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ANNABELLE SETHUPATHI (Tamil/Hindi) - An awful mess in the name of horror-comedy. (Review By Bobby Sing)
23 Sep, 2021 | Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases

We often get to hear honest confessions in interviews, later given by the lead actors, about certain choices made in their careers. At times, they admit having agreed to do a film for just the financials involved or for obliging a long-time friend to maintain a valuable relationship. Though such choices work for the actors differently, they certainly turn out to be a shocking, painful experience for the viewers, having no merit in their presentation.
Unfortunately, Annabelle Sethupathi is one of those poorly conceived films that hugely disappoint and fail to deliver despite having all the grandeur in their presentation based on a potential plot. Perhaps both Sethupathi and Taapsee would express their regret for doing the film a few years later in their interviews. Projected as a horror-comedy, it is neither scary nor hilarious, betraying both the genres. On the contrary, it is the short romance section of the film that thankfully works offering some relief moments in the otherwise tedious watch.
Directed by Deepak Sundarrajan, the biggest achievement of the project is that it has Vijay Sethupathi in it, who ironically enters post one hour into the film, playing a century-old King in the new millennium style. Almost sleepwalking his limited scenes (in a special appearance kind of role), he never gets into the character and keeps enacting the period drama as the new-age Sethupathi. Playing his love-interest, Taapsee performs in a similar casual manner, contributing almost nothing except looking gorgeous in the romantic sequences. She probably signed the project just because of Sethupathi being there in the lead. Interestingly, you get to see a different Tapsee in the south projects in comparison to her Hindi ventures. She is more casual and easy-going performing without any pressure as such. Whereas in Hindi films, she always seems to be trying hard to prove herself, much worried about the competition.
Revolving around a family of thieves brought into a haunted royal palace occupied by a group of ghosts for many decades, the film strongly makes you recall the Bengali film Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012) based on a similar theme. Interestingly, the Bengali hit was also remade in Hindi as Gang of Ghosts (2014)–another terrible remake that miserably failed at the box office.
In short, Annabelle Sethupathi keeps trying hard to entertain with loud theatrical acts and forced comical background score, following the typical pattern seen in Punjabi comedy films. But nothing works as the project also appears to be dated in its writing and presentation, offering the same old repetitive content. However, it successfully delivers the scares, when the makers courageously announce its part-2 in the end, confidently ignoring the audience response.

Rating : 1.5 / 5 
(Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar)

Bobby Sing
NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 22nd September 2021

Tags : Annabelle Sethupathi (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Tamil Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Viijay Sethupathi movies
23 Sep 2021 / Comment ( 0 )
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