When the movie Mahanadi was announced, there were speculations that it could be a remake of Kamal Hassanís Tamil blockbuster by the same name. Well, the Kannada version is not a remake, but appears to be inspired by the super stars movie. The protagonist of the Kannada movie, however, is an innocent village girl, who is thrown in Mumbai and she has to fight for survival.
Meenakshi (Sanjjanaa Archana), a fisherwoman, is leading a content life in coastal Karnataka. She dreams big of marrying a rich man and settling down in a city. Eventually, she finds love in Raja (Dilip Raj), who takes her to her dream city - Mumbai. But that is where all the troubles start for Meenakshi, who has to face the realities of life. The transformation of a village girl into an urban woman fails to convince the audience, particularly because Sanjjanaa has tried very hard to shed her glamour doll image in the movie.
No doubt, the role is challenging for Sanjjanaa, but she struggles to emote in the role of a villager. There are several mismatches in the narration, as the director seems to be confused in placing the plot in the present times as well as the 80s. His attempts to show that the plot is set in the 80s fall flat. Eventually, it is the audience, who are left confused about the directorís intentions.
Nevertheless, Sanjjanaa, in specific scenes, scores over the rest of the star cast because she is seen in most of the scenes. A woman-centric movie, the movie was a blessing in disguise for Sanjjanaa to showcase her acting talent, but poor direction, plot and narration make Mahanadi an incomplete product. Rangayana Raghu and Gururaj Hoskote, as usual, make their presence felt. Music by A M Neel is average.