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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ananthabhadram' is a supernatural thriller that could chill your spines
and raise your hair. It has lots of special effects that are rarely
seen in Malayalam films. The film is an adaptation of Sunil
Parameswaran's story with the same title.
Ananthan (Pitiviraj) comes to his ancestral hometown Sivapuram from the US. He returns to his village just to fulfill his mother's (Revathy) last wish of lighting the lamps at their family temple sivakavu (A small Siva temple, strange that they show only snake idols there in the movie). Digambaran (Manoj K.Jayan) is a black magician and practices witchcraft. He is ready to do anything to get the nagamanickiam (A stone believed to have supernatural powers, protected by snakes)to become more powerful.
No one dares to challenge this evil man except Chemban (Kalabhavan Mani), a native martial arts expert. This invites the wrath of the black magician. He blinds him and uses his sister Bhama (Riya Sen) to carry out evil deeds and also tries to possess her. The rest of the film is on how Ananthan, his cousin and lover Bhadra (Kavya) dismantle the evil plans of Digambaran.
Once a while, in movies, you will see something which could be termed
as wonderful idea. The song Pinakkamano in Ananthabadram is one
beautiful visualization of a melodious song. The paintings of Raja Ravi
Varma were bought to life by Kavya Madhavan and Prithviraj and filmed
by Santosh Sivan making his debut in Malayalam films as a director.
The movie starts when Ananthan (Prithviraj) arrives at Sivapuram, with his deceased mother's ashes. His mother wanted him to light the traditional lamps at his ancestral Kaavu. Ananthan grew up in San Fransisco, hence is alien to the culture and customs of his native village. He meets a host of endearing characters, including Bhadra (Kavya Madhavan) at Sivapuram. Digambaran (Manoj K Jayan) is not a friendly character and has serious issues with Madambis, that too issues spanning generations. He's in pursuit of legendary Nagamanickyam and is resolute and ruthless in his quest.
Digambaran has an enemy in Chemban (Kalabhavan Mani) who was blinded by Digambaran. Digambaran uses Chemban's sister Bhama (Riya Sen) in his black magic rituals. He also has the ability to do Parakayapravesam (process of transferring one's soul into another body) and to attain Manickyam, Digambaran needs the help of a girl from Madambi family. The Madambi family wants to anoint a girl from the family as Devi (Goddess) and a previous attempt at that ended in a tragedy with Bhadra's sister disappearance. Bhadra's sister is dead and is kept embalmed by Digambaran.
Madambi family has plans for Bhadra for they wanted her to be Devi. The inevitable happens and Bhadra falls in love with Ananthan. Digambaran does not like both the alternatives, either Bhadra becoming Devi or Bhadra marrying Ananthan. He gets into the final act and people start dying like flies...
Read rest of the review at: http://varnachitram.com/2006/02/23/review-ananthabadram
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