Manalo Okadu Movie Review – Common man’s tit-for-tat

 

Manalo Okkadu’ was branded as a commoner’s fight against the majestic ego of some media men.¬† Let’s see how far the film lives up to this exciting self-description.

Story:

The film opens with Raghu Babu, the Editor of a sensationalist TV channel Moodokannu taking a new employee through how melodrama and worse are manufactured by money-crazy (TRP-crazy is a euphemism) journalists in newsrooms.

Krishnamurthy (RP Patnaik) is a devoted, unblemished college lecturer who goes out of his way to burn the midnight oil in educating his students.¬† His wife Sravani (Anitha, who was catapulted to overnight stardom by Teja’s ‘Nuvvu Nenu’) is happy, teaching music and reveling in her husband’s unbeatable fame for being unimpeachable.

Catharsis strikes this paragon of virtues when a girl student calls up Moodonkannu channel, alleging that Krishnamurthy sir has been making sexual advances to her.¬† In a span of a day, the ideal man Krishnamurthy’s track record goes for a toss and he returns home that day only to find his wife seeing him as a villain unworthy of being talked to.

Krishnamurthy’s quest for justice falls apart when Prathap (Sai Kumar), the baron of Moodokannu, and Jaya (Sree Mukhi), the journalist who did a genuine error in confusing lab assistant Krishnamurthy for Chemistry lecturer Krishnamurthy, tell him to not crib about the character assassination.¬† Overnight, the job is gone, parents of the college’s students literally chase him away, and the entire population of the town (dramatically) look at him as a rapist on the prowl and a pedophile.

It’s now up to Krishnamurthy to teach Prathap and the entire fraudulent Fourth Estate system a lesson by scheming to beat them with the same stick as they used against him.¬† In this task, he has an unlikely partner.

Analysis:

Written and directed by RP Patnaik, this film throws up a tight idea which lends itself to telling a narration with a twist or two.¬† At the level of ideation, ‘Manalo Okkadu’ excites interest, but at the level of execution it appeases only those who have lowered their expectations.

First of all, the vulnerability of a middle-class man whose survival is threatened because of the genuine error of a reckless media house has been portrayed well.  Watching an unfashionable Krishnamurthy being shamed makes for a heart-rending drama.

But, on the downside, the execution is not without its share of unimaginative liberties.¬† For example, there is no point in relegating Krishnamurthy’s plight and fight and giving much space to lamenting the media through those many characters (a journalist, Gollapudi, etc).¬† Had Krishnamurthy been shown to be racing against time, there would have been enough of thrill.¬† The central character missing in sight for a good amount of screen time in the second half, is another complaint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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