Somewhere in BR Vijayalakshmi’s bilingual Abhiyude Kadha Anuvinteyum, there is a story worth telling. But the film does everything to distract you from it. The heroine, Anu, is introduced to us as an enterprising young woman who calms an angry elephant down by giving it a bunch of bananas (the man who sells it just happens to come by). This is so she can take a goat to the hospital for delivery and prance around like a five-year-old later.
The hero, Abhimanyu (Tovino Thomas) who watches the whole thing on Facebook, falls in love… but not before he discovers that ‘Anu’ stands for ‘Awareness Near U’. This is just a sample of the inanity that passes for ‘cute’ and ‘romance’ in the film.
It’s painful to watch Tovino in Abhiyude after the intensity he brought to every frame in Mayaanadhi. But this isn’t his fault – Pia Bajaj is so thoroughly out of place in this film that she reminded me of that Thanksgiving dessert with a layer of sautéed beef, onions and peas that Rachel makes in an episode of Friends. The off sync dubbing doesn’t help and the result is far from enjoyable.
Anu, in the first half of Abhiyude, is the ‘bubbly girl’ who doesn’t exist in real life but we’re forced to meet in film after film. She shaves her head (and super unconvincing it is) because she wants to make wigs for kids with cancer, she gaslights the guy she has been flirting with into thinking she isn’t interested in him, she is so spirited all the time that I wished someone would write the woman a prescription to help her calm down. But all that changes in the second half.
The film doesn’t get better though. There is a complicated story here about surrogacy, incest, relationships, marriage – but it’s all so shallow that you cannot begin to care about any of the characters. Abhi’s parents are always busy with their ‘business’. What business is this? We don’t know. Abhi is working in a company that has ‘projects’. What project is he working on? We don’t know. Anu’s ‘Awareness Near U’ goes for a toss after she meets Abhi. Why? We don’t know.
As in OK Kanmani, Suhasini and Prabhu play an older couple inspiring a younger couple to invest more in their marriage. But their characters too are written with very little depth. Suhasini is unnaturally cheery while Prabhu looks out of sorts pretending to speak in a mix of Malayalam and Tamil. Rohini, as Anu’s mom, does her best with what she’s given but that’s all. There are also a few insensitive dialogues about surrogacy and motherhood which really didn’t need to be there, especially since the filmmaker stresses on the need to be sensitive in other scenes.The last ‘fact’ presented to us made me wonder what the fuss was all about in the first place.
Akilan’s cinematography is possibly the one thing that makes Abhiyude watchable. Though the content in the film is decidedly B grade, it looks good.
Should you watch this film? A review is just Awareness Near U. You’ve been warned.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.