Ayushmann Khurrana in a still from Anek

Anek, the hotly-anticipated second film from director-star duo Anubhav Sinha and Ayushmann Khurrana. An action-thriller set in the North East region of India, Anek aims to continue both Sinha and Khurrana’s winning streak of socially relevant mainstream cinema. Andrea Kevichusa, a model from Nagaland in North East India, makes her Bollywood debut with this movie as well.

Anek, which roughly translates to “numerous” in Hindi, attempts to answer tricky questions about patriotism and national identity. It arrives at a particularly volatile time in India, which like many countries around the world has witnessed its share of divisive politics. The North East region, which comprises eight states, has historically been underrepresented not just in films but also in national discourse.

Khurrana plays Joshua, an undercover cop who is sent on a mission to the North East, after a particularly influential separatist group shows signs of activity. Joshua enlists a local woman to infiltrate the group and gather intelligence. We watch as she experiences casual racism, and declares that because she belongs to an outcast community, she wants to prove to her people that she’s as much an Indian as anybody else from other parts of the country.

Anek is Khurrana’s first action film. The trailer teases several gritty shootouts, as Joshua attempts to unmask the identity of the mysterious separatist leader Johnson.

Also starring J.D. ChakravarthyKumud Mishra, and Manoj PahwaAnek released in Indian theaters on May 27.


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