Sharwanand, Sai Pallavi starrer Padi Padi Leche Manasu is a romantic drama directed by Krishnagadi Veera Prema Gadha director Hanu Raghavapudi. The film starts off as a breezy romantic comedy and loses track mid way.
What is it about?
Surya (Sharwanand) is madly in love with a medico Vaishali (Sai Pallavi). He tries all the tricks in the book to win her, but he disagrees to marry her as he doesn't believe in the marriage system. The couple decides to give it time and separates for a while. But things don't go as expected when they try to meet again.
Sharwanand is charming and extremely likeable as Surya. His energy and the comedy timing keep the audience invested in his love story. Sai Pallavi gets a role where she could do justice to the 'best actress' tag. She is superb as the dominating Vaishali in the first half and also makes us feel her pain in the second half. Rest of the star cast doesn't get much scope, but Murali Sharma, Sunil and Priyadarshi make their presence felt.
Hanu Raghavapudi is a fine writer and good technician. He uses his skills to make it a refreshing romance until the intermission point, but loses grip over the narrative in the second half. There is so much confusion that creeps into the narrative after the intermission point and Hanu tries it too hard to make it work. But his attempts to make it an engaging film goes haywire as the screenplay gets tedious.
A couple of songs are very good both on audio and on screen. Background score also elevates the drama and mood of the movie. Cinematography is top notch. The way the Kolkata city has been explored through the eyes of the cinematographer is highly commendable. Editing gets clumsy in the second half. Final portions look very hurried and pointless. Production values are good.
Melodramatic second half
Padi Padi Leche Manasu just breezes off till the intermission point with sparkling chemistry between the lead pair and beautifully conceived scenes between them. The film never gets boring at any point as Hanu sprinkles humor in every scene to keep the fun alive. Even the best songs in the album comes in the first half to make it one of the better first halves of the year. However, things go awry in the second half as the story takes an unexpected turn.
Everything looks forced and completely dramatic although Hanu tries to keep the entertainment intact. Even the comedy looks forced during this part as the story never moves forward. It looks as if Hanu is just passing the time before concluding the story. The sub plot of hero's parents also isn't done well. The film suddenly seems half baked as Hanu deliberately hides a secret for the sake of pre climatic twist.
This ploy has gone horribly wrong as most of the time is wasted on absolutely nothing and there is not enough time to explore the drama towards the end. The film comes to an abrupt stop and titles roll on leaving the audience in shock. The film's plot has similarities to Karunakaran's film Tej I Love You and perhaps some adjustments to the script were made accordingly after that film was released.
Padi Padi Leche Manasu is heading for a blockbuster at the intermission point and suddenly loses track and falls short of the mark by the time it ends. You may watch it for Sharwa and Sai Pallavi's performances and the super enjoyable first hour. But it is all downhill post that. Hanu has no one but to blame himself for making a mess of the second half after such a pleasant first half.
Verdict: Rise and Fall of Romance!