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Annaatthe Movie: Rajinikanth Single-handedly Carries the Film a Weak Plot

The Rajinikanth picture offers all the action and joy, but it suffers from a complex narrative.

Annaatthe Movie: Rajinikanth Single-handedly Carries the Film  a Weak Plot

Only one way to enjoy a Rajinikanth film is to watch it with his adoring fans in Sion (a suburban Mumbai with a dense Tamil population). And it was there, at 6 a.m., that I watched Annaatthe. Crazy Thalaiva followers were hooting and whistling merely to see his name on the screen as the drama unfolded on television, which is a testament to his popularity. But, thanks to a long and patchy film that takes a long time to establish speed, the audience became subdued and even started checking their phones during the course of the picture.

Everything the superstar does has a larger-than-life quality to it. Only Rajinikanth has the panache to shatter box-office records, whether he's flicking his hair or donning sunglasses in his distinctive flair, or walking with his signature swagger. In almost every frame of the film, his charisma remains intact and on full show. Unfortunately, filmmaker Siva fails to provide Rajini's followers with a great Diwali surprise.

In a small village, Kaalaiyan (Rajinikanth) is a nice samaritan whose life revolves on his sister Thanga Meenatchi (Keerthy Suresh). He wants his sister to marry into a good family. His opponent (Prakash Raj) learns a good deed from Kaalaiyan and begs him to arrange his brother's wedding to Thanga Meenatchi. Thanga Meenatchi goes missing just as Kaalaiyan is preparing for the wedding, and the first part concludes with a twist. The rest of the movie is about how Keerthy ends up in Kolkata and why she is in such a financial bind, as well as how Kaaliayan travels there to save his sister.

Annaatthe provides all of the action and fun-filled moments that any die-hard Superstar fan could want. While the star is flawless, filmmaker Siva commits the error of not devoting enough time to the screenplay. One of the film's most serious flaws is its out-of-date narrative. He is unable to create anything out of the storey, which is plagued with holes and convenient twists that can be seen from miles away. The picture lacks a cohesive plot, and in the end, it's just another violent vengeance thriller with a lot of blood and gore.

The movie progresses at a snail's pace for the most part, with a few high-octane stunts thrown in for good measure. The obvious flaws and shallow plot, combined with the 165-minute length, only add to the suffering. Rajinikanth is the star of the show. He is aided by Nayanthara (a.k.a. the lady superstar), who is terrific in a little but crucial part. The remainder of the cast, including Prakash Raj, Keerthy Suresh, Jagapthi Babu, Abhimanyu Singh, and others, is decent.

Annaatthe is aimed squarely at Rajinikanth fans, if only the plot had been compelling enough to complement a terrific performance by the actor who, at the age of 72, still carries the film on his shoulders.

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