Manmathudu proved to be an enthralling vehicle for Nagarjuna's crowd-pleasing comeback.
Manmathudu, in essence, is funny and schmaltzy by the same token. Much of both arise from the film's acute understanding of what it is to be au fait with the maxim "The hardest thing to do is watch the one you love marry somebody else!" Manmathudu, Vijaya Bhasker's (of NNN fame) latest film, follows Abhiram, and the recouping of his faith in the institution of love and marriage.
When Mr. Manmathudu a.k.a. Abhiram meets Maheshwari (Anshu), his entire being is transformed. He is smitten by her immaculate charm. Before long, Abhiram, without warning, gives her a full throttle kiss (you can tell… these guys know how to kiss!), and precisely when you are about to think that they make a lovely twosome, Maheshwari's uncle happens to catch them red-handed, and promptly disappears with her.
After a brief stint of probing, Abhiram manages to find where they are. While he is relieved that he's found her, she is upset and scared, mainly because she knows how much this incredible man rocks her world and how his presence threatens her resolve and control. She denies within herself that she loves him, but as we know, love prevails over everything, and she walks out with him. Unfortunately, the very same day, she breathes her last in an accident.
Abhiram is told by his granddad that Maheshwari has betrayed him and has married someone else, which engenders in him an aggressive feeling of hatred towards women. Now whether Abhiram overcomes his fear of water (no, we won't tell you - go watch the movie!) and hatred towards women in order to marry Haarika (Sonali Bendre) or not is what covers the rest of the story.
Nagarjuna lends significantly to the character of Abhiram in one of his slickest cinematic performances ever. He perfectly captures the liveliness, complexity and frustration of Abhiram. Unquestionably, Manmathudu proves to be an enthralling vehicle for his crowd-pleasing comeback. Sonali gives a commendable performance as a young and struggling art director who is in love with Abhiram. Anshu, Bharani, Sunil and the rest all give noteworthy performances.
Devi Sri Prasad's romantic and sometimes ominous musical score nicely complements the images on screen. The soundtrack, which spawned a decently successful album, is dominated by the hit numbers "Naa Manasune" and "Andamaina Bhamalu".
The dialogues, penned by Trivikram, are chronically mind-boggling. The script carries an underlying message about the impact that a lack of audacity may have on love affairs. It is filled with the kind of exuberant spirit that's hard for even the most cynical to resist.
Manmathudu gratifies on many levels. The direction maintains pace and intrigue, the performances are spot on, and the locations are simply sumptuous, be it the smokey Alps or a clean Hyderabad road. All things considered, if you can stomach the thirty minutes of echoing flashback, Manmathudu makes for one intense and rousing entertainment, and if you're on its quirky wavelength, it might just strike you as one of the funniest movies you've ever seen!
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