Manamantha (2016)

It doesn’t matter how many films a filmmaker makes but it matters how many good films he made. This is proven in the aspect of “Chandrasekhar Yeleti”. Though he is in film industry as a director for many years, he made lesser number of films yet whenever he makes one, he strives to narrate something new. After three years, he came up with “Manamantha” which had Malayalam superstar “Mohanlal”, Gauthami, Viswanth, Raina Rao in pivotal roles. “Sai Korrapati” of “Vaaraahi Chalana Chitram” rolled this project.

Plot :

This story portrays the lives of Sairam (Mohanlal), Gayatri (Gauthami), Abhi (Viswanth) and Mahitha (Raina) who are of different ages and in different confrontations.

Narration – Analysis :

With the concept of portraying different stories on a single screen, Praveen Sattaru made “Chandamama Kathalu”, two years ago. Though Yeleti has chosen a similar backdrop, he made sure that he will not remind the audience of that film at any point. This is purely his brilliance in designing the characterisations and stitching plots for them.

All the characters shown in this film were natural as if we see them daily in our lives. Take Sairam who chooses a wrong way to achieve something he wants, Gayatri who always strives to give her family the best, Abhi who changes his lifestyle completely for a girl, Mahitha who treats everyone like family.

The story that comes out of lives is more stronger than the one that comes out of imagination. This film can be stated as an example for this. A human tries to rectify his mistakes when he realises he committed one but when a middle class human commits a mistake, he wants to rectify it without anyone’s notice, so that his goodwill will not be ruined. Yeleti portrayed this so well through Sairam who always attends the phone call with no one around him. The scene where he confesses his misdeeds to his uncle is an example for director’s view of portraying natural lives. He also portrayed the mentalities of middle class people through the roles played by Gauthami and Urvasi, well.

Portrayal of Mahitha brought it closer to heart but Yeleti should’ve concentrated more on the confrontation of Abhi with Aira (Anisha). He should’ve come up with a problem for him at college from where he ran away for a girl. Yeleti should’ve also created an authentic confusion scene for him at which he has to choose one between career and love. But Yeleti has proved his prowess in creating a suspense regarding what’s next for Abhi.

Above all these, climax sequence completely showed Yeleti’s brilliance in screenwriting. Though a film goes realistic in its way, there should be some drama which makes it tastier yet it purely depends on writer’s call for where it should be employed. Yeleti’s employing of sufficient sensible drama at the right place (climax) is stupendous. The way he justified the film’s caption “One World Four Stories” was fantastic.

Finally, Manamantha is such an outstanding film with brilliant screenwriting and I recommend this to all who enjoys a sensible film that portrays our daily lives.

Performances :

Renowned singer S.P.Balasubramanyam said in one of his interviews, “Mohanlal is like a Shehnai. Likewise we can use Shehnai for happy and sorrow moments, he can be used in the same way”. Lalettan has proved this point a long ago. There’s nothing to point out in his performance as Sairam. Yeleti and Sai should be thanked for bringing him to Telugu with such a sensible film. Gauthami, on the other hand completely got herself involved as a middle class housewife. Viswanth appeared matured from “Kerintha” to this film yet his character lacked emotional depth. Raina is a girl who portrayed Mahitha stupendously, especially in the scene where she takes the photo from the policeman.

Remaining casting like Gollapudi, Chandramohan, Nasser, Urvashi, Brahmaji, L.B.Sriram, Vennela Kishore, Dhanraj, Harshavardhan, Anisha, Paruchuri, Ayyappa Sharma justified their roles.

Nandamuri Tarakaratna got a sensible guest role while Gunnam Gangaraju appeared in another guest role as Abhi’s professor.

Strengths :

  1. Story, Screenplay. The heart of the film and Yeleti has excelled in it, applying his brilliance at right points.
  2. Ravichandra’s Dialogues. Very sensible and realistic.
  3. Chandrasekhar’s Editing. He executed the director’s thought of portraying four stories in a balanced way.
  4. Vaaraahi’s Production Values. Sai Korrapati who got a great passion for films produced this film with the same passion.

Lowland :

  1. Lacking emotional depth between Abhi and Aira characters.

– Yashwanth Aluru

Click here for Telugu version of this Review…

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