Movie: Mental Madhilo
Banner: Dharmapatha Creations
Cast: Sree Vishnu, Nivetha Pethuraju, Amrutha Srinivasan, Raj Kandukuri, Sivaji Raja, Anitha Chowdhary and others
Story: Vivek Athreya, Jonathan Cristillo
Music: Prashanth R Vihari
Editor: Viplav Nyshadam
Presented by: Suresh Productions
Producer: Raj Kandukuri
Screenplay and direction: Vivek Athreya
Release date: Nov 24, 2017
Last year’s “Pelli Choopulu” was a box-office phenomenon. When the same producer announced a similar romantic drama titled “Mental Madhilo” with a new director, all eyes were on the film.
Added to this, the pre-release preview shows hyped the movie further. Is the film really worth all the hype? Let’s find out...
Aravind aka Aru (Sree Vishnu) is one who cannot make one choice when he is given the option of multiple choices. He gets confused between multiple choices. Added to this, he lacks the courage to talk to women.
After getting rejected by many women at matrimonial meetings, he meets Swetcha (Nivetha Pethuraj) who likes him and their engagement is set.
When everything is going well, he is sent to Mumbai for onsite work and Renu (Amrutha Srinivasan) enters his life.
Now he has to make a choice between two women -- Swecha and Renu.
Sree Vishnu has not done this kind of lead role till now. Such role needs a more urbane guy, but Sree Vishnu has tried his best and acted with honesty.
However, it is the new heroine Nivetha Pethuraj who steals the show entirely in the movie. She is the soul. With her good looks and lively performance, Nivetha has brought energy into the film in the first half. She’s very expressive too.
Among other cast members, Sivaji Raja as Sree Vishnu’s father is hilarious. Amrutha as Renu is totally miscast.
Story is simple but dialogue writing is good. Music is a plus point to this movie as the songs are of new-age. Cinematography is adequate. The artwork and production values are decent.
Editing is a huge asset to the movie pre-interval but the same editor seems to have relaxed post-interval.
Dull Mumbai episode
“Mental Madhilo” begins in simple and hilarious manner. Unlike “Pelli Choopulu”, new director Vivek Athreya’s “Mental Madhilo” talks about a strange complex of the protagonist and the entire conflict is strung around this characteristic flaw of the hero. What is this flaw?
Well, the hero cannot select one if he gets multiple choices. He can’t select a shirt from many options; he can’t choose which city to work in, or coffee. This isn’t a fun element, it is his character much like Nani’s short-term memory in ‘Bhale Bhale Magadivoy’. The director uses this aspect to put the hero in a dilemma by bringing two heroines into his life.
When you think of it in script form, it looks like quite an exciting idea. But this has not translated well on the screen. Yet, the movie begins with many hilarious scenes, and some lovely sequences between Sree Vishnu and Nivetha Pethuraj.
Till the interval, the various facets of Sree Vishnu’s life and his engagement and love with Nivetha Pethuraj are quite engaging. You laugh with them, enjoy the little moments that are funny. The crackling chemistry between them makes us to watch their romance.
Suddenly, the story introduces a new character -- Renuka (Amrutha Srinivasan). Her introduction and her journey with Sree Vishnu slows the flow.
Not only that, the whole point of Sree Vishnu getting attracted to this girl when he’s completely in love with Nivetha makes a pointless attraction or diversion. After a point, their romance turns quite boring. It goes completely downhill after the interval.
The second track itself is bad, and adding to this the heroine nowhere looks like a Vijaywada girl, though she says she hails from coastal Andhra Pradesh. While Sree Vishnu looks more like a guy from rural Andhra, this girl is too hep in looks and attitude, to believe in her role.
While the romantic episode between Sree Vishnu and Nivetha has worked well, the mutual instant attraction hasn't worked between Sree Vishnu and Amrutha Srinivasan. This later portion is set in Mumbai and the entire portion feels as if it has been taken from another movie. Logic also goes missing here.
However, the movie ends nicely with the arrival of the first girl back in the scene, but this makes it very predictable. As the last 15 minutes are handled well by the new director, the overall effect is neat. Had the second half been handled well, it would have a been much better film.
When compared to the producer's earlier movie 'Pelli Choopulu', this does not meet desired expectations.
'Pelli Choopulu' is realistic and had terrific Vijay Devarakonda in the lead and had deft direction by Tarun Bhaskar. Here the new director Vivek Athreya seems to have given up post-interval.
Finally, it ends up like just another decent romantic drama.
Bottom-line: Works in Parts