Review: Annadurai

Director: G Srinivasan; Cast: Vijay Antony, Diana Champika, Mahima, Jewel Mary as Chitra, Radha Ravi, Kaali Venkat

Film: Annadurai
Director: G Srinivasan
Cast: Vijay Antony, Diana Champika, Mahima, Jewel Mary as Chitra, Radha Ravi, Kaali Venkat
Music: Vijay Antony
Cinematography: Dillraj
Editing: Vijay Antony

It is not often that you see music director, actor and producer Vijay Antony erring when it comes to picking scripts. In fact, if the man has been able to build himself into a brand today, it is primarily because of this gift that he has for picking the right scripts. Prior to Annadurai, Vijay Antony has never made a mistake in picking the right stories and making them into films.

However, this time, he seems to have faltered.

Annadurai, to its credit, starts off promisingly. However, it soon fizzles into a monotonous, dreary drama that leaves you exasperated.The film is so slow and predictable that although it has a run time of just two hours and nine minutes, it comes across as being a four-and-a-half hour long film.

Vijay Antony plays two roles in this film, which has been let down big time by its screenplay.

Annadurai (Vijay Antony) is the elder son of a respectable couple in a small town of Tamil Nadu. He has a younger brother called Thambidurai (Vijay Antony again) who works as a physical trainer in a school in the town. Although an altruist at heart, Annadurai has a problem. He has turned an alcoholic after the death of Esther, a girl he was in love with.

Although he is an alcoholic, Annadurai has the respect of the locals as he has a tendency to help those in need. Often the man takes clothes and money from his dad’s textile shop and gives it to the poor and the needy. That apart, Annadurai’s dad is also the President of the traders association there.

It is under these circumstances that one day, Annadurai chooses to help a friend (Kaali Venkat) by recommending him to a financier. The friend wants to set up a biryani stall and turns to Annadurai for financial help. Annadurai, in turn, brings him to a financier, who is notorious for his ruthless and inhumane ways of recovering dues. Unknown to Annadurai, the financier has been wanting to unseat Annadurai’s father from the post of the President of the traders’ association for a very long time. He has been nursing hopes of becoming the President himself someday. Now, when Annadurai approaches him for money, he sees an opportunity and asks him to stand guarantee for his friend. An unsuspecting Annadurai turns guarantor and leaves.

Days pass and in due course, the parents fix the wedding of their second son Thambidurai with Revathi (Diana Champika), the daughter of a family friend (Senthil). Thambidurai and Revathi soon fall in love and begin to await their wedding day eagerly.

Meanwhile, one month, Annadurai’s friend is unable to pay interest to the financier on time and seizing the opportunity, the financier holds Annadurai accountable. He exploits the situation to the maximum and soon, Annadurai and his family members have to face problem after problem…

Until now, Vijay Antony had realised his strengths and had stuck to them. In Annadurai, he has let go of his strengths in his eagerness to experiment and that seems to have delivered a fateful blow to the manner in which the film has come out.
The actor, whose calm and composed demeanour has often fetched him a number of fans, tries to overact in this film and that comes across as being silly. In fact, you wish Vijay Antony will continue to be the same soft-spoken hero you know him to be on and off the screen. Simply speaking, Vijay Antony has tried to portray himself as a mass hero in this film and sadly, that does not work.

That apart, the dialogues are a big let down. Redundancy is a problem that the team could have done without. Several dialogues are repeated and this only annoys audiences. There is too much emotional drama, making it a dreary affair. The film has two good performances. One is from Kaali Venkat, who, as usual, delivers convincingly. The other comes from a relatively new comer Senthil, who plays the soon-to-be father-in-law of Vijay Antony. Senthil, who is a jouranlist in real life, plays the role convincingly and with a certain degree of comfort.

Vijay Antony’s music works in this film too, as does cinematographer Dillraj’s work with the camera. What does not work though is the editing, which again is by Vijay Antony. The music director turned producer turned hero has tried his hand at editing too in this film. Unfortunately, he isn’t as good when it comes to editing as he is when he is scoring music for films.

A complex script with a winding storyline makes it very cumbersome for viewers and audiences and make the film a bore. In short, Annadurai leaves you drained and dreadful.