Powerhouse performer Manchu Manoj is back with this film after a brief hiatus. Directed by Ajay Andrews Nuthakki, the overall backdrop of Sri Lankan Civil War and connecting it with present political system has absorbed the audience interest in well edited teaser and trailer. Let us see, what the film is all about?
College student Surya (Manchu Manoj) and his friends are arrested on false claims of drug selling to sidetrack an important case of three student suicides which has links with State Minister and his sons. Police forces plan a fake encounter. Surya escapes with help of honest constable Shiva (Posani) thus narrating his refugee flashback of how Victor (Ajay Andrews Nuthakki) and Prabhakaran (Manchu Manoj) led a courageous war against Sri Lankan Army in fight for separate Eelam before decamping with 11 members on a boat to India en-route one and only child Peter (Manchu Manoj) aka Surya survived. How Surya continued the path of revolution inspired by Victor and Prabhakaran is the rest.
To be very crisp, Okkadu Migiladu is a thought provokingly far reaching idea with insurgent ideology. However, Ajay Andrews Nuthakki failed as a technician in penning a gripping screenplay and handling the concept with conviction. Dialogues though sound burly, never did the right purpose served. All the blood, gore and lengthy shoot outs, massacres not only diluted the theme but also led audience to go over-exhaustive. Instead of briefing these atrocities, Ajay should have made a sincere attempt to plug his concept into viewer’s brain. Basically, Tamil backdrop by itself leaves us go unconnected. At the same time, cinematic liberties taken for hero worship dominated the much needed realistic sense in narrative. Camera work by VK Ramaraju is mediocre and so is the editing by Karthika Srinivas. A special mention is needed on war and boat episodes. Music by Shiva Nandigama isn’t inspiring. Production standards employed by Padmaja and NEC are acceptable.
Performance wise, Manchu Manoj with his beefed up body showed firm command in Prabhakaran’s characterization. However, he appeared overboard at times stressing on simple dialogues with extra stress. As contemporary student leader Surya, he was more subdued and settled. Ajay Andrews Nuthakki took up a lengthy character and did a fine job. Anisha Ambrose, Posani, Suhasini, Murali Mohan made their presence. Rest of the artists did their jobs.
First, Second Halves
Excessive Blood Thirst
Honestly speaking, Okkadu Migiladu is made with a noble intention of correlating the same inhuman environment prevailing on earth dividing human beings on the lines of caste, religion and region… it was the same long back when many countries fought for independence and even now when we live in an open globalized world. Director Ajay calls for Vasudaika Kutumbam with a sermon for people to live in peace and brotherhood. What went incredibly missing is the cinematic sense and clarity of thought throughout the execution.
First half starts off interestingly introducing Surya and his fight against Minister with the help of TV reporter Anisha Ambrose. In no time, the main plot derails as Surya starts off his flashback with mighty introduction of Manoj as Prabhakaran. In an attempt to narrate the untold true story of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, director goes completely awry with flat, boring and tedious war scenes rolled one after other on a hollow, emotion less footing. Establishing Ajay Andrews Nuthakki and his war torn village in Sri Lanka required much more depth to strike audience at heart. A lengthy fight before pre interval followed by a land mine blast gives break.
Second half is 70 to 80% of boat journey when 11 refugees go directionless reaching the Indian shore. Emotional drama in this portion is filled with loads of unnecessary pathos testing the patience. Truth is, Ajay portrayed these episodes with a documentary flavor. Back to that Okkadu Migiladu in Surya and his struggle for truth ends on a happy note.
In total, Okkadu Migiladu is a futile attempt from Ajay, Manoj and team. This is one more realistic case of how a good thought goes bad at execution. Box Office wise, one has to wait and see the final result. CJ goes for 2 stars for this yawning endeavor.