Aside from Antony’s underplayed presence on screen, there’s little in this film we haven’t seen before.

Annadurai review This Vijay Antony action family drama is been there done that
Flix Review Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 14:37

Isn’t it about time that Kollywood retired its pure-hearted heroes who live and die for their families? After all, there are only so many ways that these golden men can get entangled in disastrous circumstances and find redemption for their loved ones by sacrificing themselves.

So, you have Annadurai, which sees two Vijay Antonys have their lives turned upside down by the machinations of a local gangster. Much of the blame for the situation though, falls on the senior brother (named Annadurai), who drinks like a fish but has only the purest milk flowing through his veins.

Turning an alcoholic after watching the girl he loves die in an accident, Annadurai still tries to be a stand-up guy for everyone around him. But his excessive drinking taints everything he does, and eventually lands him in prison and his family in ruin at the hands of a gangster with a grudge.

The junior twin (imaginatively named Thambidurai) is a more straightforward man, managing to hold down a job as a PT teacher in a school, and looking forward to his wedding. But by the time Annadurai has emerged from prison, Thambidurai has turned into a murderous rowdy. It’s now up to the elder sibling to give the younger the redemption he needs.

There’s nothing very new or dramatically different about Annadurai and G Srinivasan faithfully replays sequences that we’ve seen in dozens of other Tamil films. In the opening sequences, for instance, Annadurai rescues a woman (Mahima) from gang rape. In typical patriarchal hero fashion, he tells her not to tell anyone about what happened, because the world will not understand, and admonishes her not to go out at night without her parents too.

And when this woman falls in love with her ‘saviour’, he tells her she still has her life ahead, while he’s someone pining over his losses, and tells her to find someone better.

In much the same predictable vein are the many scenes that establish Annadurai’s dedication to his family, and the amma paasam (mother’s love) he lives by.

The action sequences too are best described as tolerable. Most of them involve one of the Antonys bouncing baddies around like tennis balls and throwing them through vehicle windows. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before but it isn’t boring either.

The one thing that works for the movie is Antony’s stone-faced seriousness. Thanks to his underplayed presence on-screen, the film veers away from the more egregious sob story territory that it could have fallen into. And he actually manages to pull a couple of the intense scenes in the film. But if you’re going into the theatre expecting great subtlety of acting that clearly distinguishes one twin from the other, you’re likely to be disappointed.

While the leading women Diana Champika and Jewel Mary don’t really get enough room to develop their roles, Mahima gets a few moments where she shines. Radha Ravi is perfectly competent as the villain at the top, and Kaali Venkat makes for a likeable best friend.

Annadurai might work for you if you’re a fan of the templated action drama with plenty of family sentiment.

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.

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