Entha Manchivaadavuraa movie review: Kalyanram's family drama has good intentions but is too drab to be more
Director: Satish Vegesna
Kalyranram and Mehreen Pirzada-starrer Entha Manchivaadavuraa, the Telugu remake of Gujarati film Oxygen, is so sweet in its intentions it makes you wonder if someone wrote the script or drenched it in sugar syrup.
The hero is a do-gooder of the highest order, the heroine is the epitome of compassion and love, the circumstances around them have a sweet message, and in the end, what we get is the cinematic equivalent of a poothareku (a traditional Andhra sweet where each layer is stuffed with sugar). And that is the problem with the film too. In its attempt to highlight what we are missing in life, and how people have distanced themselves from their family members and relatives, the film ends up repeating its core idea, like how a poothareku is made, so many times that it turns into a test of patience.
The story follows the life of Balu (Kalyranram), whose relatives abandon him after his parents lose their lives in a car accident. His only dream in life is to be with his relatives, and he believes his father’s advice, whatever you give will come back to you, will come true one day. So when he grows up, he continues to do good deeds. One day, he encourages his friends to start a company which will fill the void in people’s lives after their loved ones either abandon or ignore them. The company specialises in ‘emotional supply,’ and it turns into an instant hit. The rest of the story is about the people Balu comes across in this journey, and how his longtime dream finally comes true.
Satish Vegesna’s earlier films like Sathamanam Bhavati and Srinivasa Kalyanam dealt with the necessity to uphold traditional values and family bonding in the age where families are pulled apart owing to their materialistic approach. In Entha Manchivaadavuraa, Satish walks down a similar path, and turns the story, originally written by Chinmay Purohit, into an exploration of how good deeds have a domino effect in our lives. As beautiful as this might seem, the film falls apart, largely owing to its lackluster storytelling. In his attempt to highlight how isolated people have become from their families, Satish Vegesna does not offer much, be it the dramatic set pieces or the characterisation of the protagonists, to root for. The entire film is like a string of short stories, which are all bound by the same character who achieves the same result in each one of them.
To its credit, the only sequence where the film kind of comes alive is when another elderly man (Thanikella Bharani) confronts Balu about the consequences of his deeds. However, the emotional weight of this sequence does not stay with you long enough because by the time the two characters reconcile their relationship, we are back to square one, and Balu repeats the process, once again, with another person whom he meets. For someone who craves for a strong emotional bonding with his relatives, it is a million dollar question why we are never shown if Balu ever tried to contact them again in his life after they abandon him at a young age. But then, Satish Vegesna is more interested to delve into Balu’s present, and how he turns into a saint-like figure in the lives of scores of people.
Kalyanram, who has mostly played action-packed roles in his career, turns into a compassionate young man in this film. He toes the line drawn for him. But then, it is the script and screenplay that let him down and every other actor in the film. Mehreen has a meaty role in the film, and she makes an earnest attempt to make you empathise with her inner conflict. Yet, the writing is so lazy that it barely makes an impact. Thanikella Bharani and Suhasini justify their small but important roles.
The most relatable character in the film is, perhaps, the one played by Vennela Kishore. He is amused looking at the interplay between the characters, especially that of Kalyanram and Mehreen. So his amusement turns into frustration when he observes the bonding shared by the whole family. He takes it all out on a young boy playing with a ball. That is also the funniest moment in the film because, like us, even he understands how frustrating watching this drama is.
A significant part of the film is shot in Kerala, and the lush green fields of Konaseema. As soothing as it is to see so much greenery on screen, there is another thing one should not forget: eating too many pootharekulu makes you want to give up on sweets for a long time. And someone clearly forgot about this while writing and making this film.
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Updated Date: Jan 15, 2020 14:40:32 IST