Manu Review & Rating
Manu Review: An Art Exhibition In The Form Of Moving Images
Along came a spider!
Sorry, a filmmaker.
Is it a new chapter in filmmaking? Is it going to completely change the landscape of Telugu Cinema? Has Telugu Film Industry unearthed a Chris Nolan?
What nonsense am I talking about? The hype was such that. The buzz surrounding the film was such that. The people who wanted to talk positively about this film talked like that. Yes, we are talking about the film Manu, the proud crowdfunded film directed by maverick short filmmaker Phanindra Narsetty. He nearly changed how short films in Telugu are perceived. A quality short film shot with nothing but a mobile phone. An hour-long short film youngsters, especially young women drooled over and watched multiple times when the Internet was just taking over the lives of the young generation.
What has he translated his potential to the big screen? How he fared with the fastest crowdfunding film! Fastest crowdfunding film my foot! Whether the effects are real or not? Whether the cinematographer shot the film like never before? Whether the cast and crew suffered from various problems after working in the UV light? No! Nothing is going to help if the audience fails to understand what's happening on the screen. Whether you realize the special effects through manual means and the camera or use the green screen. No. Nothing is going to help if the film doesn't connect with the audience.
Sukumar failed. Ridley Scott failed. Chris Nolan is not considered a filmmaker or considered overrated by many. When you are making a film, make it legible to the audience. Else, it is like asking a child to read imagining letters and words on a blank paper.
Not for nothing teachers write on the black/green/whiteboard. It is easy to understand something when you see it. Teachers draw diagrams in order to make the intricacies of the subject understandable to the young minds. Moving pictures are meant for making the audience take the input through their eyes and store the images in their hearts and minds. Remember! Cinema is visual storytelling. The thinking needed by the audience should be minimal. They only thing their brain should do is to understand is to know whether it enjoys the proceedings on the screen or not.
So much for science lessons. Every form of art has its grammar. Reading novels is different from watching a movie. No need for spoonfeeding. But the filmmaker shouldn't leave things to the audience brain. They have to inject the happenings into the hearts of the audience. Else, Game Over.
So, how is Manu?
It's just like what this reviewer has written just above this sentence. Phanindra Narsetty conceived of an idea and tried to execute it in as convoluted a manner as possible. He used everything he has on/in his mind. What he ultimately did was to give an abstract art exhibition to the audience. Not a film. Not a cinema.
Leaving this aside, at the heart of Manu is a love story of Manu, a loner of a painter and a girl called Neela who loves him. What happens when three criminals kidnap and take Neela away. Then a physics lesson, before the kidnapping really cute and creative love story of the class of Yandamoori's Vennello Aadapilla, a ghost story unlike we have seen before, another physics lesson, few lectures, a couple of well-executed action sequences, brilliant cinematography, world-class taking, highly quotable and intellectual sounding dialogues, top class musical score by Naresh Kumaran, and the rest something like a philosophy lesson.
All this writing is not to criticise or discourage a filmmaker of the class of Phanindra Narsetty. This is to let him know what cinema means. Once if you buy a book spending 150 rupees, you can read any number of times. If you don't understand the first time, you can read it the second time. Or the third time. Or any number of times. But if you don't understand a movie, you have to spend another 150 rupees, or download it and watch it repeatedly. Reading is for class people who love to think. Cinema is for the masses first who needs a bit of helping from the filmmaker to understand the proceedings. As simple as that.
Btw, as this reviewer believes this director is an artist, yours truly will quote a famous saying and take leave.
The creativity of an artist is not just going on working. It is to know when to stop it. 3 hours is so precious.
Manu Critic Reviews
Manu User Reviews
The never ever before seen movie in TFI....finally witnessed the screenplay of Phanindra Narsetti on big screen..the only guy who gives movie from the heart...should be watched only with the Hearts ....Congrats to the whole team for giving such a Unique movie ....
Phanindra Narsetty pulled off a virtually impossible task. Yes. Crowdfunding films are not new to Telugu Cinema with a couple of attempts are made. The Facebook group consisting of noted Telugu film enthusiasts and critics made a crowdfunding short film way back in 2011. Even a feature-length film like Vasham managed to hit the screens.
But, it is Manu which created a lot of buzz among the Telugu audience, at least among the younger generation because of it's director. His Madhuram was a cult hit. The movie brought a huge following for its lead actress Chandini Chowdhary and the director. Now, they joined hands with Raja Gowtham (son of the legendary comedian Brahmanandam) for Manu which hits the screens tomorrow. The general talk for the film is: it is an innovative movie.
One of the major faults of Manu, the watchers said, is that the director tried to tell too much in a single film and faltered to inject the story into the minds of the audience. Despite technical brilliance and a bit novel love story, Manu has nothing to write about from the audience point of view.
But it appears that for those, however few of them in number, the movie is a feast. But for the general audience, the movie is not the cup of their tea.
Watch this space for more Manu public talk and live updates.