annaatthe begins with annaatthe storming the news channels and social media discussions of kolkata. Annaatthe, also known as Kalaiayyan (Rajinikanth), is giving one of the biggest mobsters in all of Kolkata sleepless nights. As gang fights with guns and machetes become common in the streets of Kolkata, we can find no police presence anywhere. Apparently, the entire Calcutta police force and government have gone on vacation, leaving Kalaiayyan, a man from a humble village in Tamil Nadu, to clean the city of bad apples.
is one of the many logic holes in the story. not to mention, siva’s superficial understanding of how love works. she can sit in a room and come up with some morally ridiculous justifications for why the characters in her movie acted the way they did. but not many would buy it.
In the siva universe, emotions and relationships work in ways that are far removed from our world. the exemplary brothers suddenly betray each other. and the brothers, who have been archenemies all their lives, become attached at any moment. take, for example, the character of prakash raj. plays the richest and baddest man in town. but, after crossing paths with kalaiayyan, he transforms into a noble and wise man. jagapathi babu is pure evil. and one night, thanks to kalaiayyan, he begins to experience emotions that he never experienced.
even siddhartha gautama needed 49 days of deep meditation to attain enlightenment and become a buddha. But, Siva’s characters are capable enough to unravel decades of their emotional baggage in the course of a few minutes. And that’s what makes the characters in this movie unidentifiable even though they all seem very familiar.
The film exposes a worrying practice in the Tamil film industry. some filmmakers seem to believe that as long as they have rajinikanth in the lead, they can lounge around in the director’s chair. he just writes some punchlines and stitches some scenes between fight sequences and songs, creating the illusion of a cohesive flow of the story. it is rajinikanth who has to do all the heavy lifting. he has to make up for the shortcomings of the directors of him with every ounce of his energy and strength.
annaatthe is so one dimensional. kalaiayyan is so wise that he does not need more understanding of the world. he has an opinion on everything under the sun. and he is never wrong. making kalaiayyan the wisest man in the room comes at a cost. and the cost is that it creates an unfavorable environment for multiple interesting and notable supporting characters to emerge. None of the characters, except for Kalaiayyan, are smart in the movie. even the character of meenakshi from keerthy suresh or the lawyer from nayanthara.
just a few minutes of interaction with kalaiayyan and nayanthara’s character, who is a lawyer, gets a crash course in justice. and that’s enough for her to argue a case against her own client. meenakshi is so lost that she can’t even see her own brother, who has been following her at a distance of 10 feet.
look, the public loves rajinikanth. and they can enjoy and cheer when you light a match just by glaring at it. or when he plays grenade catch. but the film has to offer something to tickle them aside from just tapping into the audience’s love for the rajinikanth. Annaatthe was never expected to respect logic. but it’s also a huge disappointment when it comes to managing emotions, including humor.
that makes us wonder if there is nothing new to offer, why do annaatthe?
if you ask siva, he would say that every filmmaker’s dream is to direct rajinikanth on film, and he is no exception. but what is the excuse that rajinikanth could give to work with a director who does not bring anything new to the table, nor does he promise to further increase the popularity and market that he dominates?
annaatthe features one of india’s biggest stars, and all she has to offer is loads of questionable wisdom on affection and relationships. there’s something really wrong with what we consider great movies.