Mana Oori Ramayanam Review, What’s Behind: Brand Prakashraj has its own standard among public. Known for picking only remakes for his directorial ventures, this time PR came up with a Telugu, Kannada remake of a critics’ appreciated Malayalam flick ‘Shutter.’ With music from Ilaiyaraja and Priyamani, Prudhvi in other main leads, let us see what is this ‘Ramayanam’ all about?
Mana Oori Ramayanam Story: Bhujangaiah (Prakash Raj) is an egoistic male chauvinist in a remote unnamed town. He prefers to win respect of others even at the cost of losing his own life. On an unfortunate night, after boozing heavily with friends he gets locked in a store room next to his house with prostitute Bangaram (Priyamani). Key to open this room’s lock is with auto driver Shiva (Sathya Dev) struck in police station along with an aspiring director Srinivas Raju (Prudhvi). In next couple of days is Bhujangaiah daughter’s engagement. Rest of the story is a shameful plight of Bhujangaiah struggling between prestige and prostitute? What kind of moral change these two nights stay with Bangaram bought in Bhujangaiah?
Mana Oori Ramayanam Artists and Technicians: As basic story is lifted as it is from ‘Shutter,’ PR gave title credits to Joy Mathew respecting original writer. Despite a night with sex worker sounds fleshy, PR went more on illuminating human morals and enlightening family ties. Grabbing the actual essence from original, problem began with PR penning screenplay on own adding ‘Ramayanam’ angle into narrative. Apparently, there were few lump in throat kind of messy and genuine thriller moments but lost their steam in lethargic storytelling process. Screenplay for these sort of films needs to be heart touching and a bit racy too. When whole play runs between merely four characters (PR, Priyamani, Sathya Dev, Prudhvi), we can’t expect more of entertainment. Though message preaching episodes pop up one after other during second half for redemption, an exhaustive drive makes it hard to absorb. As a director, PR has peculiar taste and is honest but his scuffling between commercial and art cinema fails in creating an overall impact. Music by Ilaiyaraja isn’t up to his tall brand. Gopisetti Ramana’s dialogues are quite sensible. Mukesh’s camera work and art department failed to register a needed authenticity because we aren’t aware of where this story unveiled. Is it in Telugu states or Karnataka? Sreekar Prasad’s editing is also pretty average falling mid way between a short film and feature film. Production standards from Prakash Raj Production and First Copy Pictures are just moderate.
About performances, we have seen the excellence in Prakash Raj as an artist in the past. He repeats the same for Bhujangaiah owning character in look, body language, dialogue rendition and delivery of emotions. His cunning smile in first half and teary eyes in second half arrest our attention. Priyamani is a perfect fit for sex worker role. She looked flirtatious in saree and mouthed stifling words. Prudhvi is a surprise in whole lot. He isn’t the old 30 years industry. His frustration as an aspiring director is remarkable. Sathya Dev simply freaked out. Among the rest, Raghu Babu is worth mentioning because rest Kannada artists.
Lack of Commerciality
Neither Art Not Commercial Genre
Mana Oori Ramayanam Rating Analysis: To put it straight, MOR is a divergent experiment from contemporary commercial and art film standards. Concepts like MOR are more suitable for challenging short film contests. Whole meat of story centered in a thin line leaves script to offer more and directional drive to steer freely. PR had a good thought at heart and implementation hurdles aren’t been anticipated. Instead of playing MOR on familiar faces like PR or Priyamani, impact could have been better if presented the same on fresh faces. A fact to accept is, Telugu audiences aren’t as broad and as accepted as Malayalam viewers.
Up in first half, the take off is very slow and boring. Episodes introducing viewers to PR followed by establishment of his family, house, friends and festive atmosphere took tad long. Once Priyamani enters, there’s a spice and momentum added. Towards the interval, MOR picks up in pace and first half closes on an intriguing point.
Into second half, PR and Priyamani stole the show while Prudhvi, Sathya Dev track entertains for a while. Joining PR’s daughter into story and Priyamani with Prudhvi was although expected by a set of clever patrons; these are genuine thrilling moments made the film better towards climax.
Do not expect anything extraordinary from a man of immense stature like PR being director and Priyamani playing prostitute. If you bury all presuppositions beneath the ground and go for MOR, there is a chance for respite else one might get bored, exhausted in spite of some worthwhile episodes. CJ finds it complex to rate such movies but go with 2.25 stars. With a bunch of films hitting screens today, MOR might not get much into audience focus.
Cinejosh Mana Oori Ramayanam Verdict: Just Ok.
Cinejosh Mana Oori Ramayanam Rating: 2.25/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas