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'Manamantha' Review: Beautiful and Touching!

'Manamantha' Review: Beautiful and Touching!

Movie: Manamantha
Rating: 3.5/5
Banner:
Vaaraahi Chalana Chitram
Cast: Mohanlal, Gauthami, Viswant, RainaRao, Anisha, Nasser, Urvasi and others
Music: Mahesh Shankar
Cinematography: Rahul Shrivastav
Editing: G.V. Chandrasekhar
Producer: Sai Korrepati
Story, screenplay, direction: Chandrasekhar Yeleti
Release date: August 5, 2016

Chandrasekhar Yeleti has created a mark of his own with offbeat movies – “Aithey”, “Anukokunda Oka Roju”, “Saahasam”.

Bringing Malayalam superstar Mohanlal to Tollywood to play lead hero role in his movie “Manamantha”, he created huge buzz. The trailers also seemed promising. As the film hit the screens today, let’s see how engrossing the movie is.

Story:
Sai Ram (Mohanlal) who works in a supermarket is always in need of money as kids are growing and expenses are increasing at home. He expects promotion at his job but sees a hurdle in the form of another assistant manager. Sai Ram’s a silly and greedy act to move further in his career puts him in a danger.

On the other hand, there is a small kid Mahitha (Raina) who is studying 7th standard develops bond with a poor child. Her eagerness to help this poor child get education at her school also lands her in trouble.

An intelligent college student Abhi (Viswant) gets distracted from studies when he falls for the charm of a beauty (Anisha Ambrose).

A middle class woman Gayathri (Gauthami) who is stuck in mundane life gets an opportunity to better her life with the chance encounter of her guru (Gollapudi). How these four individual stories end? What incidents connect them?

Artistes’ Performances:
Mohanlal, the seasoned actor of Malayalam industry, is pillar to the movie. He has given the best performance. Although his dialogue delivery in Telugu is not perfect, he has proved again why he is called one of the best actors in India. In the final emotional sequences we see the real actor in him.

Gauthami as middle class wife is perfect. Vishwant and child artiste Raina Rao have also played their roles well.

The small kid belonging to a poor household is so endearing with his performance. Vennela Kishore as a Teacher comes up with another fine act. 

Technical Excellence:
Like in all Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s movies, “Manamantha” has high technical values. Cinematography is superb.

The movie has shown the other side of Hyderabad – middle-class lanes, not-so-posh areas realistically. Art work is first rate. The movie has one only one song but the overall background score is good. Sai Korrepati’s production values are top class.

Highlights:
Emotional  scenes
Mohanlal and Gauthami’s performance
Last emotional episode
Climax
Different narration

Drawback:
Slow pace
Lack of entertainment

Analysis:
“Manamantha” is a human drama with simple emotions and subtle sensibilities. It follows the journey of four people at different phases in their life. Four different and distinct stories, different paths are interlinked in the end with a neat twist. Though the twist is not hard to expect, it has actually enhanced the emotional buildup in the ending of the movie.

Director Chandrasekhar Yeleti who is known for making thrillers like “Aithey”, and “Anukokunda Oka Roju” has shown that he is also at ease directing movies with emotional content.

Stories about different people and all of them are getting linked in the end with one incident or situations is seen in films like “Chandamama Kathalu”, but Yeleti treads different path here.

The four people and four different stories are linked with a completely new twist, which is what the movie’s core emotion is all about. Like in “Drushyam”, the final episodes of the story leaves a lump in our throat.

Like most people in regular life, Mohanlal is shown here taking “hand loans” from colleagues, becoming selfish when an opportunity comes to become a manager from asst manager. This greediness lands him in a big trouble and when he comes to know the situation has gone out of hands, the way Mohanlal repents, and goes through emotional upheaval are presented beautifully.

Apart from Mohanlal’s thread, the other beautiful thread is of Raina Rao who played the role of a good-hearted kid who lands in trouble helping a poor kid. Raina and the poor kid both have played so naturally. Yeleti has shown his maturity and mark here in these sequences.

While Gauthami’s thread is interesting it has been stretched beyond a point and the talk about Saree’s etc are unwarranted. But one scene involving Gauthami is funny when she goes to Koti to save Rs 400 and ends up spending more than that from her purse. The typical middle-class situation is portrayed funnily.

The thread of Abhi (played Vishwanth) and his romance with Anisha Amrose gives you feel of déjà vu.

While the movie is laced with emotional scenes, all these are stored in the second half. The first half of the movie is not that convincing though it sets up the mood. On the downside, the film is excruciatingly slow.

Despite these minor flaws, “Manamantha” is one of the best made emotional dramas in the recent times in Tollywood. Director Chandrasekhar Yeleti has proved again that he is a director with a different approach.

All in all, watch the film for its emotional content, good and earnest scenes and superb performances from the lead actors.

Bottom-line: Slice Of Life

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or Twitter)

Click here for Telugu review

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