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Cast: Prithviraj, Kavya Madhavan, Manoj K Jayan, Riya Sen, Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon, Cochin Haneefa, Nedumudi Venu, Revathy, Kalasala Babu
Language: Malayalam
Banner: Sree Bhadra Pictures Pvt Ltd
Director: Santhosh Sivan
Producer: Maniyanpilla Raju
Camera: Santhosh Sivan
Story: Sunil Parameswaran
Screenplay: Sunil Parameswaran
Dialogue: Sunil Parameswaran
Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery
Music: M.G.Radhakrishnan
Distribution: Vishakha Release
Year: 2005

Santhosh Sivan’s Ananthabhadram is a supernatural thriller that provides enough chills and thrills, goosebumps and top-of-the-line special effects rarely seen in Malayalam cinema. This fantasy tale is a faithful adaptation of Sunil Parameswaran’s story by the same name.

It is Sivan’s foray into Malayalam as a director and is a sincere attempt to break away from the routine commercial potboilers with larger-than-life heroes and clichéd stories. The major highlights of Ananthabhadram are the performance from its lead characters especially Manoj.K.Jayan, Kalabhavan Mani and Pritviraj along with the music of M.G.Radhakrishnan ably supported by the background score and re-recording of Kannan.

Sivan and his script writer should be applauded for making a film rooted in Kerala milieu, its rich traditions, culture and folklore. Added to that, the authentic sets by art director Sunil an assistant of Sabu Cyril and the amazing camerawork of Sivan himself are added attractions of this fairy tale.

Ananthan (Prithviraj) comes from US, to Sivapuram, his ancestral house to fulfill his mother’s (Revathy) last wish of lighting the lamps at the sivakavu, their family temple. Digambaran (Manoj K.Jayan) is a black magician who practices witchcraft and he wants to procure the nagamickyam to become more powerful and for that he will do anything!

The only person who has the guts to oppose the evil sorcerer Digambaran is Chemban (Kalabhavan Mani) a kalari expert. But Digambaran blinds him and uses his sister Bhama (Riya Sen) for his evil deeds and tries to possess her through transmigration. How Ananthan and his cousin and lover Bhadra (Kavya) put an end to Digambaran’s evil dreams form the rest of this chilling thriller. The film ends on a chilling note with the possibility of a sequel!

It is Manoj.K.Jayan as Digambaran who steals the show with his expressive eyes and menacing body language. Kalabhavan Mani, Prithviraj, Kavya and Riya Sen are all good. Technically the film is of top class quality with all the songs been artistically shot with Pinakkamano…. and Malamalaluya… being the pick of the album. On the downside the film is a bit dragging towards the end and too classy for an ordinary viewer.

On the whole, Ananthabhadram is a fantasy folklore and perfect for a night out at movies.

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