Foundry: Ayushmann Khurrana, Andrea Kevichusa, Shovon Jaman, Kumud Mishra
Northeast India has been rarely and poorly portrayed in mainstream Bollywood films so far. And Anubhav Sinha has chosen precisely this overlooked backdrop of northeast India to present his latest conscience-stinging drama, Anek.
Anubhav Sinha, the director of Anek, tried to present peace as a subjective assumption – peace for one does not necessarily mean peace for all.
Joshua, an undercover agent, is tasked with bringing about a circumstance that would compel rebel leader Tiger Sangha to join the long-awaited peace treaty-brokering deal. The story continues with the entry of Aido, a boxer whose dream is to be placed in the Indian national team. Will Joshua succeed in his task, and will peace finally triumph over all else?
Conclusion: Anek is set in northeast India with a layered narrative to show how to negotiate peace with a separatist group. Ayushmann Khurrana as Aman portrays the role of a secret policeman who eventually discovers that not everything can be black and white as he thought. As the film progresses, Aman’s character finds herself struggling to decipher the true meaning of peace.
In this film, the director tried to raise the issues of discrimination and alienation of the North East vis-à-vis “mainland” India. Through conversational dialogues and performances, Anek draws subtle parallels between the northeast and the rest of India.
Anek is undoubtedly another conscious creation of Anubhav Sinha that forces you to think about justice and equality based on religion, gender, castle and now region. Although the subject matter is exciting and unique, the depiction could have been done with more subtlety. On the other hand, the film is a bit slow in the first half but relatively fast in the second half. Due to a weak narrative, the film leaves the audience with so many troubling questions.
Final note: Can you identify all the North Eastern states on the Indian map if their names have been removed? Anek will make you think!
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