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‘Anandam’ film review: Coming-of-age story with heart

A group of fresh faces star in this drama about self discovery and friendship


What happens when a batch of engineering students go on a study trip?

It can’t be anything but a case of anandam [joy].

Engineer-turned-director Ganesh Raj impresses with a simple story told from the heart.

Left to themselves and with two professors as their guardians, this young group not only discover themselves but also forge a stronger friendship.

The fun begins the moment the students start planning their trip to Hampi. When Varun (Arjun Kurien), the leader, includes a visit to Goa at the end of their excursion, the whistles that greet the news are loud. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of the well-known music festival there on New Year’s Eve?

The movie has no major plot but this college tale is peppered with moments from the lives of the seven main characters. The group includes Varun, love birds Gautham and Devika, and Akshay, the quiet guy smitten by the vivacious Diya. Kuppi is the chatter-box with one liners that evoke laughs. Darshana is the artist who every once in a while has something to comment on.

And, like every college excursion, at the end of it, one rediscovers oneself and the bonds of friendship become stronger.

Accompanying the students are their two professors. Raj weaves their love story on this study trip, and the journey has some laugh-out-aloud moments.

Anandam’s team of actors are new, some just out of college and some still in college. They are Arun Kurian, Anu Antony, Thomas Mathew, Roshan Mathew, Siddhi Mahajankatti, Vishak Nair and Anarkali Marikar. Raj and his team make a good start.