Anasuya is the second of two movies in December - the first being Mantra
- that makes you want to cross your fingers and pray pray pray pray pray that these people are the future of Tollywood.
A lot of people might say a lot about Hollywood influences. Well, who else would we want Ravi Babu, Tulasiram and their ilk to be influenced by - all those Tollywood "biggie" directors who we won't name here and who think a great movie is all about the hero's intro scene, the choice of fight master, the amount of "ladies sentiment", the number of times the camera will be frozen when the hero is spread-eagled in mid-air, the number of references to the hero's father and grandfather, and the number of "mass" songs?
Anasuya is perhaps not the most innovative of thrillers, certainly not for someone who watches the English movie channels. However, it marks a pleasant digression from routine Tollywood fare - it has a script packed with IQ almost all through, it has no meaningless song and dance, it looks slick, it has a powerful role for the woman, and it doesn't need you to suspend your powers of reasoning anywhere.
Anasuya (Bhumika) is a brilliant journalist with a flair for investigative reporting, and plenty of spunk and feistiness. When a serial killer strikes town, she is chosen by her channel to investigate what the cops are hiding and what is going on. Unfortunately, that puts her in direct confrontation with the killer himself. And he is very smart and very psychotic.
The best way to enjoy Anasuya is to want to enjoy it. All except the best horror/thriller/suspense movie directors tend to cheat here and there - things that have no explanations, and were inserted just to scare you or for effect - and Ravi Babu, the writer cum director of this one, is no exception. For example, that whole sequence where the killer is calling Anasuya from her own mobile, from the next room - just why did he have to wait so long? However, if you do not sit and the end and try to connect the dots all over again, this is a fine film.
Bhumika is a seasoned actress, and the role is within her range. Nobody else but the killer (Ravi Babu) himself has much to do, but they all do a good job. Some parts engage you with feverish urgency, some parts drag (the flashback and the climax, for instance), and some parts are downright preposterous (Bhumika's interview), but you're in general never complaining about your fate.
Adroit camerawork and a compelling background score keep the experience on the right side of relish. The second half turns relatively drab with not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat - like we said, the flashback and climax are a tad too long - but the presentation bails out the experience.
Anasuya is a good choice for an easy two hours of slickly presented thrills, and is one of the few options you have in Telugu.