Anugraheethan Antony begins with the background sounds of vehicles in a commotion. And as you could easily predict, something is not right. As the saying goes, death is only the beginning and so starts the journey of our protagonist here. Often, starting with the death of a prime character demands two major factors.
One, that it should make audience look forward for the cause of death and secondly it should be engrossing enough till the end. Prince Joy, in his directorial debut with Anugraheethan Antony, manages to join the dotted lines with a love story as it's prime focus.
The 1992 Malayalam film Aayushkalam starring Jayaram and Mukesh had a somewhat similar premise. Having said that, while Aayushkalam had more thrilling elements, Anugraheethan Antony can be confined as an easy, breezy, fun watch.
Antony (Sunny Wayne) is the only son to his father Varghese Mash played by Siddique. After Antony's mother (late actress Kalpana) passes away, his father made sure to pamper him and get him whatever he wanted in life.
Naturally, he turns into a spoilt son.
Varghese's friend, thus, asks him to find a companion. So he brings home two pet dogs.
Antony do not approve of the dogs whom Siddique considers as dear as his son. Antony leaves no chances to trouble them. In the meantime, Antony meets Sanjana Madhavan (Gouri) and falls for her.
But unlike the title, Antony isn't so Anugraheethan (blessed). In what way he gets blessings from the above is the crux of the movie.
Many moments in Anugraheethan Antony are delightful. The writers chose to treat 'death' in a lighter note.
For instance, it's amusing to see actors Sunny Wayne, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Baiju engage in serious conversations regarding death and after life while a fun-filled music plays in the background.
Not that it spoils the situation, rather it creates a different mood altogether.
The dialogues set the tone for a simple, realistic and funny watch but at the same time picks up fantasy elements too.
Since the plot revolves around romance, it could have been better to show the intensity and depth of love of the lead characters had for each other.
Though the tail--end tries to portray the feelings to some extend, it could have been explored more. The romance clearly stayed on the obvious surface, a cliché in other words.
But the novelty came as the romance was linked with pets, which seemed to be an interesting aspect. After the initial tense moments, the film treads into a predictable path.
The performances by the star cast is unarguably the biggest strength of the movie. Sunny Wayne carries the film solely on his shoulders. He got two shades to his character, which he takes up effortlessly. Gouri managed her role with maturity and doesn't go over the top. Siddique, Muthumani, Alexander Prashant, Jaffer Idukki, Indrans do justice to their roles. It's the cameo appearances of a few stars that changes the flow of the narrative.
Keep apart the serious viewing factor, Anugraheethan Antony is treat for families during the Easter-Vishu season. Do watch it if you love romance and music. With soulful music and some neat performances, Anugraheethan Antony is an entertaining movie experience.