Anjaniputra movie review: Even Puneeth Rajkumar can’t save this film from its original sins

Anjaniputra movie review: Neither Harsha's experience in delivering engaging commercial films or Puneeth Rajkumar's onscreen presence could save Anjaniputra from its own basic sins.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru | Updated: December 22, 2017 7:24:41 am
anjaniputra review Anjaniputra movie review: The director has seemingly tried his best to salvage the film from melodrama and tiresome narration that came with the original script.

Anjaniputra movie cast: Puneeth Rajkumar, Rashmika Mandanna, Ramya Krishnan, P Ravishankar, Sadhu Kokila, Chikkanna, Mukesh Tiwari
Anjaniputra movie director: Harsha
Anjaniputra movie rating: 2 stars

During an interaction with Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, ahead of the release of his new film Anjaniputra, I asked him how does he select his characters. And he said, “If I’m able to see some of myself in that character, I agree to play it.” In his entire career so far, 90 percent of his films can be classified under the ‘family drama’ column. Especially, in most of his films, he has played a character that worships his mother. Even in action movies like Jackie and Raaj-The Showman, he is a tough nut for everyone else but remains an obedient son to his mother. When we consider all of his films, it doesn’t come as surprise as to why Puneeth gravitated towards his role in Anjaniputra.

Anjaniputra, a remake of Tamil film Poojai, is a deeply formulaic hero-worshipping drama that begins to get on the nerves after a certain point. Puneeth’s Veeraj is a prince in exile due to some misunderstanding in his family. His mother sends him away after Veeraj was caught on the wrong foot. The significant problem with formulaic films is that the characters in such films mostly do things that are out of one’s character.

Anjana Devi (Ramya Krishnan) loves her son unconditionally and knows who he really is. The irony is while everyone in the world knows Veeraj is a flawless man and has all of the goodness in him, Anjana finds him guilty even without asking an explanation and throws him out of the house. Being an exemplary human being and son he is, Veeraj obediently accepts his mother’s decision without even batting an eyebrow.

Director A Harsha has remained very loyal to the Tamil film Poojai that Anjaniputra is based on. Hero worshipping scene followed by a punch dialogue and a fight. Song. Comedy. Hero meets the heroine. Song. Heroine falls for the hero. Song. Fight. Family sentiment. Punch dialogue. Repeat the first four routines in the list. The film has no trace of the screenplay as it looks like a bunch of songs and fight scenes woven around a handful of stock characters.

In this film, Ramya Krishnan seems like she is still reeling from the hangover of her Sivagami role. Even a bit of background score by composer Ravi Basrur looks inspired by Baahubali 2. Ravi’s contribution is significant in keeping the audience from drifting away to someplace else mentally. His adrenaline-pumping title track and the background score makes the predictable narration a bit tolerable. Rashmika Mandanna’s Geetha also suffers the same fate of all heroines of Hari’s films. She is a hero’s arm candy. Actor Sadhu Kokila and Chikkanna manage to draw some laughs at times. But, their characters can’t speak without double entendres.

The director has seemingly tried his best to salvage the film from melodrama and tiresome narration that came with the original script. Neither Harsha’s experience in delivering engaging commercial films or Puneeth’s onscreen presence could save Anjaniputra from its own basic sins.

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