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'Anamika' Review: Slowly, Steadily, It Thrills

'Anamika' Review: Slowly, Steadily, It Thrills

Movies: Anamika
Rating: 2.75/5
Viacom 18, Lagline Productions
Cast: Nayanthara, Vaibhav, Pasupathi, Harshavardhan Rane, Naresh and Others
Music: M M Keeravani
Editor: Marthand K Venkatesh
Cinematographer: Vijay C Kumar
Producers: Viacom 18, Lagline Productions
Direction: Shekar Kammula
Release Date: May 01, 2014

She is a top-ranking actress in the South and he is considered to be a director with great potential. When both of them came together, there were bound to be high expectations. Yet, Shekhar Kammula risked remaking the Bollywood thriller and Vidya Balan-starrer Kahani in Telugu and Tamil (Nee Enge En Anbe).

The original film won critical acclaim and was a commercial success. So, Shekhar Kammula had a huge task set for him.

Also, known for his youthful stories, Shekhar was making a thriller for the first time. All along, he has maintained that the film is broadly inspired by Kahani and that he has made the necessary changes to suit the southern sense and sensibilities.

The film was no cakewalk for Nayantara too as she had to risk being compared to the realistic performance of none other than Vidya Balan who plays a heavily pregnant woman in search of her husband. The biggest change in the southern bi-lingual is that Nayantara is not pregnant. So, let’s check out how the southern version has shaped up.

Anamika (Nayanatara) plays an ethical hacker who comes to Hyderabad in search of her husband (Harshvardhan) who has gone missing for 10 days. She comes and stays at the same hotel in old city where her husband was put up. As she tries to unravel the mystery behind her husband’s sudden disappearance, she has a tough time finding clues in the bylanes of the old city. SI Sarathi played by Vaibhav helps her in her pursuit. Meanwhile, his superior Pasupati tries to convince Anamika that her husband was a covert ISI agent with a suspicious past. Will Anamika find her husband? Will she find the truth?

Artistes’ Performance:
Nayantara in the title role is bang on. Like her contemporary Vidya Balan, she puts in a convincing performance with natural ease. She beautifully shows off the nuances and manages to show the mental stress that her character goes through.

Vaibhav like Parambrata Chatterjee plays a perfect aid to Anamika. However, Pasupati fails to match up to the performance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is a pro. One expects better casting from Kammula who has worked real hard to give his personal touch to an already successful theme.

Hotel’s owner and the writer at the police station put in ok performances.

Technical Excellence:
Let’s start off with music director MM Keeravani. Since it’s a thriller, the film has only two songs. But Keeravani leaves his master stroke with the background score. Since it’s a thriller, his superb background score elevates even the most common scenes.

Cinematography by Vijay C Kumar is laudable. He captures the colours of the old city beautifully and infuses life into every single frame.

Editing by Martand C Venkatesh is crisp in the second half though the tempo is missing in the first half.

Finally, coming to director Shekhar Kammula, he does put in a lot of effort to add a lot of twists in Anamika along with writer Yandamuri Veerendranath. It takes a lot of courage to make changes to an already successful plot. But the duo manages to change the script quite a bit. Unfortunately, all through the film one can see the ‘effort’ put in by Shekhar Kammula. One can make out that thriller as a genre is not his ‘cup of tea’.

For starters, the film starts off at a snail’s pace. While this is necessary to establish the plot in the first half an hour, the pace is rather slow through out the first half. The film picks pace during the second half and Shekhar manages to show off his directorial skills in the second half by making it a taut thriller.


  • Background Score
  • Nayantara’s Performance


  • Slow pace in the first half
  • Not on par with Kahaani

It is hard not to draw comparisons with the original despite claims from its director. Since Kahaani was a hit thriller, it is hard to forget the original plot while watching the film.

Since it’s a thriller, knowing the overall plot kills the suspense. Another glaring difference is the colourful feel that the makers of the southern version have given to it. One actually ends up missing the ‘dark feel’ that Kahaani had. Wonder if this was a conscious effort by the makers to make the film look different?

One misses the suspense in the first half and the audience can almost predict the twists that are about to come. Also, one cannot relate to the pain of the heroine and this leaves you thinking of the original all along. However, Shekhar makes up for this in the second half by turning it into a gripping thriller. But he once again falters during the climax.

While the final twist is interesting, it comes a little too late as it prepares the audience beforehand. Had Shekhar surprised the audience, it would have worked well for the film.

For those who have not watched Kahaani, Anamika will make for a good watch. But if you have already watched Kahaani, then it is hard to forget the original. It’s a different effort from Shekhar Kammula. But will the audience like it remains to be seen.

Bottomline: Taut second half makes up for the slow first half.

(Venkat can be reached at [email protected] or