Manoharam Review: a watchable movie with no major annoyance
Anwar Sadik’s second movie after Ormayundo Ee Mukham is a very typical feel-good drama that is far too easy to predict. The only major difference one can sense in this movie is the inclusion of a relatively unexplored backdrop. The film is only 122 minutes long and thus the usualness never starts to bore you at any point. With nothing surprising happening in the predictable turn of events, Manoharam is a passable one with nothing really amusing to its credit.
Manu is a painting artist. He earns a living by painting wall advertisements, number plates, etc. But the market was growing and Manu was forced to adapt to the changes. When he learned that his childhood enemy is planning to start a flex printing unit in his own hometown, Manu decided to update his skills in Photoshop and flex printing and launch the venture even before them. The efforts of Manu for that and the hurdles that came in front of him is what Manoharam all about.
The premise of the movie is an interesting one. Manu is a true artist who feels a sense of insecurity when everyone tells him that he can’t be a businessman. But over the course of time, Manu does realize that being an artist is his USP. The path he took and the failures he faced were actually the signs that showed him he wasn’t on the right path. These points make the intent of Manoharam cinematically Manoharam. But Anvar Sadik as a writer doesn’t have many props with him in creating an exciting screenplay. The kind of comedy one sees in the initial portions of the movie had this rigid, forced nature. The interval block was not so bad considering how usual it could have been. But when the movie goes to the second half, there are far too many things that are difficult to accept in terms of practicality. It is actually the feel-good nature that saves the movie from such errors.
Vineeth Sreenivasan has this innocent face and along with his earnestness, he is an easy choice to play Manu. Even though the slang was an issue, there is a sense of genuineness in his performance. Heroine Aparna Das knows to keep things subtle and minimal and I hope she will get good roles in the future. Basil Joseph was fine with the Palakkad slang comedy and innocent as the veteran gang member was also okay. It was nice to see Hareesh Peradi in a crooked comedy character. Deepak Parambol was a bit too loud in the first half of the film. Ahmed Siddique, Nandini Sree, Sree Lakshmi, Jude Anthany Joseph, Nisthar Sait, Delhi Ganesh etc are also there in the movie.
When you compare this movie with Anvar’s first film, there is a definite sense of improvement in terms of narrative style. Anvar is mixing the ongoing realism treatment along with the conventional dramatic treatment. The editing of the movie tries to adapt a fast-paced narrative style which at times didn’t work when there were conversations. The screenplay is pretty much in the usual zone and we can clearly see the problem that will come and the solution they will find from a distance. The only change is that the unfamiliarity of flex printing makes it slightly unique. Sanjeev Thomas has done a good job with the music. The frames are really good while the coloring could have been better.
Manoharam aspires to move you emotionally. But its predictable path drags it backward. The feel-good nature is there for sure, but it is not as effective as, let’s say an Aravindhante Adithikal that also had the same hero and texture. The overall sweet-natured feel makes this movie a watchable movie with no major annoyance.
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