A still from ‘Enkilum Chandrike’ Photo credit: Special Arrangements
The title of the film may have a woman’s name, but Anklam Chandrek is about men; Some, eager to get married, and others, trying their best to thwart a friend’s marriage plans. It is quite clear that debutant director Adityan Chandrasekhar is not a creator with lofty goals, but a man who set out to make an average, light-hearted entertainer. But, when you aim for average, you’re bound to end up somewhere below par, and that’s what happens. Anklam Chandrek.
Abhi (Saiju Krupp), Karan (Basil Joseph) and Amal (Asun Vijayan) are in a state of shock after hearing about the marriage of their fellow club member Babysh (Abhiram Radhakrishnan). All of them are worried about the secret their friend is keeping around the wedding, prompting them to dig deeper. When they learn about the identity of the bride Chandrika (Niranjana Anup), they decide to do everything in their power to stop the wedding. Much confusion ensues as Pavitharan (Sooraj Venjaramudhu), the most senior member of the club, is also working for the same purpose with the intention of marrying Chandrika’s sister Sujeena (Tanvi Ram).
Anklam Chandrik (Malayalam)
Director: Adityan Chandrasekhar
The cast: Suraj Venjaramudhu, Basil Joseph, Seju Krupp, Tanvi Ram, Niranjana Anup, Aswan Vijayan
Run time: 126 minutes
Adityan Chandrasekhar is known for creating several web series with fresh themes, particularly successful ones Average umbilicus. However, I Anklam Chandrak, Scripted by him along with Arjun Narayanan, he is committed to telling an old-fashioned story in an old-fashioned way. There are also the usual tropes in a film like this. Everything from a fictional village to an arts club where the main characters gather, and not to mention, friendly and kind villagers. It is a return to the atmosphere that has been central to Malayalam films since the 1990s.
The makers have toyed with a thin story, milking all the possible jokes out of this scenario. But unfortunately for them, only some of them work. Despite having such a star-studded cast full of proven actors, the lack of material to support their efforts is palpable. Even Basil Joseph, who has hardly underperformed, struggles with the humor attempted here. His portrayal of an aspiring filmmaker — who gets inspired all around and messes up when he tries it himself — could have been much more if the jokes actually worked.
While it was a breath of fresh air to see Sooraj Venjaramudhu in a light comedy role after so many serious roles, he doesn’t really have much to offer. On the other hand newcomer Aswan Vijayan makes an impression with some of his gags. But, the two female characters sidestep what (eventually) becomes a story of male bonding and jealousy.
Enkilum Chandrike is currently playing in theatres.