Verdict: A biopic that fails to awaken the patriot in you.
The directorial debut of famous Marathi actor, Shashank Udapurkar, Anna is a biographical film based on Indian social activist Kisan Baburao Hazare- fondly known as Anna by his supporters. Mr. Udapurkar has penned the dialogues and screenplay as well as essayed the role of Anna in the biopic. The movie highlights the life of Hazare and his struggles to promote rural development, improve the infrastructure in villages, increase government transparency and most importantly abolish corruption from the country. Even though the journey of Anna Hazare would have made for an ideal feature film, it falls short of establishing an emotional connect with the viewer.
The film begins with the India Against Corruption movement in 2011 led by Hazare, which later paved the way for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill. The story keeps shuffling between the past and present. The first half gives an insight into Anna’s childhood and younger days in his village- Ralegan-Siddhi, which are not known to many. However, the screenplay is not linear as incidents are repetitive in the second half and seem to be painfully slow.The film also features Tanishaa Mukerji who plays the role of a reporter covering the various movements that Anna led. Veteran actor Govind Namdeo successfully plays the evil moneylender of the village who later joins Anna in his movement in the latter part of the movie.
If we talk about performances, the highlight was the boy who played the young Anna. He beautifully portrayed the role even though it wasn’t a substantial one. Shashank Udapurkar who plays the grown-up Anna has been successful in emulating Anna’s accent and body language, however, the dialogue delivery could have been better. Tanishaa fails to connect with the audience with her boring performance.
The three songs in the movie seemed unnecessary and made the movie seem a little too long and stretched. Despite being made with a lot of honesty, the presentation of the movie is a bit out-dated. In an attempt to cover all the important aspects of Hazare’s life in two hours and twenty two minutes, the director fails to make his point clear. The timeline jumps from one phase to another in quick succession even then, the film lacks pace because of the predictability factor.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Udapurkar manages to impart information about the lesser-known facts of the lead character and bring to light the journey of Anna from an army man to a one-man juggernaut against social evils. The film tries to depict the mindset of Anna Hazare, and makes a statement that the protest to pass the Lokpal Bill was a long and difficult journey and not an overnight success.
-By Niti Desai