nobody movie_Anek Review: Ayushmann skillfully shoulders this relevant film that loses focus

Picking topics that are controversial but relevant and requiring dialogue and then building a film around them might be a good choice, but it doesn’t always end up the way you’d expect. That’s exactly what happened to me Ayushman Khurrana latest outing, anek. Directed and Written by Anubhav Sinha, who worked with Khurrana again after the acclaimed Article 15 (which was based on caste discrimination in India), Anek weakens on several points. More so because Sinha’s last three directorial projects — Mulk, Thappad, and Article 15 — all hit the right note and successfully started a conversation, but with Anek he just couldn’t create an immersive experience that makes you think after you leave the theater . With a plot that is quite confusing at first, followed by a narrative that seems convoluted at most points, Anek’s intentions are indeed everywhere. Sinha somehow tries to address many issues in 2 hours and 30 minutes runtime but unfortunately couldn’t do justice to all of them. Also read: Anek’s Andrea Kevichusa says a woman once asked her, “When are you going back to your country?”

Set against the backdrop of north-east India, Anek focuses on undercover agent Joshua (Khurrana) on a mission to restore peace to the north-eastern region of India and the political situation that has long plagued this belt of the country. During his quest, he meets Aido, a Northeast Indian boxer (new signing Andrea Kevichüsa) who struggles with prejudice while pursuing her dream of earning a spot on the India national team. Khurrana also has an interesting tryst with Aido’s father, Wangnao (Mipham Otsal), a schoolteacher who secretly promotes a rebel group against government forces.

While Sinha has picked up the right nuances when it comes to casting Northeast actors, authentic locations, dialogue and the gravity of the conflict he wants to emphasize, he doesn’t weave them into a compelling story that would leave you hooked . The entire first half of the film is spent building a premise that never really reaches a goal. The film looks a bit overdone in the first half as more time is devoted to character building than showing the actual tensions that people in the Northeast go through every day of their lives.

Andrea Kevichüsa in a still from Anek.

Aside from that, Anek is very patriotic and luckily that never takes the form of jingoism that’s prevalent in Hindi films. The way Sinha has tried to show racist attacks that people from the North East deal with on a daily basis, their ordeal to prove that they are just as much a part of India, great elements and working in certain places. Also, keep in mind that this is one of the very few commercial films that has attempted to focus on the troubling situation in the Northeast, which many talk about but no one really shows the courage to delve into . After films like The Kashmir Files, it can be said that Anek is definitely a very important film and is quite relevant in today’s times. I just wish the execution was a little easier with a more focused script that Sinha co-wrote with Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani.

We see Khurrana fulfill his mission with all sincerity and care, even when his loyalty is questioned. Brave like a cop, he carries his role with confidence and is gentler in scenes of helpless situations. It’s not wrong to say that he shoulders the film adeptly.

Ayushmann Khurrana plays a soldier in Anek.
Ayushmann Khurrana plays a soldier in Anek.

Kevichüsa, who made her Bollywood debut with Anek, puts in a decent performance for the first time, although I felt her character could have been fleshed out a lot better if she had been doing more than just boxing in the ring . When she realizes what Joshua and her father are up to, she doesn’t really do what one would ideally expect in a situation like this. Wangnao’s character arc, on the other hand, is pretty strong. It evokes an emotion to connect with. Along with other supporting actors, Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa bring their experience to bear well and deliver some great scenes.

In summary, Anek has his heart in the right place and was made with the right intentions, it’s the execution that’s a bit disappointing, and it’s not a story that anyone with the same amount of empathy and interest would understand .

Movie: Anec

Pour: Ayushmann Khurrana, JD Chakravarthy, Andrea Kevichüsa, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra

Director: Anubhav Sinha

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