What’s more interesting than a protagonist (Ravi Teja) who has dissociative identity disorder? A heroine (Ileana) who has the same problem too. Why? Both were part of the same childhood accident. Amar Akbar Anthony is a wasted opportunity. I am almost tired of using that expression week after week – do these movie-makers not tire of using the same tropes and cracking the same jokes decades after decades? No wait, why change when they can throw in fancy terms like Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Sreenu Vaitla picks up an idea that is permanently hot and made hotter in the movie Split (this is even referenced in the movie) and turns it into a grotesque stereotypes-done-to-death revenge drama. Funny thing is that the movie is so pretentious even Ravi Teja is mellowed by his own standards, trying hard but failing to pull off three identities – Amar, who’s looking for revenge, the good samaritan Akbar (with a weird Hyderabadi accent – how did he get that accent having born and brought up entirely in the US – unexplained illogical disorder!) and Anthony (where he picks up the personality of a doctor who rescues him during his childhood). He shifts identities when a piece of glass breaks in his vicinity (from Amar to Akbar) or when there is the sound of an explosion (from Akbar/Anthony back to Amar). What will happen if he plays video games (think Counter-Strike)?
In the hunt is a dirty FBI cop (Abhimanyu Singh), with that oh-so-annoying dubbed voice, chasing Amar, because four extremely stylishly dressed antagonists want Amar dead. Wish they had shared their stylist with the cop too because his leather jackets are pretty out of place and funnily unkempt and garish. Why even hire the cop when they can get four of their opponents shot using a sniper in no time – Godfather style!
The movie is a muddy mishmash of a script that lacks integrity – why would you take the risk of setting up bombs in Central Park when you can just kill the guy with your bare hands, for example. Why are bodyguards and gun-sellers black Americans?
Sunil does a cameo but barely has any funny lines – a shadow of himself, just as Ravi Teja is, with that almost-dazed look that will neither enchant his fans nor the usual movie audiences. Ileana’s presence in the movie is even less significant than the child artist who plays her character in the flashback. A massive comedy skit of a Telugu association organising a festival for NRIs will make sure you get a headache if you haven’t already. The comedic bits don’t even deserve a mention.
One gets the sense that the movie script was done extempore. The usual Sreenu Vaitla style of comedy works really well if the funny lines are actually funny (think Dookudu) but otherwise, one is left gasping at the lack of seriousness with which the characters are dealt with. Covering this up with the opulence of costumes, settings and America’s skyscrapers is just money down the drain. Neither the characters nor the music or comedy leave any impression on your memory when you walk out of the hall. Despite the loud colours, loud comedy and loud dialogues.
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.