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Review Roundup: What the Critics Are Saying About ‘Kaanekkaane’, ‘Annabelle Sethupathi’ and More Releases This Week

Cinemas across the country are marching towards normalcy as films like Thalaivii, Laabam, and Seetimaarr which released in the second week of September, are continuing their successful run in the theatres.



While viewership of Seetimaarr has topped the charts, Thalaivii, Jayalalithaa’s biopic starring Kangana Ranaut, has picked only over the weekend and has reportedly collected Rs 4.75 crores. Laabam, which has had a wider release than the Ranaut-starrer in Tamil Nadu, has collected only Rs 4 crore in the four days after its release.

While films like Kodiyil Oruvan and Friendship have released in theatres, several films like Nithin’s Telugu film Maestro, and Vijay Sethupathi and Taapsee Pannu’s Annabelle Sethupathi have taken the digital route.

Silverscreen India brings to you, responses from critics and audience, for films that have released both online and in theatres.

Kaanekkaane (Streaming on SonyLIV)

The Manu Ashokan directorial features actors Suraj Venjaramoodu, Tovino Thomas, Aishwarya Lekshmi, and Shruti Ramachandran, in lead roles.

Reviewers have appreciated the first half of the Malayalam film that set a subtle premise, but criticised the second half that chose a convenient and mainstream conclusion.

“When Paul (Suraj Venjaramoodu) chances upon a shocking piece of information about Sherin’s (Sruthi Ramachandran) death from a carelessly placed photograph at Allen’s (Tovino Thomas), he decides to seek revenge. Paul, who had been blaming a lax taxi driver for the accident all along, suddenly finds a new enemy, a target to steer his anger and grief towards,” writes Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India.

“The premise of Kaanekkaane takes off from countless front-page news items about women who were eliminated to make room for the men’s illicit desires,” she says.

She adds, “The film’s betrayal of its own cause hits hard because it began with immense promise.”

Vishal Menon of Film Companion notes “The thriller-like treatment disipates and the film’s moral undertones suddenly appear on the forefront, pushing back its subtleties.”

S.R. Praveen of The Hindu, writes “The ever-dependable Suraj carries much of the film, but even his shift comes across as unconvincing in the climax. Kaanekkaane works when it patiently unravels its many layers, but spoils it with a convenient stitching-up.”

However, it seems like the film worked better with the audience, as it currently has an IMDb rating of 8.5.


Kaanekkaane went on floors in November 2020 and was shot for around 33 days in the outskirts of Kochi. “Though we shot the film amidst the pandemic, the story is not set in the Covid-19 context. The filming was not confined to a single location either. We have a mix of both indoor and outdoor scenes,” Manu told Silverscreen India earlier.

Kodiyil Oruvan (Currently in theatres)

The Vijay Antony-starrer Tamil film is a political thriller that revolves around an IAS aspirant, played by Antony, who decides to take the responsibility to fight against corrupt politicians of Chennai.

For reviewers, the film seems to have fallen flat as a political thriller with only the ‘Amma’ sentiment keeping it afloat.

For Arunkumar Sekhar of Silverscreen India, while the film is confused and falters in terms of sound mixing, editing, and character study, it “delivers because it has the quintessential amma sentiment as its driving force – it dictates the protagonist’s choices at crucial segments. This core is solidly written from start to finish.”

Similarly, Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion while appreciating the film’s premise, calls the screenplay, a “garbled mess”.

Haricharan Pudipeddi of Hindustan Times calls the film predictable but lauds it for making the “sentimental mother-son subplot” work for itself.

It is to be noted that apart from playing the lead in the film, Antony also served as the editor.

The film has a current rating of 9 on IMDb.

Ankahi Kahaniya (Streaming on Netflix)

The anthology film comprises three shorts directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Abhishek Chaubey, and Saket Chaudhary. While Tiwari’s work features Abhishek Banerjee, Chaubey’s short features Rinku Rajgugru and Delzad Hilwale, and Chaudhary’s short features Kunal Kapoor and Zoya Hussain.

The three films about love and relationship has received mixed responses from reviewers.

For Mrinal Rajaram of Silverscreen India, Tiwari and Chaubey’s stories works the best as both capture the innocence in their protagonists’ romance. Despite an interesting premise and writing, Chaudhary’s final short proves to be the weakest link because of the acting which fell short.


Rohan Naahar of Hindustan Times calls Chaubey’s Madhyantar, a genius.

While Tiwari’s short stands out just for Banerjee’s acting, it falls flat for him due to the absence of a subtext.

Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, however, contrary to the two, finds Chaudhary’s short “breezy” and attributes it to the actors.

Ankahi Kahaniya is currently rated 6.3 on IMDb.

Annabelle Sethupathi (Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar)

The Vijay Sethupathi and Taapsee Pannu-starrer horror-comedy film revolves around a palace full of ghosts.

According to director Deepak Sundarrajan, while the film was not conceived as a pan-India film, it became one with the addition of actors like Jagapathi Babu, Rajendra Prasad, Raadhika, Yogi Babu and Vennela Kishore.

Despite a good cast, the film failes to impress both critics and the audience.

Sinndhuja of Silverscreen India, writes, “The director has everything in place – a history with the industry, good cast and crew, and the capability to lavish on vast sets and locales. He has everything but convincing writing.”

According to Vishal Menon of Film Companion, the film looks and feels like a television serial. It is “an extremely derivative horror comedy that’s never clever enough to double up as a spoof of the many films it borrows from.”

Praveen Sudevan of The Hindu, writes, “The story, after all, isn’t as important as how it’s told. But that’s where the film falters; Annabelle Sethupathi doesn’t address what it makes fun of.”

Annabelle Sethupathi has a current IMDb standing of 4.6.

Maestro (Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar)

The remake of the 2018 Hindi film Andhadhun, Maestro stars Nithiin reprising Ayushmann Khurrana‘s role, Tamannaah reprising Tabu‘s role, and Nabha Natesh in Radhika Apte‘s role.

According to Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, the film’s biggest let down is its lack of humour. However, reviewers agree that Nithiin and Tamannaah’s performances deliver a good watch.


“The dialogues are functional and the scenes are too faithful to the original barring the film leaning a bit too heavily on the organ donation aspect and getting into a preachy zone. The film doesn’t have as ambiguous an ending as the original and that’s understandable given that Telugu audiences have generally favored clear cut endings,” he writes.

For Balakrishna Ganeshan of The News Minute, Maestro works as a decent thriller as director Merlapaka Gandhi does not resort to shot-to-shot copy.

Apart from the aforementioned films, the third season of the highly anticipated show Sex Education has begun streaming on Netflix.