Ye Mantram Vesave movie review: Vijay Devarakonda is buried under what should have been a 2-min long PSA
Ye Mantram Vesave is a film which a lot of people in the cast and crew might pretend they never did. And we can also pretend that we didn’t see it either.
Ye Mantram Vesave is what happens when you try to turn a 2-minutes long public service announcement into a film. And Shridhar Marri, who wrote and directed the film, doesn’t do us any favours either. His intention to educate the viewers about the perils of internet addiction might be thought provoking, but there’s hardly a scene or two in this amateurish mess that is worth revisiting seconds after your neurons die a tragic death while watching the film.
This is the story about Rags (Shivani Singh), a game designer, who wants to stop even the most prolific gamers from getting too deep into the gaming world. So, she comes up with a concept which unfolds in real-time in real locations. However, her boss refuses to approve the idea.
Meanwhile, Nikky (Vijay Devarakonda), a prolific gamer, is quite a hit among young women on Facebook. One day he comes across Rags and tries to woo her. Not surprisingly, he falters, and what happens next will literally blow your mind. There’s an eternal search for a mysterious woman, two separates sets of gangs searching for the same woman, a bunch of clues which keep everyone guessing, and even a ‘Baby Doll’ factory owner who does a lousy job at seducing women on the internet. To make things even worst, there are plenty of women who fall for his charm.
To call this film ‘bizarre’ hardly does justice to the plot (wait, was there one?).
On paper, the character of Nikky might have sounded quite appealing. An arrogant young man, who has more feelings for his gaming marathons than his own parents, undergoes a major transformation when he finds himself drawn towards a woman of his dreams. He starts off on a casual note because he wants to prove to her that he can crack the game designed by a woman. Alas, before that happens, he falls in love with her. On paper, the character of Rags might have sounded even more appealing. A kind-hearted soul who understands the difference between real and reel worlds. She’s the voice of reason in the lives of her friends, who seem to be too infatuated with the internet like they have just discovered the existence of Facebook, Yahoo Chat Rooms, and Broadband. Is the story set in 2000, you might wonder? But nope, it’s presumably 2015, where a lot of people are so dumb that they are more likely to click on the “Click Me” ad that blings in the header image.
But who are we to judge the intentions of Shridhar Marri? After all, there are innumerable instances of young women getting trapped by anonymous internet users, and the wide range of cyber crimes is simply mind-boggling even today. The ‘crime’ angle is Ye Mantram Vesave is sex-trafficking, but we are more likely to have a good laugh throughout this subplot. The ‘mastermind’ behind this racket carries a spray which, I assume, only functions when it is sprayed on a bunch of roses. Smart move. He also makes barbie dolls, which acts as a front-end for all the illegal activities that he does in the dungeons of his ‘Baby Doll’ factory. T
his is also a film where the hero, Nikky proclaims in the beginning, “Girls are like toys. It’s so easy to play with them. Phew. Phew. Phew.” You see, everything has a connection. Toys. Dolls. Baby Doll Factory. Playing Games. Game Designer. Okay, I’ll stop now.
It’s hard to get upset or even angry after watching this film. And why are we even calling it a film? It’s so badly written that there’s nothing for the actors to absorb and enact. It’s so badly shot that a video made on your smartphone might seem more cinematic than this. The casting is terrible and no one has a damn clue about what he or she has gotten himself into.
Ye Mantram Vesave is a film which a lot of people in the cast and crew might pretend they never did. And we can also pretend that we didn’t see it either. There are two people, however, who feel that they are part of a film and that they have to do something, anything for that matter, to keep the story going - Vijay Devarakonda and Shivani Singh. But can we really blame them why this film was even made in the first place? Sigh!
The message in the end is quite clear - logout from internet and login into life. And, in a really long time, I haven’t felt as relieved as I was after I logged out from this film. The game finally did get over, but not before I found myself wondering - What in the God’s name is this film? Why does the filmmaker want to save humanity from the perils of technology? The final scene in the film has a voice-over, which says, “After watching this story, try not to use your mobile phones and look into the other person’s eye.” Feel the human connection or some jazz like that. Unfortunately, the row was empty. And the first thought that ran through my mind was to take my phone out, thank the Tech-Gods for its existence, and tweet - I Survived. That’s the magic of Ye Mantram Vesave.
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