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Home»Review»Anek movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana-Anubhav Sinha's film hits you where it hurts»

Anek movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana-Anubhav Sinha's film hits you where it hurts

Andrea Kevichusa makes her debut with Ayushmann and Anubhav's second collaboration after Article 15.

3.5/5rating
  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 05.34 AM, May 27, 2022

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Anek movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana-Anubhav Sinha's film hits you where it hurts
Anek - Ayushmann Khurrana.

Story:

Aman (Ayushmann Khurrana) is an undercover agent who has to expose a rebel group called Johnson. Thus, he befriends Aido (Andrea Kevichusa). What he does not know or expect is that there are bigger hands at play and he, like others, is just a puppet in the world he is living in.

Review:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, one of India's most-beloved figure, Gandhiji, who promoted non-violence almost all his life, once said, "When there is a choice between cowardice and violence, I would choose violence."

After this dialogue, it is not tough to know where Anek will be heading. What's interesting is that a person promoting non-violence almost all his life, also agreed to violence over cowardice but a common man still shows fear even in the smallest of situations.

Anubhav Sinha could not have sent across his message in a clearer way. However, he deals with another topic in this film - stereotype. This stereotype goes to the extent of tagging even the innocent kid as a terrorist.

A dialogue in the film perfectly explains the situation. It goes like, "If an officer from Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu consider a seven year old a terrorist, how can this child feel like an Indian?"

"It is easier to maintain war rather than peace." And thus, Anek is a war. A war among mankind, right and wrong and an attempt to bring in some change.

When the movie begins, it goes on without a flow in between scenes but if you sit for this with a little patience, Anek has a lot to offer and it is not something you would want to miss.

Andrea as Aido makes an appearance out of the blue and even though this film tries to give a good message, it doesn't reach in the beginning of the film.

Tags like Nepali, a girl from Bangkok for giving massages and 'Chilli Chicken' come back-to-back in the introduction scenes, hinting at what is coming next but the scene sure is abrupt. Since the flow and passion is missing, you only hope the film gets better as it moves, which it does. You get to see how even children are treated. They go in a temporary prison and are faced with challenges at every stage at such a young and vulnerable age.

Two stories run parallely in this movie and then, intertwine, much like the message the film wants to convey.

Ayushmann Khurrana as Aman (undercover name - Joshua) appears in a voiceover before actually coming to the screen and it just makes his presence more awaited and powerful. Even if his is a very normal entry, Ayushmann does promise something, especially after his change of expression before the scene ends.

As expected, he is impressive in his character as an undercover officer. He is one person who defines 'haathi ke daant khaane ke alag aur dikhaane ke alag', which completely justifies his character. Aman is also someone who takes responsibility rather than choosing an easy way, which is so impressive. He chooses to stay back and fight even when running is an easier and more sensible option for a temporary solution.

After a point, it gets tough to recognize Joshua and his next move. At one point, you feel he has fallen in love and in the very next scene, he talks about putting the girl in danger for his purpose and in a way that he means it.

As the story progresses, you get more interested in knowing his intentions and what will really happen. Much like you would have guessed, this man is conflicted among himself and fighting a battle not only on the battlefield.

There is one interesting aspect about him. He pulls his nose when about to do something evil. It is a very small thing but helps you understand the story just a little more. I love how Ayushmann has put in the small effort but it helps the bigger picture.

Aido (Andrea Kevichusa)'s training is brief but impactful. She comes in brief appearances but takes the screen only towards the end of the film.

Andrea has a quiet demeanor in general. Thus, her aggressive side doesn't come out fully. Unfortunately, the film demands a lot of her aggressive side which isn't only through boxing.

Manoj Pahwa as Abrar simply appears in his first scene and you don't really know what to expect from him after seeing his pokerface. His is a character that you cannot understand and just when you think you do, you probably don't.

Kumud Mishra is impressive from his first scene. He is hilarious and yet, villainous, which is not an easy feat to pull off.

J.D. Chakravarty is the last character to make an appearance and it isn't in the introduction scene either. Somehow, he fits into the story well. He isn't perfect but brings a lot to the table as an experienced officer. Thus, even if his character appears misplaced, still it fits in the story well.

