Anbarivu (2022) Review: A Cringe-Fest With Wasted Potential

Anbarivu is a Tamil drama movie, now steaming on Disney+ Hotstar. With a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, Anbarivu is directed by Aswin Raam. The film has big names like Napolean, Vidharth, Kashmira, Sangitha Krish, Saikumar, Urvashi, and Dheena in the lead and supporting roles. The synopsis of the movie on Disney+Hotstar reads, “Stoic and kind-hearted Anbu decides to switch places with his street-smart rowdy twin, Arivu, to unite their estranged families. And a frenzy begins!”. The audio of the film is originally in Tamil, though it is dubbed in multiple Indian languages.

-Anbarivu review contains mild spoilers-

Aandiyaapuram and Aarsapuram are two neighbouring villages that make up a legislative constituency. Muniyandi (Napoleon) is the undeclared leader of this constituency, hailing from Arasapuram who looks down on the people of Aandiyaapuram. Pasupathi (Vidaarth) is a lowly servant from Aandiyaapuram who works for Muniyandi but dreams to be a minister. However, it is his friend Prakasam (Saikumar), who in spite of also coming from Aandiyaapuram, manages to marry Muniyandi’s daughter Lakshmi (Asha Sharath) and become closer to Muniyandi. Prakasam hatches a plan to separate them and then succeeds. However, as Prakasam leaves, he also takes one of his two sons with him.

Anbarivu successfully tiptoes around but does not explicitly mention the discussions and the implications of the different castes of people hailing from Aandiyaapuram and Aarsapuram, which led to the feud in the first place. Muniyandi is shown as the hot-headed alpha male who tries to win some brownie points for himself by being kind enough to let her daughter marry someone of her choice. HipHop Tamizha does a commendable job of undertaking dual roles as Pasupathi and Lakshmi’s twin sons Arivu and Anbu. The biggest disappointment of the film is its script which honestly makes the film a cringe-fest.


The plot of the film Anbarivu is quite predictable. The dynamic between two estranged twins has not been developed quite well. It works with the same idea that estranged siblings must hate each other, but then in a turn of events learn to respect and love each other. From Hollywood to Kollywood, the events and the outcomes remain quite similar.  Arivu and Anbu’s engage in various “fun” trials to bring their family together, which supplies the comic element to the film. Vidarth’s expertise is used to soften the role of the stern grandfather and push some of us to even empathize with him. 

The film Anbarivu is quite problematic when it comes to the issue of caste. Muniyandi, Anbu, and Lakshmi are not held accountable throughout the film for their very obvious casteist ways and gaze. It is shunned altogether because Anbarivu is supposed to be a fun family film. The film’s execution lacks at certain parts too. The strongest point of the film, which is the cast is not used to its full potential. Asha Sharath, Sai Kumar and Napolean who shine throughout the film are not given the screen time that they deserve. 

Summing up, Anbarivu


Anbarivu had all the elements of a promising film: a tried and tested premise, a wonderful set of actors, an excellent location and much more. To our disappointment, it fails to utilize all of them. The characters, by the end of the film, turn almost ridiculous and feels like caricatures. However, it is the cast and their tremendous acting skills that make Anbarivu watchable. If you can ignore the problematic undertone of the film, the film at times might turn out to be quite pleasant.

Anbarivu is now streaming on Disney+Hotstar.

Also Read : Kaun Banegi Shikharwati Review: Naseeruddin Shah Starrer Is Funny, Dramatic and Charismatic.

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Anbarivu had all the elements of a promising film: a tried and tested premise, a wonderful set of actors, an excellent location and much more. To our disappointment, it fails to utilize all of them.


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