Ace cameraman Santosh Sivan makes a better director of himself in his first Malayalam directorial venture Anandabhadram, than he did in the Hindi movie Asoka starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor, which failed to make any commercial or critical impact. The film has a mix of black magic, superstition, dual personality traits and physical transmigration - all thrown in to make a gripping, edge-of-the-seat thriller.
The star-cast includes Prithviraj, Manoj K Jayan, Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon, Nedumuni Venu, Cochin Haneefa, Kalashala Babu, T P Madhavan, Maniyanpilla Raju, Suresh Krishna, Kunchan, Riya Sen, Kavya Madhavan, Revathi and Laxmi Krishnamurthy. Prithviraj does a commendable job as a person disturbed by the Dual - Personality Syndrome. But it is Manoj who steals the show, even though he essays the role of a devilish black magician. Kavya does a fairly good job.
Anandabhadram, starts and ends in fairy tale style. The protagonist, played by Prithviraj comes to Sivapuram to do the last rites over the ashes of his deceased mothers, only to find that it will not be a smooth affair due to deep-rooted local superstitions associated with a black magician named Digambharan, played by Manoj K Jayan. How he goes ahead and what difficulties and dangers he encounters while trying to fulfill his mothers last wish, make up the whole story.
Anandabhadram is jointly produced by Manianpilla Raju, Ajayachandran Nair and Raghuchandran Nair under the banner of Sree Bhadra Pictures Pvt. Ltd. in association with Mediazen. Novelist Sunil Parameshwaran pens the story, screenplay and dialogues. Lyrics are by Gireesh Puthenchery and Music is by M G Radhakrishnan. Art Director Sunil Babu and Costume Designer S B Satheesan, deserve special mention. The set designs are amazing. So is the cinematography, with Santosh himself wielding the camera. As with movies of this genre, the background score (by Kannan), is a key element in the film.