Antony Movie Review, Film Companion

Director: Kuttii Kumar

Cast: Lal, Rekha, Nishanth, Vaishali

Language: Tamil

Remember the Ryan Reynolds thriller Buried, where the actor found himself in a coffin, six feet under, and had to think about how he got boxed into this situation and how he can get out? Antony plays as though the writer-director Kuttii Kumar felt this premise is more suited to a music video. No, really. Stylised slo-mo and mood shots abound — say, a cut from Antony (Nishanth) struggling in his version of a coffin, his car, to his mother (Rekha) at home, silhouetted against the setting sun. And given that the story has a parallel track of Antony’s father, George (Lal), trying to get at the whereabouts of his son, the director barely cares about this investigation. He drowns out the dialogues in rock music, as though the questions being asked and the details being gleaned by George don’t matter at all. The wannabe-slickness is unbearable.

Without a sense of this investigation, without any kind of momentum being built, the film keeps cutting between Antony in the car and George on the road — with neither track amounting to anything. There’s some nice thinking in the red herrings around the villain and the way he fits in, but the narrative is so painfully OTT that it all goes to waste. Add to this a few songs, a needless heroine (Vaishali), some very hammy performances, and plenty of eye-rolling mind-voice lines (“Mannukulla podhachu vechirukan nu theriyudhu. Aana yevan nu theriyala!”) — and you have a film that lives up to its marketing tagline: “India’s first claustrophobic thriller.” Only, the claustrophobia is really felt by the audience locked up in the theatre.

Rating:   star

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