Ye Mantram Vesave Review
'Ye Mantram Vesave', starring Vijay Devarakonda and Shivani Singh in the lead, hit the screens on Friday. Here is our review.
Nikky (Vijay Devarakonda) is a gaming addict. A happy-go-lucky flirt, he takes everything for granted.
His online life introduces him to Rags (Shivani Singh), who is a polar opposite. Although a gaming professional, she believes in real life, virtual life be damned. Opposites attract and Nikky wants to win her heart come what may.
This is when Rags floats a creative game, challenging the guy to attain her by navigating through the game's different levels.
But life has other plans as a criminal gang is on the prowl. How Nikky and Rags end up having a tryst with this gang is what is the rest of the film about.
At least theoretically, the film had a few winsome ideas going for it. The hero is a thesis and the heroine is an antithesis. This is not the only noteworthy cinematic idea, for the villains turn out to be potentially formidable usual suspects. The conflict point is fairly gripping on paper. Then there is the element of clues regularly thrown in and amidst all this, the film strives hard to live up to its description of a romantic thriller.
Most unambitious films dealing with the tyranny of technology (social media, gaming, etc are enabled by tech) invariably descend into a predictable fare and 'Ye Mantram Vesave' is no exception. In executing a potentially tight idea, director Shridhar Marri fails miserably.
For example, the behavior of the characters doesn't send shivers down the spine of the audience where it's needed. Also, there is this sense of the characters behaving as if they are players in a straightforward government ad whose sole purpose is to keep it simple so that the last citizen understands the message.
We wait for Vijay Devarakonda to rise above cliches and self-indulgence. But it doesn't happen. Far from it, a rather affected heroine (was Shivani Singh fashioned to look like Katrina Kaif on purpose?) makes the going tough. Had this been a dubbed Malayalam film and the year been a much older one (the film is set in 2015), the product might have scraped through.
The world of online games and public chat rooms that offer anonymity is not explored in a new way. Everything is done with a touch of an outdated narrative.
The side players seem to have been selected to make the lead players absolutely stunning. Remember, the film was made when Vijay Devarakonda didn't know he will one day become The Vijay Devarakonda.
The director's preoccupation with the film's concept makes him overlook the amateurish visuals and everything else in the hope that a thankful audience too will overlook the demerits. As such the music, the cinematography and editing give no takeaways.
Vijay's attitude makes him look attractive to an extent, especially for those still under the influence of the 'Arjun Reddy' hangover. Shivani might have delivered a much better act had some things went well.
Where the film should have been a new-age, whacky, engrossing romantic thriller, it turns out to be a mediocre, simplistic and badly-executed product.