Cast: Raja Goutham, Chandini Chowdary, Aberaam Varma,Mohan Bhagath, Bomma Sridhar, Harikiran Gupta, John Kottoly, Darbha Appaji Ambarisha, Bindu Chandramouli, Bindu Chandramouli
Music: Naresh Kumaran
Cinematography: Vishwanath Reddy
Editor: Pradeep E Raghav
Art: Shiv Kumar Akula
Producer: The Crowd
Direction: Phanindra Narsetti
Release date: Sep 07, 2018
'Manu' made lot of buzz on social media as it is a crowd-funded movie. Also the film is backed by Nirvana Cinemas, an overseas distribution house. Its trailer also is very enigmatic and intriguing.
So, how has the film fared?
Manu (Raja Gowtham) is a painter and lives alone. Neela lives with her father who has a threat for his life from three persons.
Neela sends a letter to Manu praising his work and asks him to meet her at a restaurant. He comes to the restaurant but doesn't meet her. Later she continues similar hide and seek.
In a sudden turn of events, her father is killed, she is also facing life threat and Manu has to do something. What will he do?
Raja Gowtham in the role of a painter has looked different from his previous films and is very convincing in this character. Chandini Chowdhary as the girl has put in best act. The other actors are just okay.
The film has great technical work from cinematographer, music director and sound designer. All technicians have put in best effort.
Despite having low budget, the cameraman has come up with good visuals, the background music and sound effects are quite effective. But the editing is clumsy as the film drags on and on.
Phanindra Narsetti who made the short film "Madhuram" begins his debut movie "Manu" in interesting way.
The first few scenes give us an impression that the director has a novel story and is trying to present it in an unconventional way. We feel that he is pushing the envelope in terms of presentation and narration.
Few more scenes happen with hero catching rats and actress Chandini trying to kill some guys.
The hero's story and heroine's story move on parallel tracks for much part of the first half. Though the film doesn't give away what it is all about, somehow it leaves us glued.
Trouble begins after the first 30 minutes.
It looks like narration is going in circles, coming to where it began as it doesn't move further: heroine trying to kill another guy and hero catching rats again and speaking poetic dialogues.
Just before the interval, the plot becomes clear that it is all about revenge. But how would the twain meet -- the hero's story and the heroine's story? There is a romantic angle that is narrated post-interval.
Though post-interval scenes hold some interest, it doesn't impress us. As the film progresses towards the end, it becomes frustrating to see some odd sequences.
This is less about the story or engaging narration as it delves more on the visual style, puts focus on the philosophical tones.
Such concept based movies should stick to less runtime but the director and the editor have made this too lengthy.
Overall, "Manu" is visually and technically sound but the movie's story, narration and drive tests the patience.
Bottom-line: Odd Thriller