Finally, the film goes in some flow. In fact, it gets interesting bit-by-bit. Once the introduction scenes end, the true story unfolds and then, it all comes together with force. The film has moments after moments which hit you where it should.

Anek is a movie which highlights the situation of the North East but what it shows also happens in places like Jharkhand and Bihar. Coincidentally, even the people of Bihar are given tags in the film. Here, one such person is called an 'emotional fool'. "Jhagda aur ishq dono paison se karte hai," the individual retorts. This moment actually appeared conflicted because if Anubhav was trying to break one stereotype, why did he have to promote another one? Anyway, ignoring this, the film's core characters play their part well.

The cinematography in Anek is great. You see exactly what you need to and there isn't a moment where you feel that a scene is forced for visual effects. Almost all scenes appear natural and even when it is added for a cinematographic effect, the scene blends in with the film and so, you do not feel it is out-of-place.

I love how Anubhav has managed to show what really goes on in the minds of the rebels in the simplest way he could. Here, this one named Johnson, is both dangerous as well as doing right in their own way.

I also love how the director brings the tit-for-tat on screen and since it is a reality, that makes the movie more authentic. Only if things do actually work like in the film, in real life. In real life, it is all about the senior assuming power and executing things as he/she feels, without even hearing another view.

This is the scene between Ayushmann and Manoj, where you clearly see their difference of views, opinions and power. It is the most compelling in this film and what takes Anek many notches above.

Unfortunately, even if one scene is really impactful, the other just spins back into the real situation - where the senior takes back control and not in the pleasant way.

Anek has a lot of subtitles and as impressive as it is to keep the regional language, such a movie viewing experience is better at home on your phone than in a theatre full of people of different kinds. If you meet a noisy and indisciplined crowd, then be assured, you cannot enjoy the movie to its fullest potential.

The movie shows violence up front which is enough to scar you. Adding a sad music to top it up isn't special but since the scene itself is a powerful one, you can try and ignore that, even if the music tries to overpower the otherwise strong scene.

In a time when The Kashmir Files has done brilliantly, Anek is likely to work just as well. It deals with a very rooted problem in the North East and in a way that is easily comprehended.

The Ek India dialogue finally comes and it is just as powerful as the trailer, if not more in the film. There are many monologues which follow and all of them leave you thinking. Comparing peace to control is one of the most realistic things told in the softest way possible and still, it manages to haunt you way after the film is over.

The slow motion action towards the end and Ayushmann running in slow motion out of smoke is not just visually appealing but adds brilliance to the already powerful film. The silence over dialogue right after that is cinematic brilliance in its purest form.

The credit scene is one that you cannot miss either. Although it isn't one of the wow scenes, this one is a reflection of how people deal with serious topics - by taking the easy way. It is a situation which prevails even today and is one of the reasons why we are where we are today. The way Anubhav has subtly put that forward is remarkable.

Verdict:

Anek is a story that is a reflection of what is happening in North-East India. In fact, this is a situation in many places like Jharkhand, Bihar and even Kolkata. Thus, calling the film authentic and powerful will also be fewer words.

The movie isn't perfect. In fact, it begins on an abrupt note and makes you wonder why exactly have you paid to watch such a movie but if you give this one some more chance, it improves. Of course, the political stance on this one is very clear and so, you can either agree with it or not.

Here are a few reasons you should watch Anek in theatres already. It has an authentic story. It makes you think hard (It took me nearly two days to get back to normal and one takeaway from this film is still haunting me). It shows you a mirror and lets you decide which path you would want to walk on. Ayushmann is just brilliant in the movie. He shines the brightest but never steals dialogues from other actors. Manoj Pahwa, Andrea Kevichusa and other actors who have scenes with him are proof of that.

Here are other reasons you should wait for Anek's OTT release. This one has a lot of subtitles. If you want the authenticity intact, better watch it on OTT. It is a very personal experience and so, sitting in the midst of a crowd, especially an indisciplined crowd, will simply ruin your viewing experience.

Nonetheless, Anek deserves one watch at minimum. You could like the film or not like it because it doesn't match your viewpoint or you are possibly not ready to take back something so heavy. However, the film sends clear messages and those are what you cannot ignore, even if you might wish to ignore everything else about the movie.

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