Manamantha - Movie Review

Friday, August 5, 2016 - 22:45
Manamantha (2016)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Manamantha
Cast: Mohanlal, Gauthami, Viswant, Raina Rao, Anisha, Nasser, Urvasi, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, Parachuri VenkateswaraRao, L.B Sriram, Ayyappa Sharma, Vennela Kishore, Brahmaji, Naveen Neni, Dhanraj, and others
Music: Mahesh Shankar
Director of Photography: Rahul Shrivastav
Editing: G V Chandrasekhar
Presented by: Sai Sivani
Produced by: Rajini Korrepati
Banner: Vaarahi Chalana Chitram
Story, Screenplay, and Direction: Chandrasekhar Yeleti
Release date: August 5, 2016
CBFC Rating: U
Run Time: 140 Min

What's it about?
The movie is about four people and their lives. Four characters and all of them have their own individual issues. Sairam ( Mohanlal) works in a supermarket. For family's sake he borrows money from everyone. The manager position is vacant and he has a contender there. Gayathri (Gauthami) is a simple housewife who finds joy in her homemaker’s role but the woman craves for respect and that is something that she seldom gets. Someone helps her find herself. Abhiram (Vishwant) lives in his world of studies and computers. He falls in love. Love should bring in great joy. But does it? Mahitha (Raina) is way too matured for her age. She finds joy in helping others. What happens when she goes out of her way to help a kid from underprivileged background? These stories cross path in the climax. Simple stories but highly potent.


From his debut movie 'Aithey' to his recent film 'Saahasam', director Chandrasekhar Yeleti has only made thrillers with the sole exception of romantic drama 'Prayanam'. Surprisingly, he has tried his hand at the genre of emotional drama with 'Manamantha - We all are one' featuring Mohanlal, Guathami, Vishwanth and Raina. He has also for the first time used the narrative device of telling of four different stories on parallel way with a final twist.

He has succeeded in this genre and attempt at telling an emotional story of four different persons facing issues when they step out from their "characteristic behavior." Mohanlal’s story is example of when greed consumes one would lose the basic human quality too. Vishwanth’s is about temptation. Raina is example of good act should be done in ‘right way’ or the innocence can also put you in danger. Gauthami’s conflict is between heart and mind, respect and family.

Yeleti has begun the story in simple and slow manner and builds up the drama to the hilt as the story progresses. Each thread is established in proper way and ends with a right arc. All four stories are not engaging but they end beautifully in the climax and making all of us teary-eyed. The last 25 minutes of the movie is so gripping and highly emotional. One may dismiss this attempt by the director as manipulation to move us, it definitely brings moist in the eyes.

Some scenes that stand out -

1. When Mohanlal goes out with the kid of his missing colleague to search him, the emotional turbulence he faces is a class act.

2. Pre-Climax sequence when Raina going out to find out the missing underprivileged kid and getting a shock, and Mohanlal coming across another surprise find when he goes out to a house in Alwal.

3. The twist at the climax of how these four stories get connected.
Now pops up the question - does this film have no flaws and is it really novel? Well, all the four individual stories lack novelty. None of them are unusual ones. Only thing is that they are connected with nice twist. Regarding flaws, the movie turns a bit tedious when Vishwant falls in love with Anisha Ambrose and this romantic sequence is so ordinary to say the least and also the act of Anisha in the end is lame scene.

Other downside of the movie is slow pace. Though the movie is slow paced right from the beginning to the end, it isn’t a problem in the penultimate sequences. But there is slack in the middle portion that is when we feel it. It needs trimming though the movie has reasonable 140 minutes runtime.

The great actor of Malayalam industry Mohanlal has given another stellar performance. He has lived in the role of a middle-class guy. His acting is revelation in the final act. He has dubbed his voice in Telugu. Although one appreciate his effort, the diction and the pronunciation is not proper.

Gauthami is perfect to the T as middle-class wife. Vishwanth is handsome and is okay. Raina Rao who is seen as seventh standard kid has given appreciable performance. The kid who acted as underprivileged child is cute and is highly active. Vennela Kishore gets noticed in a small but humorous role. Gollapudi, Oorvasi, Ayyappa Sharma (as a rowdy), and Nasser have done justice to their roles.

Cinematography, music, and art work is perfect. They brought realistic approach to the movie making. As a director and writer, Yeleti has shown that he is capable of directing emotional thrillers too. He has always been known as a director with different aesthetics and a maker who treads road less traveled. ‘Manamantha’ ranks among his best.  

Bottom-line: 'Manamantha' is first rate emotional drama with beautiful and touching scenes. Four people, four stories and one connect with an interesting twist. Fine performances from Mohanlal and Gauthami and the final act of the story make this a good movie. The ending of the movie will leave you as teary-eyed. Watch it.

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