‘Aanum Pennum’, with an all-star cast, is an uneven anthology, with Aashiq Abu’s short being the standout

Posted on June 30, 2021


Spoilers ahead…


The theme of Aanum Pennum is that women are stronger than men. At least, she is more decisive, less hesitant, and loyal in love. It’s set in three different time periods:  the first one just after independence, the second one is somewhere between the 50’s and the 60’s, and the third one is set in the modern day. 

The first chapter is Savithri, directed by Jay K (all three films are titled with a female name, incidentally). The key layer of this subject is the reference to Mahabharata in a Kathakali performance: Bheema killed Keechaka who coveted his maid, Draupadi, while they were living incognito. Savithri (Samyuktha Menon) also faces a similar plight in a dominant caste household where she’s disguised as a maid. The burning house that she runs away from also draws a parallel to the wax house the Pandavas escape from. The dance teacher is a reflection of Arjuna and coincidentally, in the third story Rani, there’s a hilarious joke about Gandhari. There’s also the Satyavan-Savithri angle because the woman here is married to a cause (and not a man) and fights against death for it. While the narrative, taken as a whole, is fascinating, there’s no surprise in the way incidents unfold. 

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