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Masand's Verdict: Anamika is a lousy thriller

May 02, 2008 11:48 PM IST India India
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Cast: Dino Morea, Koena Mitra, Minnisha Lamba
Director: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan

Anamika is the worst kind of thriller film you're likely to see; it's the kind of thriller whose suspense you can predict the moment the film's plot and characters have been set up.

Twenty minutes in and you know exactly who is hiding what secret. You can imagine then, how difficult it is sitting through the remaining two hours of this lousy film!

Faithful for the most part to the premise and structure of Hitchcock's Rebecca, of which this film is a shameless rip-off, Anamika revolves around the newly married wife of a Rajasthani royal whose first wife was killed under mysterious circumstances not so long ago.

Constantly under pressure to step into the shoes of the first wife, and haunted by other people's recollections of her predecessor, our protagonist finds her own marriage under threat as she becomes obsessed with unraveling the mystery behind the first wife's death.

Directed rather indifferently by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, the film flounders when it digresses from the original plot of Rebecca and comes up with its own ridiculous climatic twist. Indeed that twist is so obvious, a seven-year-old could sniff it from a distance.

Often even average films work because the characters drive the plot. Things turn out the way they do because the characters are who they are. Anamika might not have turned out this bad had the film's cast performed their roles convincingly.

But Dino Morea simply doesn't have the maturity required to play the husband who everyone's suspicious of. He mutters his dialogues and has a vacant expression throughout, at best coming off as a model for those fancy designer suits he wears in the film.

Minnisha Lamba doesn't do too badly as the new bride forced to confront those ugly truths, but saddled with such a one-dimensional role, there's little she can achieve here.

But it's Koena Mitra, cast as the housekeeper, who can't stop glossing over the first wife's virtues, who is the film's final fatal flaw. To put it politely, acting is not her vocation.

Slower than a sixty-year-old on crutches, the screenplay of Anamika plods along laboriously, further slackened by Anu Malik's ridiculous score, which includes such eardrum-splitting songs as Shagufta Dil and Tera Saath, both recorded in his own distinct voice. If you're looking for a tight, razor-sharp, edge-of-the-seat thriller, you've got the wrong film.

I'm going with one out of five for director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan's Anamika, if you do decide to go see it, take a pillow to rest your head when you doze off midway.

Rating: 1 / 3 (Poor)

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