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Mana Oori Ramayanam Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, October 6, 2016 • Telugu ]
Mana Oori Ramayanam Review
Prakash Raj Productions, First Copy Pictures
Prakash Raj, Priyamani, Raghubabu, Prudhviraj, Satyadev Kancharana
Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj, Ramjee Narasiman
Mana Oori Ramayanam

Mana Oori Ramayanam Movie Review

As the very first scenes unfold, the patriarch in you is bombarded and troubled.  Much as Bhujangam (Prakash Raj) is more feared than loved by his voiceless wife as well as caged daughter, much as his mother-in-law openly derides him, much as the women express their disapproval of his narrow-mindedness despite having no power to defy his authoritarianism, the middle-aged Dubai returnee derives ephemeral satisfaction from the fact that the people of his town revere him.  He lives a life of denial, a life of insecurity he is not conscious of.  As destiny would have it, he apprehends a fall from grace in the eyes of a family he has always denied dignity, a home (not a mere structure) he peeks through the window again and again like a child sneaking out of the window when suffocated in the classroom.

'Manavoori Ramayanam' is a story that revolves around this one man whose double standards could well be anyone's.  Not seemingly ashamed of his women's frustrations, he complains to his friends that he has no peace at home.  He seeks escapism and gets it in the mediocrity of boozing.

On a fateful night that eventually proves to be fortuitous, Bhujangam lusts after a prostitute (Priyamani) when he finds her standing by the side of a road.  Shiva, the trusted lieutenant (played by Sathyadev of 'Jyothi Lakshmi' fame), grudgingly speaks to her on his behalf.  She plays ball.  An excited Shiva does everything he can to allow privacy for Bhujangam and the prostitute.  He locks them up in Bhujangam's own store so they can make out for an hour.

The doors (the movie is a remake of Malayalam movie 'Shutter') are closed, not for an hour as planned, but for many more hours.  A sense of shame overtakes Bhujangam as he dreads at the prospect of being caught with the prostitute and losing the reputation he had carefully built over the years.

A human drama, 'Manavoori Ramayanam' is appealing in terms of its allegorical undercurrent.

The portions involving Prakash Raj and Priyamani are gripping, interspersed as they are with hilarity as well as thrill.  As circumstances put Bhujangam on a path of self-discovery, the story of Shiva and Garuda Sreenivas (Prudhvi in the role of a crest-fallen filmmaker) told in parallel serves to ratchet up tempo rather than be of any cerebral value.

Read as a story (by Joy Matthew, who wrote and directed the original), this one deserves a thumbs up.  If you are someone who enjoys particular kind of dramas, you would say: If the story is too literary, so be it.  Seen as a piece of cinema, the film is not without its share of misses.  Sathyadev, one feels, overplays his worry; he trembles too much.  With due respect to Maestro Ilayaraja's genius, his background music is out of place.  This reviewer was reminded of what Nani had told IndiaGlitz about the Maestro's BGM for 'Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu'. To quote Nani, "Maestro Ilaiyaraja garu great gave great music.  But his BGM belongs to a different class and the same didn't sit well with Gautham Menon's style of making".  Enough said.

Prudhvi, who comes across as a miscast with that serious expression to begin with, entertains with his comedic side later.  Lines like 'Nannu nidra lo kooda direction cheyaneeyava' are rib-tickling.

It is Prakash Raj at his measured best.  Compared to his melodramatic act in 'Dhoni', he fares well without a blemish here.  Whether he is arrogant or vulnerable, proud or guilt-stricken, he is immensely watchable.  Priyamani delivers a commendable act.  Had she come across as crass, much of the film wouldn't have worked.  She indirectly lets PR come out with flying colours, both as an actor and a director.

Mukesh's cinematography and Sreekar Prasad's editing deserve kudos.

In dishing out a largely faithful remake, PR once again shows that his sensibilities are the stuff healthy cinema are made of.

Verdict:  'Manavoori Ramayanam' is a drama that tells a simple story high on emotions and message.  Restrained performances by Prakash Raj and Priyamani, suspense and message are packed in a span of 110 minutes.

Rating: 3.00 / 5.0


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