The film begins with the death of the family of a young girl as a result of a character's drunken driving. The film sketches the path of the young girl growing up into a woman who lives her life independently and with self-esteem. How the male protagonist enters the woman's life and how they fall in love with each other forms the rest of the story. The film went on to win the Nandi Awards among several other prominent awards. If the award-winning Dollar Dreams (2000) set the tone, then Anand introduced the legacy of successful films made with simple stories. A noteworthy mention is of the film's soundtrack which was well appreciated for its soft melodies.
The film is essentially the story of a modern-day girl Roopa (Kamalinee Mukherjee). She begins her day with classical music lessons for kids in her neighborhood followed by her day job in an ad-agency. She along with her close friend Anita (Satya Krishnan) work on weekends at a nursery. Roopa is shown as a woman who stands for her self-respect, determined at her decisions and yet lovable and sensitive. Unlike her friend Anita, Roopa though modern, sticks to her traditional roots when it comes to dressing.
Roopa loses her parents in a tragic accident and from then on has had to fend for things herself. She falls in love with a colleague, Rahul, a rich marwadi and almost gets married until she realizes how this marriage is going to separate her from her freedom and individuality. Anita has sensed this much earlier after meeting Rahul's mother who is an orthodox north Indian. Her worries come true on the day of marriage when Rahul's mother confronts her about her wedding sari. Roopa says she has always wanted to wear her mother's sari for her wedding. In spite of wearing the sari in North-Indian style as per her instructions, she is not happy. And this grows into an argument and during all this Rahul tries to convince Roopa, but never supports her. Roopa soon realizes how things are going to be if she marries him and takes the painful decision to call off the marriage.
Anand is the son of a rich industrialist who killed Roopa’s parents (in an accident), due to which he lost his mental balance. Anand brings his father to Roopa's wedding hoping that his blessings for the wedded couple would bring solace to his soul. When he sees Roopa, he decides that she is the woman for him. At the marriage hall he witnesses the turn of events and wants to try his luck in wooing Roopa. In this attempt, he drops his studies in the US and decides to move into a room next to her house. They frown, fight, argue with each other all through his stay there. Anita who is aware of his love for Roopa, helps him by giving him some tips.
A few months later, Rahul's mother dies and Roopa is the first one he approaches to ask for some help . She gives all the support as a friend to him during his difficult days. On the other hand, the affection between Anand and Roopa is on and off, with arguments on trivial issues. Anand continues to put in his efforts till one day drunken Rahul appears at Roopa's house only to forcibly convince her to marry him. Anand gets frustrated and kicks him out of the house and blames her for choosing Rahul over him. Trying to win back the love of Anand, she cooks for him. He simply rejects and leaves the house. After a few days, they both meet again at Dandiya Night, where Roopa confesses her love him. Later, Anand reveals that his father is responsible for her parents' death. She gets shocked by this but decides to forgive that event and move on with her life and agrees to marry Anand.
The attempt of the film was to juxtapose the very simple things in life one learns about , like a beautiful early morning, a cool evening breeze, a chilly moon lit night or a beautiful rainy day, while sitting on your bed or sofa and relishing a hot cup of good coffee.Raja as Anand
Kamalinee Mukherjee as Roopa
Satya Krishnan as Anita
Anish Kuruvilla as Raju, Anand's cousin
Anuj Gurwara as Rahul
Bakhita Francis as Samatha
Chandana Chakrabarti as Rahul's mother
Gopichand Lagadapati as Ram
Gururaj Manepalli as Anand's father
After Sekhar Kammula's first venture, Dollar Dreams (2000), he began meeting producers with his stories. When he initially told them a story, they felt that it was too simple. Then, he began giving them a bound script of Anand. Unfortunately, none came forward to produce it. Upon someone's suggestion, Kammula approached National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and they came forward to fund a part of the project. This set a precedent because it was the first time that NFDC entered into commercial Telugu cinema.
Anish Kuruvilla, who played Anand's cousin in the film, was the executive producer for the film and Kammula's following film, Godavari (2006).
Kammula preferred actors who suit the roles than writing characters for established actors. Hence, the choice of the cast were non-established actors. The search process lasted 3 months. The casting for Raja was simple. Kammula wanted someone without melodrama in acting and it just came as a plus when Raja appreciated Kammula's directorial abilities. The choice for an actress made Kammula visit Mumbai and Bangalore, but he could not get the appropriate one. On knowing about Kamalinee Mukherjee, he subjected her to a screen test. After the test, he selected her as the actress in the lead role. The choice of location was first thought as Ramoji Film City and Nanakramguda in Hyderabad. So, these thoughts were quashed because the need was for a suitably big house and an outhouse situated adjacent to it. Since Kammula stayed in Padmarao Nagar, a prominent locality in Hyderabad, a location there made it all the more accessible for him.
