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Sunday Times STLive By Devan Nair
Down South , 2012-04-08

Flawed film tackles the sensitive issue of cancer

Anbulla Kamal is the Tamil-dubbed version of the Malayalam film Four Friends. It stars Jayaram, Kunchacko Boban, Jayasurya, Meera Jasmine, Lalu Alex, Seema, Sukumarie and Ganesh. Kamalhassan makes a special appearance as himself.

  • ANBULLA KAMAL (6/10)
  • INTRODUCTION

STORY

ROY (Jayaram), Surya (Boban), Aamir (Jayasurya) and Gowri (Jasmine) meet at a highly rated hospital for terminally ill patients. They are all suffering from cancer. The hospital is run by the dedicated Dr Nandhakumar (Ganesh) who gets to know each of his patients personally. A bond of friendship develops slowly between them and they soon decide to go together to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to meet Surya's girlfriend.

At the airport, they meet actor Kamalhassan, who shares his experiences with them about how he reacted to loved ones being afflicted by cancer. Inspired by this meeting, the group arrive in Kuala Lumpur in elated spirits but shock and tragedy overtake them.

SCREENPLAY AND SCRIPT

WRITTEN by Krishna Poojapura, Anbulla Kamal has an engaging story line that had the potential to be a landmark film, but the heavy theme is handled with only cursory attention to detail. The result is a film that fails to connect effectively with the audience.

PERFORMANCES

GIVEN the weaknesses of the script, it is commendable that the film has so many powerful acting performances. Jayaram, in magnificent form, leads the pack with an electrifying portrayal of the multimillionaire Roy. Following closely is an uncharacteristically intense performance by Jasmine as Gowri. Boban and Jayasurya do well, but are outclassed by Jayaram and Jasmine.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

ANIL Nair's cinematography is impressive in the outdoor scenes. He has also attempted some interesting innovations in the hospital scenes.

MUSIC

M JAYACHANDHRAN'S music fails to make a mark either in the songs or the background score.

DIRECTION

SAJI Surendran has relied too heavily on Kamalhassan's presence to drive the film, which lacks the intensity and conviction that its serious theme demands.

OVERALL

DESPITE its flaws, Anbulla Kamal has an eternal massage that most people can relate to.

Last week's questions and answers:

Q: In which film did Vikram make his debut in Tamil films?

A: Yen Kaadhal Kanmani.

Q: Who played the female lead in Rajnikanth's hit film 'Kali'?

A: Seema.

Q: In which film did actor Sivakumar (father of Surya and Karthi) make his acting debut?

A: Kaakkum Karangall.

This week's questions:

1. Which film had Kamalhassan, Jayaram, Jothika and Devayaani in the lead roles?

2. Name the child star who featured in 'Anbulla Rajinikanth'.

3. Which Tamil film from the 1970s was initially banned and then released after an assurance from the distributor that it would only be screened to Indian audiences?