Directed by Sachy, Anarkali is a beautiful love story.
Not saying this because of the Prithvi-Priyal deep kiss. Nope.
While the duo were smooching away on screen of course (no decent flowers coming to cover the screen - where have the blasted flowers vanished to, they always popped up on time when I was a kid!!!) I was too busy covering my curious 9 year old son's eyes!
Coming back to the movie, I watched it because it is a classic love story about a young man from the Navy who falls in love with the daughter of his senior officer and he pays the price for one dangerous kiss with his life. His search for the girl he loves forms the crux of this love story.
His final attempt leads him to the beautiful island of Lakshadweep, where he works as a diving instructor. The island is known for being a place of goodness and simple living - where there are actually no crimes and therefore, the prison is closed! People are conservative but they live in harmony and they have an openness to outsiders that is full of warmth and curiosity.
The fascinating culture of the people of these islands that are brought to life through Sujith Vasudev's stunning visuals.
Anarkali would not have be a classic without some excellent performances such as that of Biju Menon as Commodore Zacharia, Suresh Krishna and Miya as Dr Sherin Matthew. We have Kabir Bedi in an important role as Jaffir Imam.
If I had to choose a favorite from these three highly talented actors, I would say it is Suresh Krishna. Suresh Krishna portrays a man who is from the island - his dialogues, his diction and his body language has been brilliant, honed to perfection to suit the character he is portraying and his attention to the minutest details has been consistent throughout the movie.
Despite his on-screen charisma and amazing voice, I did not find Kabir Bedi to be particularly impressive in his role.
Sudev Nair deserves a special mention for his role. He has beautiful eyes, the intense look of a budding hero and acting ability to clinch more roles in Malayalam cinema.
This movie also has director Shyama Prasad acting in a small but significant role. His charismatic presence lends charm to the film's qawwali song. As if all this isn't enough icing on this layered cake, we have the 'Fair & Lovely' ad girl Priyal Gor.
In every scene, Priyal Gor looked ethereal as 'Anarkali.' She seemed to spring to life in the qawwali song. I knew instantly that paired with Prithviraj, she would bring to life an amazing performance, which she definitely did right till the end. A stunning actress with great spunk and depth in performance, I must say.
What is most breathtaking about Anarkali is its cinematography by Sujith Vassudev and music by Vidyasagar.
The stunning visuals bring to life the culture and splendour of Lakshwadweep. From the lighthouse, you can see the beautiful waters lay stretching out, spanning the entire horizon against the startling blue skyline. And it's not just the islands that Sujith Vaassudev has brought to life - the Naval Base, at Wellingdon Island in Kochi as well.
Anarkali is a story of love, longing and passion - it conveys that true love will survive the odds no matter what the distance is. At certain times, the pacing of the movie seemed to go too slow but when it is a love story, every moment has a bitter sweet longing to it.
Here's a movie that you have simply got to watch on the big screen. It's beautiful. It's deep madness. It's love.
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