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Mana Oori Ramayanam review: Priyamani's performance is mainstay

Mana Oori Ramayanam review: Priyamani's performance is mainstay

Source: Sify

By: Telugucinema.com

Friday 7 October 2016

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Movie Title

Mana Oori Ramayanam

Director

Prakash Raj

Star Cast

Prakash Raj, Priyamani, Satyadev

Bhujangaraya (Prakash Raj) who returned from Dubai leads life in a small town with a wife and kids. He tries to marry off his teenage daughter much against her wishes. He aspires to get respect from everyone in his village and makes all the arrangements for Rama Navami celebrations at village’s temple in a big way.

Siva (Satya Dev), an auto driver, wants to fly to Dubai with the help of Bhujangaraya. An out-of- luck filmmaker (Prudhvi) lands in their village to meet a movie star who is shooting for movie in the village. Bhujanga has a shop which he uses as night sit-out with his friends for drinking. One night after having a few drinks, he sees a call girl (Priyamani) and is tempted by her beauty. For the first time in his life, he is tempted to spend time with another woman and he takes to her to his shop. Siva locks the shop from outside and hopes to return by late night but he is stuck in a trouble and lands in police station along with the filmmaker (Prudhvi). Will Bhujanga get caught or how he would come out from the shop that is locked from outside? Is he Rama or Ravana?

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Based on a Malayalam movie Shutter (2012), Prakash Raj has directed Mana Oori Ramayanam which is a kind of movie that is in the style of great director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Dekalog series that explored moral or ethical issues faced by characters living in apartment block in modern Poland. In Mana Oori Ramayanam, the main story is set in a small town and most importantly in shutter or shop where the protagonist is on the verge of being tempted to spend night with a prostitute forgetting his moral façade.

The conflict, the drama, the situations…everything is quite interesting. Although the movie begins on a slow note with the introduction of Prakash Raj being fidgety about getting respect from everyone, his issues with wife and daughter at home, the drama turns interesting with the introduction of Priyamani’s character. Thereafter, the consequence of events and the suspense elements are maintained superbly albeit in a leisurely pace. Who would unlock the door finally? This can be guessed easily but still the way the expectation is built up is engrossing.

The film revolves around mainly four characters - Prakash Raj, Sathya Dev, Prudhvi and Priyamani. While Sathya Dev’s character and his performance don't interest much, the rest of the three roles make the film an interesting watch. Of course, the scene stealer is Priyamani. She is terrific in the role of a nameless sex-worker with a great attitude. Though Priyamani is national-award winning actress, the performance in this film is completely different and riveting. From dressing to the expressions, she has carried the role with so much class. It is because of her performance and subtle acting by Prakash Raj, the middle-portion of the movie is so engaging.

Prudhvi as a struggling filmmaker also surprises. The film is not rooted in any particular place or region specifically unlike the original Malayalam movie. It would have been good if the story happened in a specific town and established its atmosphere more prominently.

Although the film has just 110 minutes of runtime, the storyline still makes a dragged one. It gives us a feeling that it is stretched. That is the issue apart from the beginning portion. This is Prakash Raj’s fourth film as director and he has shown more command over his craft this time. His handling of the scenes inside the shutter is effective. The film has music by Ilayaraja and his background score is perfect. Cinematography and artwork is commendable.

Mana Oori Ramayanam is a moral fable told with deft direction by Prakash Raj. Priyamani's excellent performance is mainstay. Despite its length and slow pace, the middle portion makes an engrossing watch.

Mana Oori Ramayanam review: 3 stars