Prasobh Vijayan who made a noticeable debut couple of years back through an experimental film in the form of Lilly comes up with his second directorial titled Anveshanam, an investigative thriller surrounding a family and a hospital. Though Lilly could not get a decent run at the theatres possibly because of an overdose of violence and blood that kept the family audience at bay, I was pretty impressed with its making and also at the way in which the survival thriller evolved.
Coming to Anveshanam starring Jayasurya in the lead, with a tight screenplay and an equally engaging narration, the film succeeds in maintaining ample tension and suspense almost till the final moments which this subject demanded. And the end product turns out to be a convincing work that carries a serious message, which is the takeaway of the film.
The whole story takes place within a hospital where Aravind, a media personality, his homemaker wife Kavitha, their kids, friend Goutham, the hospital authorities, and an investigation team headed by ACP Latha and her subordinate officer become part of. Asia Wellcare Hospital is a reputed super specialty hospital in the town. The local police get an anonymous call about a patient being admitted to the hospital. The film revolves around the investigation surrounding this patient and the people related to the patient.
A story and narrative of this type require a taut screenplay so that the engagement factor is never compromised. Anveshanam’s script is blessed to have that, and the execution compliment the way this subject should be treated. The script brings in multiple theories to the case and thereby create a fishy feel. There are also little twists and turns at appropriate phases to divert the hidden angle in the plot in a different direction. The narrative moves at a leisurely pace, but that’s the requirement for this plot. All the events happen on a single day, and the narration is done in such a manner that it starts from an evening time and goes to fro to different times from the evening to the night. It might be a little hard to keep track of the event log, but the narrative never loses the grip over the screenplay and thereby create confusion.
The overall tone of the film is of an investigation, but there are some heart-wrenching and touching scenes towards the end, which I felt will leave you in pain. How the film reached its conclusion and convincingly passed on a strong message without going on the preachy side is praiseworthy. Credit for that goes to the script and its presentation. Another aspect of this film is that it can hold on to that mystery related to the case until the closing stages. Different theories float around the case, and that can lead to all sorts of guessing games. That helps the drama keep a lively mood throughout despite the slow pace in which the whole film moves on. When I said quiet, there is bound to be a question about the lag in the proceedings. Not is my answer to that.
Jayasurya plays Aravind that offers him the chance to perform. Towards the beginning, his character is shown as one who is stressed out due to job pressure, and mostly he is in a frustrated mood. He was able to portray these portions very quickly convincingly, but where his caliber as an actor was tested was in some of the emotional scenes that appear in the second half. And he brought out the best in him, especially in a single scene which I cannot reveal now, and you will come to know about it once you watch it. Leona Lishoy as ACP Latha, Nandu as the officer assisting the case, Vijay Babu as Dr. Goutham, Sruthi Ramachandran as Kavitha, Srikanth Murali, the senior doctor and Lena as the Head Nurse are the rest of the actors who have prominence in the story. They all stood up in making sure the performance department delivered to make this film stand out.
The technical side has also played its part in giving the film the feel it required. Sujith Vaassudev with the camera, Appu Bhattathiri, with his sharp cuts without disturbing the flow of the narrative and Jake Bejoy with his excellent background score, which the mood of this film demanded was also responsible for the film to deliver positive results. There is only one song that appears when the beginning title credits roll through and more than the music.
Anveshanam, an investigative drama, is to the point and manages to hold the interest in it till the final moments. A slow-paced thriller carrying a strong message along with some touching scenes to bring tears, the film is directed well and, at the same time, acted out nicely.