Anek, a recent Netflix movie, is on the politics of North-East India. Due to their separation from the rest of India, rebel groups in the North-East have been calling for the creation of a separate country since since India gained its independence. People from the North and East have traditionally experienced severe prejudice inside their own nation. There have been tales of people abusing the Northeast community during the pandemic and accusing them of spreading the disease across the country. The seven sister states, where there are ongoing disputes between the federal government and local uprisings, are the subject of the film, which was directed by Anubhav Sinha. Anek is a crucial movie for Indians who are ignorant of North-East politics, yet it has trouble telling the subject naturally. The romance between the characters Aman and Aido was excruciatingly stilted, the conversation is lifeless, and the characters lack substance.
Anek Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Under the alias Joshua, Aman (Ayushmann Khurrana) is an undercover agent who presently resides in North-East India (the state is not revealed). His goal was to establish control-based peace. By striking a peace agreement with the well-known militant group Tiger Sanga, the Central Government hoped to put an end to the conflict. The plan was to maintain adhering to the Indian constitution while allowing Tiger Sanga to lead the state government. While the remaining militant organisations had agreed to back the Tiger Sanga, another militant organisation known as Johnson was on the rise. The Indian government set up Johnson to put pressure on Tiger Sanga to sign the peace agreement. To advertise the rebel group, they made use of a vintage photograph of Rongmo, a former Tiger Sanga member. The emergence of another militant group put Tiger Sanga’s status as the exclusive representative of the North-people East’s in jeopardy. They would therefore be compelled to accept the concessions made by the Indian government in order to maintain their authority and position.
Johnson was established by the Indian government, but a group began operating under the same name. They disapproved of the peace agreement and felt that by complying with the Central Government’s demands, the Tiger Sanga were betraying their people. By promoting local enterprises, they hoped to boost their local economy. They believed that economic independence would be one way to demand a separate nation successfully. They also felt that education was important, as it is only through education that they could put forward their demand and explain their situation. They did not believe in violence, but if they had to take up arms for their cause, they were prepared to do so. The common people started supporting the I am with Johnson group, and many worked for the cause. Aman s superior, Abrar Butt, asked him to hunt down the new militant group before signing the peace accord. What they assumed would help bring Tiger Sanga under control was now another real problem they had to deal with.
Amidst it all, there was Aido. A young boxer who dreamt of representing India. Upon arriving in New Delhi, she was on the receiving end of endless racist remarks, but she continued to believe that it was through her sport that she could represent her people. She wanted to bring India s attention to the North East, and for that, she worked incredibly hard. Aman met Aido in her village, and they became friends and were romantically into each other. For Aman, befriending Aido was a part of his job, whereas Aido knew Aman as Joshua and was unaware of his association with the Indian government.
Who Was Niko? Why Was He Killed?
Joshua was the owner of a local caf . He lived a regular life with the locals, and behind closed doors, he discussed the operation he was assigned to. Emma was an employee at the caf ; she knew the whole truth and believed that with the interference of the government, there would be peace in the hills. She feared for her son, Niko, a young boy who lived in the village and whose friends were part of the Johnson militant group. Niko used to provide food to his friends, though he did not take up arms. Even though Niko tried to not get involved in the struggle, he could not help but notice the harm that was caused due to the conflict between the police and the rebels. He saw the police burn paddy fields, a source of income for the villagers, in an attempt to force the villagers to confess the whereabouts of Horen, the group leader.
Niko was arrested by the police since he wore the same cap as the militant group. He was stripped down and tied to bamboo shoots. The police had arrested nearly every youth and brutally tortured them to learn more about Johnson. Emma reached out to Aman for help, and he drove to the station to help Niko. After saving him from the brutality, Emma advised Niko to go to Delhi for a safe future, but he disagreed. He loved his village and wanted to live there and farm. He did not wish for luxury; he simply wanted to live an ordinary life in his village. After returning to his village, Niko started helping his friends who were being hunted by Tiger Sanga s men. The group was a target of both the police and the Tiger Sanga, and it was becoming difficult for them to survive. The members of the group were mostly young kids who took up arms to fight for what their parents had once believed in. During an encounter with the Tiger Sanga men, Niko lost his cousin. That was the day he took up arms and shot a man dead. It was the pain of watching his brother die that forced him to choose the path of violence.
