Film: ANANTHAPURAM 1980
Banner: Simhapuri Talkies
Cast: Jay, Swathi, Kanja Karuppu, Sasi Kumar, Samuthrakani etc
Cinematography: S R Kathiir
Music: James Vasanthan
Producer: M Ranganath
Director: Sasi Kumar
Release Date: May 16, 2009
An interesting tale, the film begins on the backdrop of the 80s where hippie hairstyles and bell bottoms ruled the roost in the town of Ananthapuram. Here is a group of five friends led by Shankaram (Sasi), Kassi ( Kanja Karuppu) and Jai who are nice in nature but end up getting into fights. They become regular visitors of the police station but then help always come to them in the form of Kaasi ( Samuthrakani) who bails them out of the situation. Kassi happens to be the neighbour of these friends and his elder brother is a former councilor. The story goes on till Shankaram comes across Thulasi (Swathy) and falls in love with her only to realize that she is the daughter of the councilor. On the other hand, the councilor ends up in a problem when his chief post is taken away due to a heinous plot hatched by one of the members in the rival camp. This incident causes a lot of mental disturbance to Kaasi and this leads to the trio planning to eliminate that member in order to reciprocate for all the help that he has been rendering to them. They kill the rival member only in the hope that Kaasi will come again to their rescue but this time as soon as they land up in jail, Kaasi betrays them and fails to hear to their pleas. However, luck favors the trio and they get in touch with someone else only to come out of the jail. Enraged by Kaasi's betrayal, they decide to take revenge on him and what follows is a tale of twists and turns filled with suspense.
The director has come up in an efficient way to handle the subject and though the narration missed out on few aspects, the presentation has been perfect. The dialogues and script were relevant to the situation and though the screenplay was not completely upto mark the other parts were well conceived. Music was perfect to the backdrop and the situations and equally apt was the cinematography and the editing departments. The introduction of the characters was well presented. Jai has really proved his mettle as a true character actor and he was well supported by Kanja Karuppu who gave in the required elements of comedy along with the intense situations. Swathi looked very homely in her role and has delivered a good performance. Samuthrakani was the right choice to enact the villainy and chameleon shades and did justice to his role. The others contributed their bit to the film in a good fashion and gave some mileage to it.
The film deserves a good applause for its art work and the research that the director has done to get the feel of the 80s. While the first half goes about with the regular tale of friendship, romance and fun, the second half gets serious and it is all about revenge and violence. The film could have been a lot better if the pace of the film was increased and the editing could have been crisp. There is a Tamil flavor to it at points and the audience was not able to relate to it. However, given the variety approach, this might go well with those who have the patience to go back in time.
Bharatstudent Verdict : Slow and nostalgic, only for those who are keen on getting a realistic feel.