Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan presents every sequence with utmost care till the intermission point. You're hooked, you're transported to the world of Mrs. Anamika Sisodiya, the character who continues to haunt everyone in this film, even after she's gone. You eagerly look forward to the twist in the tale.
Alas! What eventually unfolds, though filmed with the same sincerity, lacks conviction. It also fails to surprise you because midway through the journey, you know what the outcome would eventually be. It doesn't keep you guessing. And that's bad news for any thriller!
Frankly, a suspense saga works only if it is backed by a solid climax. In Anamika, the tension gradually builds up till the climax, but the end is so tame, so contrived that you exclaim, 'Gosh! What was that?'
As a storyteller, Ananth almost gets it right he has handled the complex theme like a pro, even extracted convincing performances from his set of actors, has worked hard on maintaining the mood of the film from start to end but he's letdown by the writing in the second hour.
Anamika tells the story of an escort Jia [Minissha Lamba], who gets married to Vikram Sisodiya [Dino Morea] after a 2-day courtship. Before marrying Jia, Vikram confesses that his first wife, Anamika, had died under mysterious circumstances.
Vikram and Jia fly to Vikram's ancestral home in Gajner in Rajasthan. The home, a palace to be precise, is being looked after by Vikram's childhood friend Malini [Koena Mitra]. Now begins the story… Everyone in Gajner seems to be obsessed with Anamika and Jia starts sensing it. In fact, Jia is constantly compared to Anamika. Worse, she even sees Anamika's spirit in the palace.
In a turn of events, Anamika's dead body is discovered and the police [Gulshan Grover, Dino's brother-in-law] re-open the case. All fingers point towards Vikram. Is he the murderer?
Loosely based on the novel 'Rebecca', Anamika is a difficult subject to make. But after the initial hiccups, the director succeeds in involving the viewer in the mysterious world of Anamika. The backdrop of Rajasthan, the isolated palace and the reference to Anamika at every point only deepens the mystery. So far so good!
Almost the entire first half is executed with elan by Ananth, who's only grown as a storyteller over the years. But, as mentioned earlier, the writing [in the second hour] acts as a spoilsport. Without wanting to reveal the climax, let's just say that it's one of those tame and predictable endings that we've visited time and again.
Anu Malik's music is pleasant, but the songs [the ones filmed in Thailand] and the choreography in particular of these tracks don't really gel with the mood of the film. Pushan Kripalani's cinematography is alright. The stunning locales of Rajasthan, the production design [Gayatri Marwah] as also the styling is commendable. Aadesh Shrivastava's background score deserves special mention. It's excellent.
Dino Morea surprises you with a controlled performance. Also, he carries the regal look convincingly. Minissha Lamba is a revelation. She's getting better and better with every release. Koena Mitra is first-rate. Gulshan Grover is effective. Achint Kaur is highly competent. Vishwajeet Pradhan and Jatin Grewal are okay.
On the whole, Anamika is letdown by its writing in the second hour. At the box-office, the not-too-interesting face-value coupled with the ongoing cricket mania will only go against it.