A class of second year engineering students gets the opportunity to do an Industrial Visit somewhere within South India. Having settled on Hampi & Goa the group goes through a myriad of emotions through the trip and end up forming life-changing decisions.
Running Time:
120 min
Release date:
21 October 2016
Directed by:
Ganesh Raj
Produced by:
Vineeth Sreenivasan
Written by:
Ganesh Raj
Arun Kurian
Thomas Mathew
Siddhi Mahajankatti
Roshan Mathew
Annu Antony
Vishak Nair
Anarkali Marikar
Music by:
Sachin Warrier
Shot by:
Anend C. Chandran
Editing by:
Abhinav Sunder Nayak
Distributed by:
LJ Films

What’s Hot

  • Certain genres/films can work only with a fresh cast and this is one such instance where there is no clear protagonist and situations proving to be the prime antagonist. It is tough to convincingly write such a road trip film let alone bring it alive on screen and it is all credit to Writer-Director Ganesh Raj and team for the massive effort.
  • While not every actor gets equal amount of screen-time/dialogues, they shine whenever they get the space. Varun (Arun) shines even though he is in the brooding mode most of the time. Akshay (Thomas) has the most screen time and his character traverses a lovely arc that he is able to bring that out convincingly. ‘Rockstar’ Gautham (Roshan) is brilliant with his comic expressions while Kuppi (Vishak Nair) swallows all of them with a sensational no-holds-barred a performance playing match-maker, friend and prankster with equal ease.
  • Of the ladies, Diya (Siddhi) gets the maximum screen time and is effective as the typical beautiful girl going through mental agony. Devika (Annu) has a well-sketched role where she emotes love and jealousy equally.
  • The film is technically top-notch with breath-taking locales captured splendidly on screen by Anend Chandran. Thankful that the drone shots were kept to a minimum. Given a free rein, the editor Abhinav, excels during the fast cuts on multiple occasions especially during the tattoo-making sequence. Though none of the songs really stick on, Sachin Warrier’s background score and the montage songs are soothing to the ears.

What’s Not

  • A lot of the dialogues though well intended seem cliché-ridden. Especially the philosophical ones seem to be spoken with unerring regularity accompanied by a sunset or a sunrise. Even though the situation demands such a dialogue perhaps not speaking those exact words and communicating the feeling visually might have helped in removing the feeling of cheesiness.
  • The cameos from Renji Panicker and Nivin Pauly (though well modulated) seem to be a forced escape route to solve the conflict in the screenplay rather than one that evolves organically. Of course one has to agree this is a huge improvement on Vineeth’s previous production venture, Jacobinte Swargarajyam, which was highly manipulative and had umpteen logical gaps.




Verdict Stamp

Coming-of-age films in Malayalam are a dime a dozen but the technically brilliant ‘Aanandam’ scores in the telling the journey of a group of friends over the course of an ‘Industrial Visit’ trip and not just focusing on one person or a pair. Perhaps, avoiding a few clichéd situations, driven mostly by philosophical dialogues, might have helped in raising the level a bit more.