Directors: Shyju Khalid, Anwar Rasheed, Amal Neerad, Aashiq Abu and Sameer Thahir
Anchu Sundarikal (Five Beauties) has five different stories by five different directors, five versatile protagonists, but based on one theme love. It defies the common perception that many cooks spoil the broth. Each tale has different entities, however what lies beneath is the vagaries of life in which women play the vital part. This omnibus film tries to unravel the varied facets of women.
Shyju Khalid’s Sethulakshmi is innocence personified. She finds happiness in sticking wedding announcement photographs from newspapers on her notebook. This schoolgoing girl’s curiosity to get her and classmate’s photo taken, changes her life forever; she is exposed to the cruel realities of the world where wicked minds are on the prowl to tear away the lives of girl children. Build on a short story of famous writer M Mukundan, this story of bleeding innocence is shockingly brutal and will haunt the viewer. Anikha depicts the vulnerable childhood with brilliance and towers way above the rest of women characters in the movie.
Kullante Bharya (Midget’s Wife) is a story of nameless woman who resembles the eternal beauty of love and her man, a midget. The nameless woman (Reenu Mathews) becomes the talk of the colony as people start to weave many sob stories about her, presuming that the difference in height might create distance between the souls too.
The twist comes with her unexpected death. Amal Neerad’s movie has a narrow resemblance to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. A photographer (Dulqar Salman), who is confined to wheelchair, sees the lives in his neighbourhood. This story stands apart with its brilliant craft.
Ami is a real test for a real-estate dealer of his faithfulness. He travels in the night to Kochi to strike a golden deal. His wife gives him the company through frequent messages and phone calls during his journey to keep him awake. She asks her seemingly silly questions and finally he finds the ultimate answer. Fahad Fasil’s presence and the philosophical touch give Anwar Rasheed’s Amy a slight edge over others.
Aashiq Abu’s Gowri (Kavya Madhavan) wants to solve the perplexing puzzle her husband Jonathan (Biju Menon) left for her to solve. The couple, after an inter-religious marriage, lives in a secluded hill station. The disappearance of her husband leaves her puzzled. The movie moves very slowly towards a tragic climax, but leaves little impact on the minds of the viewers.
Isha (Isha Thalwar) is a new age girl and she is on a mission on New Year night. The protagonist is a burglar, so the villain. Two thieves meet at a palatial home and they have only one aim.
The one outperforms the other, but they find a common thread. Samir Thahir’s movie, with a weak story line and superfluous narration, appears out of place.
The Verdict: Buy the ticket to watch the first tale (Sethulakshmi)