2 Hr 34 MIns | Family | 18 - 05 - 2024
Cast - Santosh Shobhan, Malavika Nair, Rajendra Prasad, Vennela Kishore , others
Director - Nandini Reddy
Producer - Swapna Dutt, Priyanka Dutt
Banner - Vyjayanthi Movies
Music - Mickey J Meyer
Anni Manchi Sakunamule came from the makers of Mahanati, Jathi Ratnalu and Seeta Ramam. This certainly raised the expectations bar. In addition to this, the unique promotions added to the buzz and hype. Will Santosh Sobhan break the jinx and will Nandini Reddy make the cut after Oh Baby! Let’s find out what worked and what didn’t.
Set in the enchanting town of Victoriapuram (named after Queen Victoria’s coffee connection), Rishi (Santosh Sobhan) and Arya (Malvika Nair) are childhood sweethearts who get separated. Their families have an age-old legal battle revolving around a coffee estate. While Rishi is happy-go-lucky, Arya has responsibilities and deadlines. How these two fall in love and what comes between them? How do they resolve their family feud and what is Rishi’s connection with Arya’s family and Arya’s connection with Rishi’s family? Anni Manchi Sakunamule revolves around these.
Santosh Sobhan delivers a subtle performance as Rishi. His character trait is peculiar. It looks he is not bothered about others, but deep down he cares so much for people around and their problems. Admittedly he is an “average” guy, but he is interesting and he is the troubleshooter as well. Malvika Nair shines in an author-backed role of Arya. Her characterisation is calculative involving financial planning. She takes up her family responsibilities making the difference. Rajendra Prasad wants to win the case of Coffee estate ownership and keeps the promise he made for his father. Rao Ramesh as Diwakar scores the points with his notable performance. His emotional breakdown at the crucial juncture of the film works well. Naresh does justice to his character. A doctor by profession, he is a good samaritan who helps the needy. He is so friendly with his daughter that he drinks beer with her. Sowcar Janki’s role is refreshing. Vasuki’s role is just a filler and she gets wasted. Vennela Kishore’s character failed to evoke laughs. Gauthami has some emotional moments and does a jig in a wedding. There are so many other characters in the film who come and go, making the things a bit confusing. But overall, the performances of the lead characters shouldered the movie.
Nandini Reddy chose simple writing with too-many characters who relies on emotion and drama that occasionally works. The slow-paced narration make the proceedings a bit boring. Visuals are eye-candy and Mickey J Meyer’s music does make the magic. The production values deserve a special mention.
Last 20 Minutes
Cast & Production
Cliches & Nostalgia
The story of Anni Manchi Sakunamule is simple and plain. Writer-director Nandini Reddy relied heavily on the family emotions and drama. The film has some artificial feelings and forced drama. These things put off the viewers. The scenes lack the freshness. The film has several nostalgic moments. One can’t help but recall Allu Arjun and Trivikram’s Ala Vaikunthapurrammuloo for a reason. However, the conflict is different here as it revolves around family feud. The entire first half of the film is flat and many time pass scenes. The friction between Rishi and Arya in the pre-interval sequence didn’t pan out as expected. Even the scene where Arya realizes Rishi’s love in the latter half is too cliched. It is done-to-death in many old films.
The film misses the romance between the lead pair. Through out the film there is constant reference to the legal battle for the coffee estate but the filmmaker doesn’t reveal why and what is the battle for exactly. Also, the success of Arya and Rishi in their careers isn’t convincing enough. It is just told they’re settled but the question remains how. Clearly, Nandini Reddy took cinematic liberties. There is a lot of scope for her to take the film to the next level. But she failed miserably.
The screenplay is flat without any twists or surprise elements. It travels the familiar path and audiences can guess what happens next. On top of these, the nail-paced narration tests the patience. The director of Ala Modalaindi couldn’t recreate the magic here.
Having said above, what work in the film is the soul and honesty in approach. The feel-good factor is appealing. The cast and production values are good. The last twenty minutes of the film is the saviour. It makes things quite better. The emotional breakdown of Rao Ramesh at the crucial juncture of the film does the difference. But isn’t it too late? Is it okay to have one good sequence to change the film? Well, it varies from one to one and their individual perception. Anni Manchi Sakunumule may not appeal to all. It caters only to a set of ‘class’ audiences who rejoice on the family emotions and some melodrama.
Verdict: Konnae Manchi Sakunamulu