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Anugraheethan Antony movie review: This Sunny Wayne-starrer about a wandering spirit lacks soul

Sunny Wayne’s latest film, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is filled with disjointed sequences that work as snippets but when weaved into a feature film, makes for a weak and digressive script

2.5
Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jul 21, 2021
 
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Anugraheethan Antony poster

Story: After a fatal accident, Antony gets to know that his soul has seven days to roam the Earth. In this limited time, he tries to fix his relationships and provide answers, with an unexpected companion by his side

Review: In a scene from debutant director Prince Joy’s Anugraheethan Antony, its lead character Antony (Sunny Wayne) comes home in a drunken stupor, only to be irritated further by the barking of one of the dogs that his father Varghese (Siddique) cares about. Antony goes to the cage to berate the dog and in the next scene, the audience gets to know that the dog is missing. We hear nothing of it till the end. In another sequence, the film introduces photographer Sanjay, who is the brother of Antony’s love interest Sanjana (Gouri G Kishan). Apart from him taking a photo of Sanjay, the purpose of the sequence isn’t addressed till the denouement. Sunny’s latest film, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is filled with such disjointed sequences that work as snippets but when weaved into a feature film, makes for a weak script.

The audience is introduced to Antony, who after a fatal accident, is now a soul who can only be seen by his father’s dog Rony and others who have died recently. Soon, he finds out that his soul has only seven days to roam the Earth before he passes on. In this period, Antony visits the ones closest to him, understands their pain and confusion and tries to provide them closure.

Antony is powerless, in the sense that he cannot touch or in any way influence the living. While the makers’ intent seems to be to use the dog as his aide, this again is relegated to just one scene at the end when Rony brings Sanjana home. The rest of the movie plays out as varying fragments from Antony’s memories that are being pieced together to give closure to his father, friends, romantic interest and his dogs. The script never truly focuses on any of this, hence robbing it of any emotional depth. The angle with the dogs and Varghese is probably the most moving aspect but even that comes across as an afterthought, with the director trying to squeeze in too many details such as how the dog finds its food and how it chases after Antony’s mobile phone – questions that really don’t beg answers because of how the script goes wayward with Antony’s perspective itself.

Despite having actors such as Sunny, Siddique, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Shine Tom Chacko, Jaffer Idukki, Indrans and Gouri, the movie doesn’t make use of their talent due to their insipid characters. However, apart from the ending, Arun Muraleedharan’s compositions are a saving grace. The background music as well as the tracks including Kamini and Neeye give the digressive movie its much-needed soul.

While there have been several Malayalam films such as Pappan Priyapetta Pappan, Aayushkalam and Vismayathumbathu that made good use of the concept of a wandering soul by turning them into comedies and thrillers instead of the usual horror movies, Anugraheethan Antony seems to be a bland attempt that doesn’t strike any chord.

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