Anbirkiniyal Movie Review
Keerthi Pandian shines in this faithful Tamil adaptation of Helen. She is the life of the film!
Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Anbirkiniyal is the Tamil remake of the much-acclaimed 2019 Malayalam film Helen starring Anna Ben and Lal in the lead roles. Real life father-daughter duo Arun Pandian and Keerthi Pandian take on the lead roles in this Tamil version, which is a largely faithful adaptation of Helen. As with any remake, comparisons are inevitable. Anbirkiniyal may not appeal that much to regular Tamil film viewers who have already seen Helen (streaming on Amazon Prime). But to be fair to the film, it will be a pretty engaging watch to mainstream Tamil mass viewers who aren’t aware of Helen.
Anbirkiniyal takes some time to warm up, as the father – daughter relationship is established and the lead character Anbu’s work life and romance with a Christian lad are also given screen time. Some songs pop up in quick succession and one may feel disengaged. But once she is inadvertently locked in the freezer room at her workplace (a restaurant known for its chicken and located inside a popular mall), the film picks up steam. It then becomes an engaging survival thriller as Anbu has to somehow protect herself from the biting, freezing cold and look for a way to escape from the room before it becomes too late.
Keerthi Pandian acquits herself well again, after her debut film Thumbaa. She is an expressive young Tamil performer with fine command over the language. It’s a physically demanding role too, and Keerthi is the life of the film, playing the titular role.
More than Arun Pandian’s performance, it’s his real life father-daughter chemistry with Keerthi which works to the film’s advantage. The two look so natural on screen, as is expected! The other main characters are all mostly freshers, and Anbu’s love interest and her restaurant manager leave a mark. Director Gokul shines in his ‘blink you miss’ cameo at a crucial juncture in the story when the race to save Anbu is on. As a filmmaker, he does justice to the original version in his first remake venture.
Javed Riaz impresses with his melody songs and background score for the survival scenes. One feels it would’ve been pretty convenient for the team to procure the necessary permission to shoot their film in a big mall during last year’s lockdown when all these public spots across the nation were shut off from the public.
Anbirkiniyal Movie Review Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by @Lmkmoviemaniac