Kammula's primary inspiration came from the Indian middle class. He was of the thought that this section of people were wrongly represented in films. He wanted to represent them appropriately and this was achieved with Anand.
Kammula sat with Veturi for writing songs for the film. Kammula said that he could see thousands of expressions expressed as a couple of words in lyrics. Eventually, they ended up with six beautiful songs penned by Veturi. For Anand, Veturi took a month to come up with the lyrics as against his usual penchant of coming up with lyrics spontaneously.
Being a Bengali, there was a need for someone to dub Kamalinee Mukherjee's voice for the film. This was provided by a well-known singer and television host, Sunitha. The voice of Sunitha blended so well with the screen presence of Kamalinee that she went on to win an award for it.
With most of the cast not well-versed in speaking Telugu, Kammula faced challenges in their dialogue delivery. It just happened that most of the cast couldn't speak Telugu. The crew had to face a slight loss of the performance owing to this fact. To overcome this handicap, the dialogues were altered slightly to improve the actors' diction.
Anand had a relatively low-profile release unlike the huge banner releases of the Telugu film industry. Made with a modest budget of Rs. 15 million, Anand was a refreshing film of its time. Kammula wasn't sure of the outcome of the film and said "I knew that it would either be a huge hit or a huge flop". It evoked a decent response from the critics. Idlebrain.com, a popular entertainment website for the Indian audiences gave the film a 3.75/5. The website review goes on to recommend this film to the film-going audiences. On the other hand, IndiaGlitz, another popular film portal, said that the film was "good, but could have been better". However, ample praise has been poured into Kammula's abilities. The film released on the same day as Shankar Dada MBBS released. Both these films went on to become box-office successes. Even though latter was a low-budget film as compared to the former, Anand managed to give the producers of Shankar Dada MBBS a run for their money by drawing more crowds. It also figured among the top five grossers in the Telugu film industry for the year 2004. The success of the films in India being measured in the number of days the film has been screened in the theatres, Anand completed one such milestone. It completed 100 days of screening on 28 January 2005. Another website says that the film was realistic in its depiction and goes on to given instances in the film that do happen (unlike some of the fictitious and dreamy Indian films).
The film was awarded with 6 Nandi Awards by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2004. The awards that were won are Best Film (Silver Nandi), Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Satya Krishnan), Best Child Artiste (Bakhita) and Best Female Dubbing Artist (Sunitha). It was also given the Best Film, Best Male Singer and Best Editing awards by a popular Telugu magazine, Santosham, in 2005. The film was thoroughly applauded for its story and it went on to win the Best Family Story Film and Best New Music Director as an appreciation for the lovely soundtracks from the film. At another prestigious award ceremony by MAA TV, a popular Telugu entertainment television channel, the film won the Best Director, Best Actress Debutant and Best Actress in a Supporting Role awards. Stepping out of the stereotype, according to Kammula, seemed to be the formula for success of the film.
The DVD Release is a Special Edition 2 disc pack Released by KAD Entertainment.
Disc 1 contains the theatrical version of the film primarily with subtitles in English, both in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. As an add-on, it also contains the Director's Cut, 35 minutes worth of deleted scenes.
Disc 2 contains a trivia game about the film, the saga of the film, that is, from the film Dollar Dreams where it all began to conceiving Anand, raising of finances for the film, selection of the cast and location, dubbing, choice of the music director, lyricist, cinematographer and choreographer. It also has a brief informational biography about the director, actors, about the choice of the caption, the encountered pre-release blues, the day of release, the best scene from the film, favourite song, memorable moments during the film, the post release scenario and the Director's Cut. It also contains the 100 days celebrations of the film with Dr. Dasari Narayana Rao's congratulatory speech. The film trailers are also included in this disc.
This film possibly is the first Telugu film to be released in a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD that also features the director's cut version of the film. KAD also won the best DVD award for this special edition.
The film has six songs composed by K.M. Radha Krishnan, and according to one repository of Indian songs, "all the songs but for one assume classical and Carnatic music in it."Nandi Awards
Best Film (Silver Nandi) – Sekhar Kammula
Best Director – Sekhar Kammula
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Kamalinee Mukherjee
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Satya Krishnan
Best Child Artiste – Bakhita
Best Female Dubbing Artist – Sunitha Upadrashta