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Annapoorni movie review: Nayanthara-Nilesh Krishnaa serve a bland film

Annapoorni movie review: Nayanthara-Nilesh Krishnaa serve a bland film

Annapoorni, a film about an aspiring chef with an incredible sense of taste and smell, doesn’t feature a single scene that makes one crave food. That could be because the focus is too much on Annapoorni (Nayanthara) and not her subject of obsession or the script. Amidst testosterone-heavy films that leave no room for any other, Nayanthara’s ascent as a ‘Lady Superstar’ with her own market is commendable, but it becomes a wasted opportunity when the actress also aims to ape ‘heroism’. Annapporni doesn’t feature Nayanthara sending off goons up in the air, but it does exalt its heroine and pitches her as the symbol of empowerment. Like our heroes, she gets an exaggerated and comical villain, who goes, ‘I love explosives,’ while playing a violent video game. These are the tropes that make our heroes redundant. Are these now prerequisites for ‘Lady Superstars’ too?

Director Nilesh Krishnaa has set his film in Sri Rangam, Trichirapalli, a temple town that’s called Bhoologa Vaikuntam (Heaven on Earth). Annapoorni is the daughter of the head cook in Sri Ranganathar Temple. Her father forsakes a promising career in Railways as an engineer because he considers serving Rangan (God) to be noble. Undoubtedly, he is great at making delicacies for the lord. Annapoorni grows up taking a lot of pride in her father and his cooking skills. On top of that, she has an enhanced sense of taste and smell that she can identify all the ingredients of a complex dish with her eyes blindfolded. All this makes her want to be a chef. While her orthodox Hindu family wants her to pursue an MBA, with some nudging from her childhood friend Farhan (Jai), she joins a catering course and pretends to her family that she is a management student at the same institution. Eventually, the truth comes out and she has to run away from Sri Rangam, calling off a forced wedding to pursue her ambition.

Nilesh Krishnaa’s intention to bring in the flavour of the landscape is recognisable, but Nayanthara seems to have not stepped foot in the place for him to achieve it. With greenscreens and shoddy CGI, the director manages to put his actress in the location, which is jarring and disappointing. Does being a star mean you become too big to move around for your scripts? Thus, we hardly get any flavour of the place when the whole intention was to provide it. As soon as the film moves to Chennai, where Annapoorni fights hard to become a corporate chef despite troubles from the archetypical villain of yore (Karthik Kumar), things become more plastic and bland for a film about chefs and recipes.


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