Rama Raju Gottimukkala’s Oka Manasu (2016) Movie Review
Movie Review: Oka Manasu
Star Cast: Niharika Konidela, Naga Shourya, Rao Ramesh, Krishna Bhagwan, Srinivas Avasarala and Manisha Rathod
Written – Directed by Rama Raju Gottimukkala
Music Composed by Sunil Kashyup
Censor Certificate: U & Runtime: 146.05 Minutes
The far-out characters in the films concerning promos didn’t strongly point towards something disturbing coming from the talented team of “Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu”. But it would turn out to be so absurd walking down the same old decayed paths offering nothing new, this wasn’t really expected from the sensible Rama Raju Gottimukkala.
There are broadly only two basic ways to deliver “a promising project” and impressing the majority of viewers sitting in theaters. One is to give them something completely fresh offering, a never before kind of feel (or entertainment) theater experience in terms of subject and plot-line. And two to present the same old hat point in a refreshing way, that the viewers don’t mind watching it again, making an instant connection with the characters emoting on screen in a relatable manner. Avowedly the first way is pretty tough to follow and deliver, therefore we mostly see the second option tried repeatedly by the our makers making a whopping amount of money (As we seen with Sarrainodu, Supreme..etc).
However what Oka Manasu offers to the audience in its more than 145 minutes of duration is neither novel nor enjoyable, but rather hapless considering the shocking execution tried by the otherwise talented team compromising of many known names.
A romantic drama about two young people forging an unlikely relationship over the course of three years of time, Oka Manasu tries to refresh the genre and create a memorable experience for Telugu audience, but in the end it fails completely to do so. Home surgeon Sandhya (Niharika) accidentally meets wanna be politician Suriya (Naga Shourya) in Vijayanagaram. Both in their early twenties, they start talking, share moments, and establish a connection and when both start understanding each-other. Suriya on a whim asks Sandhya to get out of hospital and spend some quality time with him in his farm house. Both wander through woods and hospital engaged in non-stop love philosophy, spending hours talking about their individual thoughts on life – political issues, and drenching in the rain. At this time Suriya finds himself in trouble and gets arrested. Thanks to huge background Suriya returns through jail and starts continuing their love relationship, as they realize that they might get hitched into an extraordinary life. That’s when their lives start to wander and starts get separated… what happens next forms a poetic end to a random love story.
Director Rama Raju strangely steps down to a much lower and easier way, when given a comparatively bigger and better chance working with two decently popular stars. In fact this clearly proves a common saying in the Telugu film industry that the new talented directors who make critically better films within a limited budget with new cast, always mess up badly when given more than required budget and bigger stars to work with in a decent budgeted venture.
Oka Manasu literally tests your patience in its 146 minutes of lengthy duration and is arguably one of those movies that repeatedly shakes your confidence on poetic Telugu dramas and its film makers in relative terms. Supposedly inspired from the romantic link between western maker Richard Linklater and Telugu novelist Chalam, Oka Manasu straight away pays tribute to the genius director in its very first romantic sequence and by calling Niharika as “ammayi” provides reference to Chalam’s Maidanam at the sametime. And then begins at such a lazy pace, that you are amazed to see the (Over) confident maker as if they are making a philosophical love story with random conversational layers and with fine (overly) repeated one liners.., where as in reality it doesn’t even have the feel or emotional arc of a simple relation.
The viewers keep waiting for Oka Manasu to come up with something feel good after bearing the extremely slow first half. But the film is simply not interested in leaving its boring, over dramatic sequences or cringe worthy mode and then keeps moving on a silly philosophical true love path with all the worthless random conversations which in turn makes the actors also look like nincompoop acting in those under developed characterizations. In fact the way they all talk look like we are listening to a few professors of a psychology having a seminar kind of thing on love and its basic issues without caring about whether their words are even reaching out to viewers or not.
Becoming the clear victim of all routine and repetitive writing, neither the lead pair nor the veterans are able to impress as desired. Yes, Naga Shourya and Niharika look good on screen having a fine chemistry but film fails to take any advantage of the same due to its own faults. In the supporting cast Pragathi, Hemanth, Rao Ramesh, Srinivas Avasarala and Vennela Kishore having nothing much to do their limited characters.
Survi Review: 1.5/5