Anek ( 2022/ Political Action Thriller/ Cinema Release)
Director/ Writer – Anubhav Sinha
Cast – Ayushmann Khurrana, Andrea Kevichusa, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, Mipham Otsam
An undercover cop (Ayushmann) is assigned to reign in insurgency in North East to ensure a peace accord between the government and the most powerful rebel group.
The film hits the ground running, introduces its premise and characters, and we start seeing what it intends to do, wake us up to uncomfortable facts.
Anek sets forth with a well intended message. It highlights the plight of marginalised states and people who crave for inclusivity and respect, who have been driven to violence in a bid to hold onto their individuality and yet have equal rights.
With a lot of sarcasm and symbolism, it sheds light on the diplomatic politics that plays behind the scenes.
It makes a humanitarian cry for the innocents who get embroiled and bear the brunt.
It also hits hard on our partisan mindset that judges people as per their region or language.
The film comes across as finely crafted with many elements that shine. Excellent cinematography by Ewan Mulligan that not only delivers beautiful but often meaningful frames; excellent music score by Mangesh Dhakde that gives the right feel and impetus to the scenes; meaningful lyrics by Shakeel Azmi that convey a lot; thought provoking & tacit dialogues that could be the subject of hypothesis.
“What is peace to one could be chaos for others”
“Peace is often confused for control”
Yes … Peace as a subject is definitely open to hypothesis!
Ayushmann delivers a solid performance with different shades, of focused cold officer and then the man who begins to think from the heart.
Kumud Mishra as the politician, Manoj Pahwa as the hardened bureaucrat and Mipham Otsam as the local school teacher, JD Chakravarty as forest officer add heft with their performances.
Andrea gives her character an innocence that helps strike a chord.
Anubhav Sinha’s past record has been mighty impressive.
Mulk, Article 15 , Thappad, all the films have not only conveyed a much required relevant message but also were impactful and overwhelming.
Anek has its heart in the right place, does convey what it sets out to but is not as engrossing and its emotional impact gets diluted in its narration.
Somewhere amidst the intended messages of diversity, inclusivity, violence vs peace, the film loses focus because of the intensity and quantum of what Sinha wants to convey.
The narrative moves forward but seems lost in an effort to try and convey too much. With lots of diplomatic politics, gunfire, violence (in that order), the film says much, some of it obvious, some of it implicit, some of it true & moving but some of it opinionated and coloured, some of it preachy and some of it too symbolic.
Nevertheless, no denying the fact that it is an important film with an important message and leaves you with a lot of food for thought. It is definitely worth a watch. Whether to watch in cinema or not would depend upon how big a fan are you of Anubhav Sinha kind of cinema.
As the last dialogue in the film , we would say “We agree with you but…”
Score 3 on 5