King Nagarjuna has teamed up with relatively new director Rahul Ravindran who proved his mettle with Chi La Sow. The film’s trailer gave an impression that Nagarjuna is attempting to get noticed in an adult comedy-drama, where he is not familiar. How fitting is this sequel? Let’s find out how Nagarjuna has fitted in this genre?
The film set in Portugal where Sam (Nagarjuna), happily single and mollycoddled by his family members aka Mom (Jhansi) and three sisters has a successful career as perfumer with an easy to lead life. Tired long taking care of him, mom decides Sam to get married within 3 months as he is running out of age. Strangely, Sam does not want any serious relationship thus turns down all the girls. To get rid of this wedding pressure, Sam makes an idea of bringing in a dummy girl friend Avantika (Rakul Preet) into the family? How this idea impacted him and family members? Where did both of them end up?
Manmadhudu from the combo of Nag and Trivikram was a healthy family entertainer then. When the subject of Manmadhudu 2 came up, we expect the same. However, director Rahul Ravindran thought it in a different way, took the inspiration from central theme of 2006 French film I Do with lot of spice and double entendres. Though Rahul failed in handling a big star, somewhere it looks like he forgot Nag’s forte. Manmadhudu 2 is the right pick as next generation story, how far Akkineni Nag Fans would enjoy their hero in Casanova role is still a question and failed characterization further did the damage. Rahul took enough care in blending fun and drama to make first half time pass while second half, Rahul’s screenplay and direction turned predictable to end on known line with déjà vu feeling. Cinematographer Sukumar had done a neat job capturing the beauty of Portugal by sticking to the plot. Music by Chaitan Bharadwaj of RX100 and Guna 369 fame has Nalona, the only catchy song while background worked to large extent. Editing by Chota K Prasad looked silly. Production standards from Annapurna, Manam, Anandi Arts and Viacom 18 are good. Onto artist performances, Nagarjuna seems to have overcome the tolling age factor and gelled well into character. He suited the bill perfectly with handsome looks and refreshing body language. Romantic scenes and comic timing are truly enticing. Without spine in his role, all this was of no help. Rakul Preet is hot in a bold characterization and did her part convincingly. Again the moment she entered the scene, narrative went stupid and directionless. Vennela Kishore got a lengthy, meaty role and is the show stealer whenever on screen. He is the man behind fun in first half. Jhansi, Deva Darshini, Lakshmi, Rao Ramesh are a mere waste. Cameos by Samantha and Keerthy Suresh served the purpose.
Vennela Kishore Comedy
Rakul’s dubbing by Chinmayi
Manmadhudu 2 is definitely not a film that fits into the sequel line of Manmadhudu. Director Rahul Ravindran weaved the original French story with Telugu nativity. Post Chi La Sow, this is world of an opportunity for Rahul to direct Nag and his half baked screenplay did all the damage where drama excelled to an extent while emotions, story went directionless killing the overall flavor.
Movie starts with Vijay Bhaskar kind of comedy timing and the main plot is revealed in first 30 minutes. Though it is hard to watch adult comedy in Nagarjuna (at this point of career), it partially blended with story and setup. May it be Nag’s family back story or family establishment and his womanizer characterization, first half mostly runs on comedy from Vennela Kishore and family moments. Rakul Preet Singh’s part is also dominated by boldness and glamour. There are many absurd and obscene moments which may repel with families. Overall first half is below satisfactory with a simple interval.
Second half is all about developing chemistry, clearing the obstacles in Nag-Rakul relation. These portions put us in deja vu feeling with tons of successful Indian movies rehashed. Till the climax sequence, a lot of predictable scenes happen and it’s a routine fare as lead pair finds love in each other. Unnecessary threads including Rakul’s back story turn useless. Crispier second half would have made big difference.
Manmadhudu 2 is not at all a fitting sequel to Manmadhudu. Except Nag in a new avatar and comic timing from Vennela Kishore, Rao Ramesh; there’s nothing much to offer. CJ goes with 2 stars and if you want to see Nagarjuna in droll role, try this else you can go for one more TV watch of Manmadhudu. BO wise, it's all above a doubtful case.