A crucial sequence in the film is a classic example of how talented artists could elevate a well-written scene. But the movie lacks similar engrossing episodes
Andrea Jeremiah in Anel Meley Pani Thuli
Last Updated: 06.30 PM, Nov 17, 2022
Story: A young and bold woman from Chennai is gangraped at Kodaikanal after she visits the hill station for her colleague's wedding. After coming to terms with the horrific incident she went through, she goes to a hospital and a police station for different needs, but leaves disappointed with the response from people there. Despite facing various odds from a few judgmental people in the society, she goes ahead and files a complaint against the perpetrators with the help of her fiancé. But the culprits utilize their influence to distort the case. Will she get the justice she deserves?
Review: Honour or life? This is the million dollar question that keeps haunting a rape survivor who has been brought up in a conservative society. We come across stories of those who are torn between life and honour regularly. R Kaiser Anand's Anel Meley Pani Thuli attempts to answer the question and touched upon the varied complex situations a rape survivor goes through.
What if people who we look up to make us disappointed and crush our hopes ruthlessly? What if they carry a lot of clout and try to thwart an ill-treated survivor's desperate attempts to gain justice? These are some of the other pertinent questions to which the movie tries to find answers for.
Mathi (Andrea Jeremiah) is an operations manager at one of the outlets of Decathlon in Chennai. Despite being brought up in a small town with narrow-minded people around, she is a fearless young woman who is good at trusting her intuition and standing up for a cause.
Post getting engaged with Saran (Aadhav Kannadhasan), she goes to Kodaikanal to attend the wedding of her colleague Anitha (Lovelyn Chandrasekhar). When Mathi decides to visit an attractive place in the hill station, little did she imagine that she would go through the most horrifying moments of her life.
She gets kidnapped by three unknown people after which she is subjected to gangrape in a forest. After gaining consciousness, Mathi manages to reach a small hospital in the unfamiliar town, but the doctor there suggests she file a complaint in the police station as part of the procedure.
However, she faces humiliation of the worst kind by cops Nayagam (Azhagam Perumal) and Munisamy (Ilavarasu) in the police station despite her giving away the little details of the perpetrators she could recollect during the brutal act. Quite dejected with the abuse she faced at the station, she decides to take up the issue with higher officials. Will her legal fight with the help of Saran bring justice?
The life of a rape survivor has been depicted with utmost sensitivity, and Andrea pulls of the character of a mentally and physically bruised woman effortlessly. She fits the bill in the role of a determined, bold lady who goes out all the way to ensure justice to her in spite of the slew of odds that fate throws at her.
The story and its proceedings appear predictable until a long sequence in the police station unfolds which gives you chills, thanks to the organic, effective staging of events and a blood-curdling performance from Azhagam Perumal. Anupama Kumar and Ilavarasu, too, come up with gripping performances.
The sequences that unravel after Mathi manages to return to Chennai and some of the challenges she faces are compelling only on the surface level. But the portrayal of a woman who frequently confuses herself with honour and life are convincingly brought on screen.
A few pre-climax episodes which are supposed to be hard-hitting and intriguing end up as strictly okayish sequences. We want Mathi to get over the incident and expect the system to punish the culprits severely. But the conflicts that lead to the predictable climax aren't engaging enough.
Santhosh Narayanan's background score and Velraj's cinematography complement the narration. What works for the movie is the sincerity with which the plot has been approached.
The police station sequence is a classic example of how talented artists could elevate a well-written scene. However, the movie lacks similar engrossing episodes as the story proceeds further.
Verdict: The performances of artists, staging of a few crucial episodes and the manner in which some of the relevant questions are addressed deserve applause. But the lack of cohesiveness in the screenplay sticks out like a sore thumb.
Anel Meley Pani Thuli is streaming on SonyLIV.