The trailer of director Thangam Saravanan’s Anjala begins with Pasupathy’s voiceover, ‘Be it a small community, or a huge empire, it all begins from the banks of a river or a seashore.’ Anjala is the name of a tea stall in a small town in Tamil Nadu. We’re taken into its world with shots of hot tea, coffee brewing, and bajjis being fried in hot oil. The typical ‘tea kadai’ stuff.
Vemal plays a vetti-paiyan (unemployed youth) in the film. His role in Anjala is very similar to his previous roles. Someone tells him that for someone who does nothing, he’s too proud of himself. He replies, ‘Everyone who knows they’re going to win will definitely be proud of themselves.’ Enter Nandita. A girl full of questions, and an interest in cricket too. One of her questions to Vemal is, ‘Do you love anyone?’ It’s the cue for a romantic song between the two. Vemal replies with a startling question – ‘What is your name?‘ That upsets Nandita.
We now get our teeth into the main conflict of the film: the demolition of the Anjala tea shop. The tea shop is situated on a highway, and the highway has to be widened. This is obviously a distressing situation for the owner, Pasupathy. But there’s a lot more at stake here. Anjala travels back to a few generations ago, and we see Pasupathy’s grandfather, and watch the story of how Anjala came to be. Will Pasupathy, Vemal, and the community manage save Anjala, the face of the town? We’ll have to wait and watch.