Tamil Reviews

Anegan Review: Him of Many Faces

KV Anand has a certain way with things. Especially with his camera. The period frames are just the right tone of sepia, his colours as suggestive as his heroine – slutty reds and delicious fluorescents – and the dirt, a glazed, burnished shade of brown. KV Anand’s camera doesn’t just see things, it sings. That’s one of the advantages that a cinematographer-turned-director holds; his equipment is as expressive as his eye.

In Anegan, KV Anand dreams an old dream. It stems from Maattraan, a synonym, a derivative that explores one of the director’s recent favourite themes. Multiple personalities. Placed in a different context. If Maattraan dealt with conjoined twins, Anegan has a mystic, meta streak. There are “past lives”, other-worldly apparitions, hypnosis, several characters, and a plot that slowly morphs into a Tamil novel of decent cred. If nothing else, it is quite reminiscent of KV Anand’s Kalki days, and of course, sets in sharp relief, his association with writers SuBa.


In Anegan, we see a lot of Dhanush (splendidly so) – from his Kadhal Kondein days, sans that telling, coming-of-age moustache; a mere wiry lad; and then, as a rustic North Madras guy where he’s more at home – amid vibrant plastic pots, in a bright printed shirt and a moustache that curls up just so. He’s Kaali of Danga Maari Oodhari, and also perhaps, of the recent Madras – with febrile notions of justice, who would stab a rowdy and mop the blood off his knife on his muddy footwear. And this is where KV Anand comes to life, in the colourful North Madras locales, inside one of those modest housing colonies; nothing touched or untouched – his heroine (Amyra Dastur) clad in beautiful muted red, a glint of gold on her ears and neck.


Anegan weaves in and out of different periods, sometimes a sublime, welcome distraction – especially in the North Madras parts, strangely resonating of Thalapathi’s Surya-Subalakshmi sequences – emulatory perhaps, as Dhanush loves. So emulatory that Danga Maari Oodhari even has a pious, holy interlude, quite akin to Kunitha Puruvamum in Raakamma Kayyathattu.


But Karthik Muthuraman (an evil Ravikiran with an unconvincing accent) is no Arjun. He’s the villain of yore, across several eras; in a plot so preposterous that only a thin little novella with a suggestive jacket can hold; flitting between several periods, the past and the present with some tech motifs thrown in. Which again, is a trait common among Tamil writers; who wouldn’t like to read a tale that is about a seemingly genial tech tycoon feeding his hapless employees some brain stimulants for racy ideas for his gaming company? And who wouldn’t like to read about the grisly past of the seemingly genial tycoon who actually turns out to be a money-hungry murderer after one of his pretty employees because she so reminds him of a woman he killed?

Anegan is wonderfully pulp that way. Except when it tries to be a little modern with the “present” (with Giorgio Armani underwear and Hermès hats, nonetheless). Then, it turns into a poorly translated version of one of those anthologies of Tamil pulp fiction.

Which, by the way, is a must-read.


The Anegan Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.