Anek Movie Review: Feels Far Away; Like the Northeast

If it’s just the story of this girl, it’s closer to a biopic of Mary Kom (2014), a world boxing champion from another northeastern state, Manipur, who went through a a rebellion or liberation war against India because it is

Frankly, there are so many things going on at the same time in this movie that audiences don’t have time to sit and stare at the characters they casually stare at. In this way, no one gets enough humanization despite few attempts. This makes them look/feel pretty far away. Or only Northeast India feels as remote as the rest of the country.

That’s where the movie was filmed — no specific country was mentioned, in “Seven Sisters.” Basically, the Northeast is an area where a war of secession is going on, with several rebel groups serving as pawns, in battle, implying allegiance to the Burmese people across the border.

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This racial conflict reads like Nagaland, okay. With Tiger Sanga (Loitongbam Dorendra), owner of organisations such as NSCN, leading negotiations for a peace deal with the Indian government. Among them, the Kashmiri Muslim (Manoj Pahwa), a type of national security adviser, leads India’s security apparatus in the region from New Delhi. It may be an experiential fantasy.

Perpetually sniffling, Ayushmann Khurrana is his hatta-katta hound on the ground, playing an undercover Indian spy who forms and fights rebel groups.

In turn, how far can such a cop/spy be from the people he investigates – no matter how far they are from the world he came from? Of course, without letting your guard down. This aspect is touched on, though not in a way that James Bond or Jason Bourne are capable of going completely rogue!

Khurrana’s character seems to be a bit close to a local girl (Andrea Kevichüsa), with personal ambitions in the field of international boxing – a feat that can only be achieved behind the flag.

If it’s just the story of this girl, it’s closer to a biopic of Mary Kom (2014), a world boxing champion from another northeastern state, Manipur, who went through a A rebellion or liberation war against India as it is.

It appears that sport itself is the source of individual nationalism. Small discrimination is the rule, otherwise. This movie illustrates this well. Nicholas Kharkongor’s Axone (2019) is a more personal insider’s take on apartheid/prejudice in northeastern India (meaning east of “chicken neck”).

Anek focuses more on the Northeast as a stage/theater for wider political conflict. As if the region and its macro issues came first, then a story. In mainstream Hindi films, director Prakash Jha started to specialize in this kind of question-based commentary as action thrillers, after GangaaJal (2003), all the way to Chakravyuh (2012), on Naxalism.

Since Murk (2018), writer-director Anubhav Sinha has become an equally politically conscious voice with the drive and courage to go further afield to produce him The humanist case – God knows it’s not easy. Anyway, you have to walk a fine line. Offense is everyone’s immediate form of defense.

The best way is of course to show; don’t tell. In that sense, my favorite clip (a rare one in this film) is just a montage of a young boy returning from the ravages of war on a brisk background music – here he is destroying debut in . Of course, you can also think of parts of Anek as “war movies.” But please don’t.

It’s really about the ruthlessness of the patriarchal state, which operates no differently than the mafia, because control and power are the ends, and this can only be achieved through a monopoly on violence. It seems that peace is futile. Everything is politics, egoism and slogans.

Did the whole movie move you as much as the scene I mentioned above? Not quite, I’m afraid. I guess specific is more general? I found myself too distracted to connect with anyone on screen – could a tighter plot, fewer parts, focus on the protagonist, help? do not know. Or, sometimes the script itself isn’t fluid enough to keep you from meandering through the grid.

All that’s left for you is to applaud the larger intentions of this conversation starter unreservedly. Or what it wants to say – spell it out in a lot of words.
This gritty story about shutting down the voices of the people you’re seeking peace – by shutting down the internet, denying human rights, etc – is certainly not just about the Northeast. It’s about every political conflict that exists.

Does it let you know more about the region itself – the layout of these lands; or Article 371 (for states like Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh) vs. How is Article 370 (repeated from Kashmir) different; or why ethnic conflict still persists in Nagaland…

Just read more. It inspires us more than mainstream visual journalism. A good movie will do, thanks.