When his group was about to take arms that were delivered by Johnson s men but were also tracked by the police, they were all shot dead. Aman had tried to stop the police from encountering those kids, but Abrar Butt refused to listen to his request. He was instructed to maintain silence in the hills, and to do that he could go to any extent. Aman conflicted with himself; he believed that they were also, in a way, responsible for bringing in the arms to the villages, worsening the living condition of the local people there. He was confused about whether he was supposed to protect India or the Indians. He was in charge of bringing peace, but it came at the cost of severe violence.
Anek Ending Explained: Who Was Johnson? Was The Peace Accord Signed?
While Aido was determined to be selected to represent India, her father, Wangnao, did not believe that his people belonged to the nation and he was fighting for their cause. Aman was surprised when Dido, Wangnao s close associate, asked him for guns in exchange for drugs. They stole the drugs from Tiger Sanga and wanted to use them to their benefit. This alerted Aman that the Johnson group was preparing to fight the police and the Tiger Sanga men on the day the peace accord would be signed. Aman had befriended Aido to get information about her father, but in the process, he had fallen in love with her. Wangnao and his group did not know that Aman was a police officer; they thought he was a businessman who was interested in investing in their war. When Tiger Sanga s men started to look for the Johnson group, Wangnao escaped from his house. Aido had her qualifying match, but her father announced that he had his match to win and left. Aman came to their house to drive Aido to the airport, and at that moment, he tried to sneak around to collect information about him. Aido caught Aman taking pictures of her father s documents and questioned his identity. He revealed that he was not Joshua, the man she assumed him to be. But he added that his feelings for her were not false, but Aido had by then lost her respect for him and asked him to leave.
Aman had gathered information regarding Wangnao s current location and went ahead to confront him. He discussed how he was not Joshua but a police officer. Wangnao was shocked upon learning the truth. He then explained that Johnson was not one man but every north-eastern people who believed in fighting against those who tried to control them. The north-eastern people have always been discriminated against by the rest of India. He stated that the northeast s only connection to the rest of India was through a small piece of land in West Bengal. When that route remained blocked, the north-eastern states suffered immensely. The conflict made the poor miserable, and the rich thrived as a result. To earn money, people there indulged in the business of drugs and arms. Tiger Sanga men were involved in the drug business and corrupted the youth. He believed that by now, both the State and the Tiger Sanga have realized that it is easier to maintain war than peace, and it results in a never-ending conflict. His conversation with Wangnao left him thinking about what it meant to be an Indian.
While Aman intended to capture Wangnao and try him in court, his senior wanted the man dead. A group of policemen had followed Aman and started to shoot Wangnao and his men. Aman escaped from the situation, but he was mad at Abrar Bhatt, whose order had escalated the situation. Abrar contacted Aman once again to find out Wangnao s location. Aman knew that the man was hiding in Myanmar, and they had to conduct a surgical strike to bring the man to the country. Abrar assigned Major Veer to the mission to help Aman. While the soldiers wanted to shoot the man dead, Aman advised against it. He stated that he believed in the constitution of India, and he wanted the man to be tried in court. Upon reaching Myanmar, they found that another militant group had reached the spot and were shooting at Johnson s men. After both the people from the militant groups were shot dead, Aman proceeded to capture Wangnao. Wangnao dropped his gun and surrendered. Meanwhile, Aido had qualified for the final and fought against a German boxer.
Aman met Abrar Bhatt in New Delhi and brought him the files of Wangnao s crimes and also the crime record of Tiger Sanga. He believed that if Wangnao was to be tried in court, then Tiger Sanga must be arrested as well. And if they intend to negotiate with Tiger Sanga, then they must also do the same with Wangnao. Abrar agreed with Aman s belief, and he informed the media about the cancellation of the peace accord after compelling evidence of crimes was found against Tiger Sanga. The two, in the end, watch Aido s winning match at a club, stating how it was she who had won in this game of chess.
While Anek brings the spotlight to a marginalized community, it fails to weave a compelling story. The film attempted to bite more than it could chew, and that is evident in how every character is left incomplete. There was a lot of potential in the character of the Kashmiri Muslim bureaucrat, Abrar Bhatt, but we are left with just a couple of references to Kashmir politics and its similarity to the North-Eastern struggle. Aido was another character who was pushed into the background as the film progressed. Though what works for the film is the cinematography by Ewan Mulligan, the scene where Niko and his militant friends are shot dead in the jungle was effectively captured. In the end, Anek is worth a watch because of the way it deals with the issue at hand, but it can get tedious and chaotic as it progresses.
Anek is a 2022 Political Thriller film directed by Anubhav Sinha.