The story begins with a group of people trying to create havoc in Sankranti Season in Hyderabad, and succeed in it. Next, terrorists plan to blast Taj Mahal and Milan Damji is named as master mind behind the plan. For a moment, you will start thinking; the movie would be about terrorist’s warfare.
Nine months later, NRI Anaamika (Nayantara), lands at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in search of her husband, Ajay Sastri (Harshavardhan Rane) who has been missing. She reaches Samsheergunj Police Station where she meets with two inspectors, one of them being Saradhi (Vaibhav). The inspectors are courteous but not very helpful. The instant assumption to her story was that her husband had knocked her up and fled.
Saradhi was a bit baffled with her condition and decides to help her by driving her around, first. All the clues to the case are being eliminated one by one. The Anti Terrorist Squad is involved and the hunt is on. Both Anaamika and Saradhi are warned by the Squad to stay away but how long can they continue their search? Why was Ajay Sastri missing? Whats his real identity? Who was Milan Damji? Will Ajay be found? These are few questions that the film will answer you.
Nayantara delivers yet another very good performance and provides solid punch to the character. Vaibhav is fine with his role supporting Nayantara whenever necessary. Mayanand Thakur playing an agent, meeting sales targets, carries gun with silencer in his leather bag. The innocent looking bongman with a nerdy look is enough to fool you as one of the crowd. His character failed to surprise us as similar character sketch was used in Abbayi Class Ammayi Mass. Thagubothu Ramesh character is small and Provides a bit fun with his dialect. Tamil actor Pasupathy essays his brief part with sincerity and does not get overshadowed. Senior Naresh looks okay in his extended cameo as Home Minister.
With a good story by Sujoy Ghosh (a sort of inspired from A Mighty Heart (2007), Taking Lives (2004) and Charade (1963)), Anaamika moves at a slow pace till first half but picks up its pace later on. Anaamika is a celebration of muliebrity, which is best portrayed in the end scene specifically when Nayantara is wearing red and black saree during the Durga puja. That’s when final twist takes place. Director Sekhar Kammula just took the soul of Kahaani and added his twist to the tale. Though he succeeded in providing something different to Kahaani’s tale, but failed in providing a engaging narration to this thriller. Director should have worked on providing few hints to the story; how did Nayantara get to know about Milan Damji – When Anti Terrorist Squad was looking for Milan from past 9 months why would he still be there – What Happened to Home Minister in the end – What Happens to the Hard Disk in end / Whats on the Hard Disk – Terrorists handling the evidence without any care – Whats relation between Home Minister and MIland – Why did Shamsheergunj Cop gets murdered etc. Adding sexual harassment point in the first half brings down the pace and never really supports the theme of the film. The old city has shown very well to the depth. Vijay C Kumar camera captures the stark and colorful Old City. While Art designer Chinna effectively brings out the mysterious nature of Old city with the overwhelming sets. Music by M M Keeravani is soothing, Background Score is apt. The movie originally around 130 minutes long, was too long for this kind of story. Editor Marthand K Venkatesh could have cut short the film by 15 odd minutes in the first half. Production Values of the film are grand.
When a successful movie is remade, the thing to be looked at is not only the successful points. But circumstance and relevance are also important. When Kahaani turned out to be a massive hit, one of the major reasons for it was believability, sympathy and the realistic approach with engaging narration made viewers connect to the film instantly. Of course taut script and the superb acting of Vidya Balan also helped. But when Kahaani is remade into Telugu as Anaamika, the nativity and relevance was hardly convincing. Sekhar Kammula has taken the cover not the content. On the whole, Anaamika is a bona fide attempt to create a women centric thriller. However, in an attempt to bring thrills and emotions together, the result is a slapdash concoction, which unintentionally dilutes the amalgamation of the two, akin to a whimsical thrill ride.