- BOTTOM LINE
- Four Hours of Soulless Love
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Love|
What Is the Story About?
Anaganaga is a rare love anthology in the Telugu digital space dealing with several issues that surface in relationships in the modern age. Sam and Anjali are childhood friends, where the girl helps her pal find the love of his life despite several failed attempts. Eesha, a girl from a middle-class family, isn’t quite happy with the match her parents have made for her and is persistently wooed by an entrepreneur Vamsi.
Himanshu Dev Kashyap, a successful entrepreneur in the past, is struggling to move on in life after the death of his lady love Maria. Another woman, Maya, a journalist finds herself in a spot, unable to choose between the man who loves her dearly and an entrepreneur whom she admires a lot. Jai prefers casual flings to long term relationships until a girl Taara changes his perspective about women.
The series is full of fresh faces who’re making their presence felt in feature films or have made a name for themselves in the digital domain. Abhishek Maharshi, one such example in the latter category, scores well in terms of screen presence and has an uncanny comic timing that works in his favour. Sameer Malla’s accent is a letdown (his NRI-ish Telugu and English) besides his inadequacy as an actor.
Tarun Shetty, last seen in the film Meeku Meere Maaku Maame, has a casualness that’s appealing and it’s his thread with another upcoming actor Maya Nelluri that’s among the better-enacted portions in the show. Monica Tavanam as a journalist is another name that’s promising among the lead cast. The stone-faced portrayal of a CEO by Kiran Srinivas is largely forgettable.
Narrating an anthology of love stories requires immense directorial skill – be it in creating a reasonable distinction between the subplots, making sure the impact of each of the stories is not diluted (when compared with each other) and interweaving them seamlessly with an underlying theme. The director of the series Hussain Sha Kiran shows reasonable ambition with his stories on paper, but none of them has the depth to tug at your heartstrings when they come together on the screen.
Poorly established characters, absence of emotional connect, the shallow idea of relationships are the significant factors among many, that don’t help the cause of Anaganaga. There’s no conviction in any of the subplots – it appears to be a case of actors stuck in situations where they merely deliver their lines without any effort to emote and a director’s inability to look at the larger picture in relationships.
For instance, the scope of friendship is restricted to a ‘dare game’ and the love that springs up among best friends only seems an afterthought. You never know the moment when friendship transitions into love. Himanshu is trying to move on after the death of a loved one, but there’s nothing you know about the equation the two have shared in the past nor is the viewer able to empathise with the suffering that the protagonist is going through. The transformation of Jai from a playboy to a committed lover lacks any sincerity. And what would make a woman cancel her marriage proposal and fall in love with a stalker? There are hardly any answers.
So much is told through the dialogues and nothing is shown. It’s only the technical brilliance in the series that makes you sit through its tiring 4-hour duration. The way the director starts and ends his love stories at the same location helps the viewer see a single situation from different perspectives. Otherwise, Anaganaga has nothing much going for it. Many characters arrive and leave without purpose, the dialogues are unimaginative and the acting is poor too. Better effort in understanding the concerns of millennial couples and some nuance in their portrayal would have given it a reasonable flourish.
Music and Other Departments?
Good music is what lends soul to a love story (stories) and here, the brief music bits and unaffecting background score fail to liven up the dull writing. The cinematography leaves you with several pleasant memories of Vizag, something that the stories could have capitalized on, for a better impact. The dialogues are crisp but hardly impactful – the consistent shift between English and Telugu doesn’t help the flow too.
Diversity in the stories
No depth in the writing
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Not at all
Anaganaga Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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