranged mother, twin brother and grandfather. However, he soon realizes that it isn't a cakewalk as he has several hurdles to cross. A local politician, who creates rift between two prominent families in the village, makes things even more difficult for him. Will he be able to lead a life together with his parents and brother after 25 years? 

Review: The story of Anbarivu is as old as the hills. Two twin brothers get separated soon after their birth due to a certain reason. While the elder son stays with his mother and grandfather in their village in Madurai, the younger son goes with his father and lives in Canada. There have been numerous films released in several Indian languages with the above mentioned plot as its story.  

However, director Aswin Raam has brought a few twists and turns to the seemingly predictable story which are partially effective. The conflict begins when the younger sibling Arivu (Hiphop Tamizha Adhi), who lives with his father Prakasam (Saikumar), goes to his hometown after 25 years to meet his elder brother Anbu (Adhi in dual roles), mother Lakshmi (Asha Sharath) and grandfather Muniyandi (Napolean), who is a big shot in the village.

But Arivu soon realizes that he has various hurdles to face to lead a happy life with his estranged family members. Little did he know that his relatives in the village do not give a hoot about him and his father. Upon recognizing this, he disguises himself as Anbu and starts behaving like his brother to spend quality time with them. Anbu, on the other hand, is kidnapped by his father and is brought to Canada when the former was unconscious. 

Don't bother to ask how the latter managed to do it. He is a multi-millionaire and quite an influential person, and hence, we are supposed to turn a blind eye to those unconvincing portions. Meanwhile, Pasupathy (Vidaarth), a local politician, keeps spoiling the brothers' plan by creating rifts between their family and another prominent family in the village. By now you will have guessed how the brothers unite their family members.


We get the feeling of deja vu while watching Anbarivu as it is a hotchpotch of several "family dramas" we have seen over the years. Billed as a family entertainer, it looks like the makers were desperate on ticking all the boxes which one expects from a so-called Tamil family drama, estranged family, caste pride, family honour, sickle-wielding men, mandatory female romantic interests, and so on.

However, the lack of novelty is evident in most of the sequences. A few scenes entertain even though we have seen similar moments earlier. The performance of Adhi in dual roles is convincing to a certain extent. Some of the scenes, involving his intro sequence and a few others, seem to have executed so as to make him the next star material. However, the film has everything required for an engaging commercial pot boiler except for a new story.

Saikumar and Asha Sharath do justice to their roles while Napolean's role of a grandfather who relies on outdated ideologies is a cakewalk for the veteran actor. Vidaarth, in the role of a shrewd and opportunistic politician, too, scores in his scenes. But with a better screenplay, his character could have made even more meatier.

The female leads do not have much to do except playing as the romantic interests for the dual roles essayed by Adhi. Dheena, Sharath Ravi, Marimuthu and Arjai make their presence felt in the scenes they appear. Madhesh Manickam's cinematography is adequate, but the makers could have worked on its long duration. A twist in the climax is partly engaging, but the scenes that follow are predictable and preachy.

Verdict: The movie will be an entertaining fare for those who don't mind watching the run-of-the-mill family dramas that are set against a village backdrop.

Anbarivu is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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