There is a reason why we have two different words – action and overaction, with entirely different meanings. Satish Vegesna, who made the much acclaimed Shatamanam Bhavathi, comes back with a sugary syrup of a movie. Entha Manchivadavuraa, like its title, is so over-the-top that you would prefer watching Brahmotsavam again.
Balu is an orphan and now he is altruistic (almost a disorder-level altruism), donning several roles to give people relationships they seek – as a brother, a grandson, a son and so on. He takes this idea one step forward to start a company called All is Well Emotion Suppliers – that gives people emotions they miss in real life.
Balu is never seen charging money from any of the people who come to him, so no one knows how he manages all that travel and the posh office. He adopts families, and tries to do whatever he can for them. So far so good; but the rest of his team doing the same thing he does is super hard to digest – neither do they seem like smart, sensible humans, nor are they good actors.
The movie itself suffers from a common screenplay writing issue that plagues many wannabe movies. In a short film made by Balu and his friends, the theme is a boyfriend demanding the money he spent on his girlfriend back, who now wants to break up with him. This weird, silly skit is information aplenty to turn you off from investing in the idea that Balu is someone who understands emotions. Later Balu turning down the property of a rich but lonely old couple because he never let them miss their rather selfish grandson feels ultra-melodramatic.
The movie as always ends with a climactic fight because hey, you cannot make a million friends without making a few enemies, remember? Funnily, even in that fight scene when Balu is being stabbed by a sand-mafia goon (Rajiv Kanakala), every one of his made-up relatives and friends remain just bystanders watching the show.
Apparently the remake of a Gujarati movie, this film stars Kalyan Ram as Balu and Mehreen Pirzada as his love interest. Mehreen’s role is to keep following Balu like a shadow and at every opportunity show the world what the caricature of unconditional, and adorable, true love is. It also has a slew of other actors like Naresh, who at times is funny because of his habit of thinking out loud. The IQ of the scriptwriters is partially exposed here when Naresh’s character is repeatedly asked to wear a mouth-mask (like the ones we wear to avoid breathing in polluted air) to stop other people from listening to his rude thoughts. Genius!
Sarath Babu and Suhasini come in as another overtly friendly, altruistic couple with Balu bringing more joy to their lives – making up a story about how she is none other than his paternal aunt. Probably the only time you are not bored in the movie is when Vennela Kishore does his now trademark, half-annoyed, half-smirking part. Otherwise, the movie is a colossal bore, with cringy emotions being cooked up because someone thought they had a cool idea.
It would have been worthwhile if the movie tried to be a little more realistic, by showing how one can bring together lonely people of all age-groups and thereby find a solution, because we never know how two lonely people can fill each other’s voids. Unfortunately, here it is all about Balu, the altruist, who is the only one capable of being everything for everyone. Forget the emotional burden, how is it logistically possible is what I will wonder over a cup of coffee, which anyone would need after the headache the movie induces.
Gopi Sundar disappoints with his music. Beautiful green locales make for pretty viewing but the makers overdo the whole rainy season – it rains during fights and during train journeys and gets annoying. The movie isn’t obscene at any point and stays clearly away from crass comedy, thank god for that. But as a festival release, it offers neither intellectual entertainment nor emotional excitement.
All in all, this is a movie you can skip. Maybe just give Shatamanam Bhavathi a second viewing.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.