Though the Malayalam film industry is close-knit and has many talented filmmakers, it has not seen many anthologies until recently. The latest one to join the club is Aanum Pennum which narrates the story of men and women in three different generations. Directed by versatile filmmakers Jay K, Venu, and Ashiq Abu, the stories however give more prominence to the women and that is quite convincing as well. The film features Samyukta Menon, Joju George, Indrajith, Parvathy Thiruvoth, Asif Ali, Darshana Rajendran, Roshan Mathew, Nedumudi Venu, and Kaviyoor Ponnamma in three different short films. Here’s what we felt about the anthology.
Savithri, Directed by Jay K
Savithri is set in a time where the British were overthrown in India and the communist were publicly prosecuted. Savithri (Samyukta Menon) a communist goes into exile and takes refuge as a house help in a rich family, disguised as Kunjipaaru. While the police torture communist party members on one side, Kunjipaaru is tortured by the man of the family, for sex. Whether she is able to get out of the mess is the crux of the film. Savithri’s story is compared to that of Panchali during her exile and it is done quite convincingly. Samyukta Menon gets a meaty role which she essays with much grit and excellence. She shines in the role and it would be one of her best performances so far. Jay K easily sets the timeline of the story, which is the early 50s, with much conviction. Overall, the film works well for everyone, though is slightly slow.
Rachiyamma, Directed by Venu
Rachiyamma (Parvathy Thiruvoth) a milkmaid in a hill station, shares a platonic relationship with the newly joined manager of a tea plantation (played by Asif Ali). After a conversation between them, he disappears, but her love for him doesn’t vanish. When he returns for a visit after years, things have changed with him, but she is still the same Rachi. The film is set in the late 60s and is based on a story by Uroob. The film is well-made, and both the actors give a stunning performance; however, the plot is invalid in these times and director Venu could have told it differently to the new generation audience. The film talks about sacrifice and love, but who you sacrifice for and in what the context is extremely important – the film gives out an outdated message, unfortunately.
Rani, Directed by Aashiq Abu
Rani revolves around a college boy and girl (Roshan Mathew and Darshana Rajendran respectively) where the former wants to have sex with the latter and one of his friends suggest him to choose nature over booking an AC room. After much convincing, the boy manages to take the girl to a hill top, but what happens to them there is both hilarious and unfortunate at the same time. Darshana Rajendran plays the bold girl who does not fear anyone, where Roshan is the kind of boy who is always worried about “what if someone spots us together”. Both the actors are par excellence and portrays the boy-girl relationship quite well with apt body language and dialogues. Nedumudi Venu and Kaviyoor Ponnamma also get refreshing roles, unlike what they have done for ages. The film set in the recent times over all is a fun watch.
WATCH OR NOT
Aanum Pennum is an interesting watch with three short films that narrates relationship between men and women. Three beautifully woven stories with excellent performances and making make the film a much watch.