Banner: Marikkar Films
Cast: Mammootty, Lakshmi Rai, Gopika, Ragasiya, Harishree Ashokan, Suraj Venjaaramoodu, Kunjan, Manianpillai Raju, Siddhique, Mohan Jose, Anil Murali, Urmila Unni, Shivani
Direction: Anwar Rasheed
Music: Rahul Raj
A sense of déjà vu hits you while watching Annan Thambi. The director Anwar Rasheed is trying to make another Rajamanickam with Mammootty doing a dual role as twin brothers.
Annan Thambi is a laugh-a-minute comic escapade that would help boost your spirits and stretch those lips into a wide grin. A delightful blend of high and low humor pulled off splendidly with style, the film is a rib tickler that aims right at your funny bone.
Appu and Achu (Mammootty) are twin siblings who were born with swords drawn at each other and as years pass by, the no-holds-barred bullfight between the two goes on. A highly voluble Appu majestically rules over the Pollachi Market and is wooed by Thenmozhi (Laxmi Rai), niece to his erstwhile-associate-turned-foe Dharmarajan (Rajan P Dev). A dumb Achu meanwhile relives the Puranas in his dad’s drama troupe while lamenting a lack of issues even after five years of matrimony with Lekshmi (Gopika).
Anwar Rasheed’s Annan Thambi is a double dhamaka with nothing subtle or unique about it, and yet it’s a movie that’s fashioned to please. You do stand the risk of busting a gut on a couple of occasions despite the film unraveling a tale that’s as old as mankind itself. Oh yes, we can see it all coming on time and right in place and we might even rail against it at times; it’s nevertheless a charming film made bright by a few droll souls who spread loads of joy and cheer all around.
It’s a mixed bag of hilarity in Annan Thambi; there are several of those slightly awkward moments and quite a few of the stomach ripping, laugh ‘n roar kind. Brimming with unexpected and often uproarious events, the film strikes just the right balance between the salt and the sugar. Benny’s might as a writer lies in the participative nature of his humor. He’s quite in the swing of things here and accustomed to the beat of brotherhood and to the bonds that bound us all. He’s sharp too and dabbles with a distinctive tone, to provide an appealing finish to his characters.
Rarely has there been an instance of an actor mimicking himself on screen. And when Mammootty does the apparently unthinkable, he drives an audience into a frenzied rapture with his highly infectious comic energy. With a free reign to be insane, the actor is a delight to watch in his dumb act, rediscovering the amusing facets of his personality time and again. The fun contingent with an immensely jovial Suraj Venjarammoodu at its helm, ably propped up by Harisree Ashokan and Salim Kumar stirs up a highly flavorsome concoction, with the right doses of wit, slapstick and gags. Among the lady leads, Gopika puts up a remarkable feat while Laxmi Rai is around with the right dosage of oomph.
Annan Thambi teems with obvious humor and stereotyped characters, and is nonetheless agreeable, mostly because the movie does not pretend to be anything it isn’t. It might not be a refined comedy, but it’s positively enjoyable since within its formulaic precincts, the humor works unusually well continually. It’s a comedy that has likeable, earthy characters as well as consistent laughs which could have done infinitely better with a robust setting as well.
Which is why, stripped down to its core, I would brand Annan Thambi as a Rajamanikyam reincarnate in a dual avatar. And incredible filmmaking this certainly is not, but if you’re on the lookout for an entertaining, undemanding couple of hours, you could for sure give Annan Thambi a try.