Anek Review: Anubhav Sinha Highlights Critical Issues in a Film That Should’ve Been a Series

Anek, written and directed by Anubhav Sinha, is now out in theatres, with a screenplay by Anubhav, Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani. The film stars Ayushmann Khurrana as an undercover cop Aman (Joshua), Andrea Kevichüsa as Aida, Loitongbam Dorendra as Tiger Sanga, and Mipham Otsal as Wangnao. The rest of the cast includes J.D. Chakravarthy, Manoj Pahwa, and Kumud Mishra.

The cinematography is by Ewan Mulligan, the background score by Mangesh Dhakde and the songs by Anurag Saikia. Anek is produced by T-Series and Benaras Mediaworks. The runtime of the film is 147 minutes.

Anek Review: Plot Summary

“How to define an Indian?” – it’s a small question which is not easy to answer. In Anek, Sinha is not answering this question because there’s no definitive answer. The director who showed us the heartbreaking reality of our country through Article 15 has now presented us with another intense but complicated story.

The story of Anek is set on the Northeastern side of India. An undercover cop named Aman resides there with a false identity as Joshua. Aman’s mission is to bring peace between Northeastern states’ powerful man Tiger Sanga and the Indian Government. Sanga wants to separate the Northeastern states from India. He wants to form a separate country because of the discrimination and racism his people have faced for decades.

On the other hand, the Indian Government wants “peace” and would do anything to attain that. The story also focuses on Aido, an ambitious boxer who is baffled as to why people don’t consider the Northeast Indian people as Indians. Aido and many like her are subjected to racial remarks. Everybody is on a mission to achieve/prove something. But are these fights worth fighting only to prove if someone is an Indian or not?

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Anek Trailer Still 1

Anek Review: Discussion

The first half of Anek has several subplots, and the pace is slow. Director Anubhav Sinha uses the entire first half to establish the basic premise of every important character. In the second half, we see the characters in action to achieve their mission. One thing that remains consistent throughout is the not-so-subtle reminder of the indifferent treatment of the Northeast Indians.

With films like Mulk, Article 15 and Thappad, Sinha has given us matters to sit and think through, discuss or debate. He probably wants us to have conversations about problems we know happen around us but are rarely spoken of. The depiction or the dialogues about peace, war, people’s voice, Indian-ness, language and many such topics serve as a reality check to us. Some hilarious scenes call out the irony and hypocrisy in the country.

Anek’s runtime is 147 minutes, and for some, it might be a long film. However, considering the various problems Anubhav Sinha presented, the conclusion seemed less impactful or rushed. The director has highlighted many critical and pertinent issues of racism, intolerance, politics, war, and peace. But these 147 minutes aren’t enough to cover so many topics. Hence, I believe the film would’ve appeared more concrete if it were a 6-episode series.

Another reason I believe the movie should’ve been the series is because of the characters Tiger Sanga, Abrar, Aido, and Wangnao, who had a lot to say and do in the film. The romantic angle didn’t cause any connection with the story. In terms of performance, actors Ayushmann Khurrana, Andrea Kevichüsa, Manoj Pahwa, and Mipham Otsal have done a brilliant. The use of traditional songs from the Northeastern states was an apt decision.

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Anek Review: Final Thoughts

Overall, Anubhav Sinha’s attempt to show the unfairness towards the Northeastern people of India is commendable. Many people admire the beauty of these states. When will the people in those states receive the same admiration and better treatment? But it would’ve been more effective had it been a series.

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Anek Review: Anubhav Sinha presents yet another story that highlights the painful reality of the nation.

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Anek Review: Anubhav Sinha Highlights Critical Issues in a Film That Should've Been a SeriesAnek Review: Anubhav Sinha presents yet another story that highlights the painful reality of the nation.