Cast: Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Keerthy Suresh, Kushbu, Meena, Jagapathi Babu, Abhimanyu Singh and Soori
Rating: 2.5 stars
If you have been an ardent fan of director Siva and watched his previous films such as ‘Vedalam’ and ‘Viswasam’, then you pretty much know what to expect in ‘Annaatthe’.
Siva sticks to his time-tested formula of family sentiment that has worked so well for him in the past. If his ‘Viswasam’ was about the bond between a father and his daughter, then ‘Annaatthe’ is about the love between siblings.
Kaalaiyan (Rajinikanth) is a doting brother whose world revolves around his younger sister Thanga Meenakshi (Keerthy Suresh). Life is bliss for the siblings until one day, Kaalaiyan realises it is time to get his sister married.
He decides the groom must live within a radius of 5km from his residence so that he can visit his sister often and continue to take good care of her. She too agrees to wed a young man of his choice. However, on the day of the wedding comes the proverbial twist in the tale.
It doesn’t take an expert to spot the similarities between Siva’s latest offering and his previous films. In ‘Viswasam’, the hero (Ajith), who comes from a rural background, falls in love with a well-educated city-bred doctor (played by Nayanthara). In ‘Annaatthe’, Kaalaiyan (Rajinikanth) comes from Soorakottai and falls in love with a well-educated lawyer (played by Nayanthara).
While in ‘Viswasam’, the hero goes to another city to the aid of his wife and daughter, despite their relationship fraught with tension, in ‘Annaatthe’, the protagonist goes to Kolkata to the aid of his dear sister, even though their relationship has soured.
The similarities do not end there. The protagonist of ‘Viswasam’ has a sidekick (played by Roboshankar), who blurts out what are meant to be English phrases whenever the hero asks for a translation. In ‘Annaatthe’, Soori plays that role, happily reeling out phrases that are meant to be words from the English language.
Both protagonists come from large joint families. Both wield great clout and, needless to say, are altruists.
It is evident that Siva has banked big on the formula that has worked for him time and again. ‘Vedalam’ and ‘Viswasam’, however, were entertaining; ‘Annaatthe’, which has been made pretty much on the same lines, is not.
What fails to click here is the comedy factor. While ‘Vedalam’ and ‘Viswasam’ had genuine comedy sequences that made the film a light-hearted affair, the supposedly funny parts in ‘Annaaththe’ fall flat. Forget laughter, they even fail to evoke a smile.
The other factor that lets the film down is its lack of logic. ‘Vedalam’ and ‘Viswasam’ were also commercial entertainers, but there was a logical sequence connecting all the events. That doesn’t happen in ‘Annaatthe’.
On the positive side though, Keerthy Suresh does a fantastic job as Thanga Meenakshi. Her performance is impressive and she wins your heart as the adorable sister, who is unable to meet her loving brother as a result of the unfortunate situation she finds herself in.
Rajinikanth comes up with a convincing performance yet again. Full marks to the actor for his excellent portrayal of Kaalaiyan, despite age not being on his side. Be it dance or fight sequences, the actor comes up with an energetic performance that is impressive.
Yet, despite some original dialogues and Imman’s foot-tapping music, on the whole, ‘Annaatthe’ ends up being a sentimental drama that has very little to offer in terms of entertainment.
‘Annaatthe’ is out in UAE cinemas