Half Baked Overall Package
Comedy , Drama , Romantic – UA
What Is the Film About?
Santosh, aka Santu (Santosh Sobhan) and Paddu (Mehreen Pirzada), are colleagues in a software company. They have been in a relationship for three years, but neither of their family knows about it.
Gopalam (Ajay Ghosh) is a happy man with a weakness. He has immense fear and a weak heart. What happens when he starts believing the words of the jealous neighbours and creates problems for himself and his daughter? How does he overcome the fear of ‘fear’ is the movie’s basic plot.
Santosh Sobhas is perfect for the role. However, there is nothing in the role for him. There are a few mandatory love, comedy scenes, and a sermon sequence one at the end. He is alright in all of them and makes a few moves well, too. And yet, he fails to leave a mark and is forgettable. The various ingredients enacted should build confidence in him to be a more commercial hero. That’s the only positive to take out from Manchi Rojulochaie.
Maruthi directs the movie. He is a brand now which commends an opening. It also means there will be high expectations from him. Manchi Rojulochaie is another formulaic fare from him reminiscent of his previous attempts.
In the past, Maruthi has picked Forgetfulness (Bhale Bhale Magadivoi), Kindheartedness (Babu Bangaram), Cleanliness (Mahanubhavudu), Ego (Shailaja Reddy Alludu) etc. Continuing in the same vein, he picks fearfulness in Manchi Rojulochaie. ‘Fear’ is the conflict that separates the lovers in Manchi Rojulochaie.
Right from the opening, it is clear that Maruthi is going low key here. It is a simple setup with limited characters and lengthy scenes. The whole setting, staging, and content remind one of the director’s pre- Bhale Bhale Magadivoi days.
The first one hour feels like one long extension of a single sequence. It makes the whole thing look repetitive and ‘small’. What then works is the sporadic moments of comic brilliance from the writer in Maruthi. They are over the top and have double entendre, but some of them come out hilariously.
On the other hand, the romance between the lead pair is boring. It pulls down the momentum and energy whenever it arrives. The same is true with the drama, which feels overdone every time.
The pre-interval and interval block add to the chaos and frustration. It is, therefore, a relief when the interval arrives. The lack of connection with the drama is due to the repeated hammering of the characterisation and theme picked for the story.
One begins the second half journey with much fear in mind remembering the sequences before the interval. However, things are not as bad as one expects. The narrative is much livelier, even though it takes a predictable route.
Once again, the focus is all on the father and his fear. A couple of comedy blocks, one at the hospital, another one an extension of the first half, work out well. It looks like Maruthi is back on track.
Everything seems to go well until a big roadblock is hit via ‘corona’ during the last half an hour. The narrative then turns into a chore, with suddenly the tone changing to serious drama. It is a drag until the end, where a neat message is passed through the hero.
Overall, Manchi Rojulochaie has a neat message, but the whole package is half baked. Barring comedy in parts, the other emotions don’t work and play spoilsport. Watch it if you like to have some comic relief with a message at the end. But, expect nothing compelling.
Mehreen Pirzada is seen after some gap on screen. She has slimmed down a bit, which is good, but there is no change in her acting. She still puts an irritated face for all the emotions that don’t require her to smile.
The real hero of the film is Ajay Ghosh. He is given a full-length central character driving the entire narrative. He is sincere and earnest, but one cannot help but feel if it’s overdone and loud. It is more to do with the direction and the character instead of his act, though.
Among the rest, PD Srinivas and Koteshwara Rao get unexpectedly bigger roles. They are alright as the part demands ordinary-looking jealous neighbours. Vennela Kishore is utilised briefly, whereas Srinivas Reddy is wasted. Praveen is good with a hilarious (in parts) track. Harsha and Sudarshan are alright.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Anup Rubens is okay. A couple of songs are nice to hear but lack the appeal on screen. The background score matches the loudness in execution. The cinematography is below par in a few sequences. The editing could have been better. The writing is par for course, with few comic punches working out well.
Few Comic Punches
Parts Of Second Half
Half Baked Emotions
A better developed romantic thread and smooth integration of sentiment would have elevated the proceedings.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Manchi Rojulochaie Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti
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