Anel Meley Pani Thuli
After a small break wherein I did rejunate myself, I quickly moved on to the next release of the weekend. With that I finished watching the new Tamil film Anel Meley Pani Thuli on SonyLiv. It starred one of my favourite performers Andrea Jeremiah and had one of my favourite filmmakers Vetrimaran presenting the feature. So I was looking forward to the film despite not knowing what to expect and what the film had to offer. So then does Anel Meley Pani Thuli manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Anel Meley Pani Thuli follows the story of a young woman who would go at any length to reprimand and punish the perpretators of a heinous crime conducted on her against all odds. The story is relevant although not quite novel. The screenplay standing at a shade under 2 hours is about the right length for the drama, however I wasn’t too impressed with the writing here.
The drama opens on a good note with the introduction of the protagonist and the world around her. Like any other girl, she too works in a metro city, is independent and has a voice of her own. But it is here that the screenplay slightly falters in guiding the audience in a particular direction before ‘flipping’ soon after. Now, we have seen a similar plot in the Tamil film Gargi too wherein the audience were lead into believing a certain truth before the actual truth bomb did land. And there is nothing wrong in it. But if it lacks conviction then that is a problem for me.
Because the focus is entirely on the protagonist, you are never really invested in characters around her. So despite a couple of potential “dangers” around her, you always remain unmoved. The ‘flip’ in the tale soon after the event doesn’t help its cause as it made me wonder as to what was the need to lead the audience without even investing in those characters enough. On the brighter side, the issues of the system and the authorities are nicely laid out when the shell shocked protagonist makes her way to the hospital and the police station. The lack of personnel and facilities is showcased rather well.
The film does come crashing down in a rather preachy second half. The conflict here was delicate and relevant and it needed to be addressed with that much more sensitivity. But instead, the treatment here is surface level stuff, focusing more on the physical actions(of the perpetrators and their ways of going against the law) as opposed to the psyche of the victim. Had it been the latter, this would have made for a compelling viewing.
To top it, the proceedings are preachy that had me distracted and how! The final courtroom scene too was just an extension of the “preachiness” with a long monologue that felt half-baked and rather cliched. The resolution was never so simplistic and it needed a female gaze to convey it. The screenplay is another example of convenient writing that needs to be updated with time.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are alright, nothing much to shout about. The music and BGM are average and far too middling. The cinematography is good, the editing could have been sharper. Director R Kaiser Anand misses the mark here especially due to its surface level treatment and preachy nature of the drama. Had the drama been more subtle and nuanced, focusing more into the psyche of the victim, this would have been a winner all the way.
Almost all the characters here are underwritten with the prime focus being on the character of Andrea Jeremiah. And it pains to say that the best performance of Andrea’s career comes in a film that is rather mediocre and cliched. The pain in her eyes coupled with blank expressions(deliberately done) adds layers and layers to her character. This was an acting masterclass in a film that did not deserve it!
Anel Meley Pani Thuli is lacklustre and cliched despite an incredibly good performance by its main lead. Available on SonyLiv.