Manmadhudu 2 review: No novelty despite glossy sets, beautiful locations
Manmadhudu 2 is not a sequel to Manamadhudu that also starred Nagarjuna, title is just a marketing gimmick to bring audiences to the theaters
Critic's Rating: 1.75/5
Friday 9 August 2019
Nagarjuna, Rakul Preet Singh, Laxmi, Vennela Kishore, Rao Ramesh, Jhansi, Devadarshini
The story entirely takes place in Portugal. Perfume maker Sam aka Sambasiva Rao (Nagarjuna), who lives with his mother, has commitment phobia and has remained a bachelor though he crossed ‘marriageable age’. His mother and sisters put a three-month deadline for him to get married. He comes up with an idea to rent a girlfriend named Avanthika (Rakul Preet Singh) who works as a bartender in the same Portugal city he lives in. He makes an agreement with her that she should ditch him on the day of the wedding so that his mother and sisters would never bring the topic of marriage. What happens next? You can easily guess the rest.
A hero bringing a girl and making her act like a wife/girlfriend for some time to fend off pressure from parents for him to get married is an oft-repeated idea that has been used in varied ways in many Indian movies including Telugu films. Manmadhudu 2, which is the official remake of a 2006 French movie 'Prête-moi ta main' aka I Do, has a similar old theme. The only added point is the concept of ‘hire a girlfriend’.
Set in Portugal, this candy floss romantic family drama relies heavily on jaded adult jokes, routine bonding elements, and sloppy sentiment drama. Both the screenplay writers Satyanand and Rahul Ravindran have relied heavily on time-tested sequences to hold the drama. Although some scenes have generated laughs, the movie never throws a surprise, all episodes are as old as its lead hero is. There is no novelty despite the glossy sets and beautiful locations.
When Nagarjuna hires Avanthika played by Rakul as his fiancée, his plans expectedly backfire and they try to come up with another plan that leads to some comic situations which are okay but the dialogue is full of double-meaning. Nagarjuna and his sisters keep talking chaste Telugu because they are moved to Portugal some decades back and they know only that ‘old Telugu’. His Telugu usage is quite awkwardly bad and I don’t know how the director thought it would sound funny. There is also a desperate attempt to add forced cameo appurtenances by Samantha, Keerthy Suresh (Nag’s first girlfriend), and Brahmanandam. These scenes only remind the film lacks enough ‘stuff’ to hold our interest.
A kiss scene between Rakul and Jhansi and the following scenes are handled awkwardly. Then there is another adult scene of Nagarjuna and Vennela Kishore going to a sex bar. Despite flaws and tepid jokes, some comedy scenes involving Vennela Kishore to an extent. However, the film doesn’t manage to hold interest at all.
As said above, Manmadhudu 2 is not a sequel to the 2002 movie Manamadhudu that also starred Nagarjuna. The title is just a marketing gimmick to bring audiences to the theaters. While in the 2002 version, Nagarjuna hates women for a certain past, here he likes women but is commitment phobic for certain mistakes done by his family, which is so flimsy.
Nagarjuna who will turn 60 in a few days is blessed with great looks and genes. He is believable in his role of ‘hot-looking old man’ but there is no enthusiasm in his face. He shows tiredness.
Rakul Preet Singh is just okay in some scenes. Senior actress Lakshmi as Nag’s mother and Vennela Kishore as Nagarjuna’s assistant are commendable. The film is lavishly shot with eye-catchy visuals. Only one song ‘Naalona’ gets registered.
As a director, Rahul Ravindran who made debut with Chi La Sow has shown weak narration skills here.
Manmadhudu 2 is a faithful remake of the French movie I Do and like the original French drama, this one too has entirely predictable narration from start to finish and tests the patience with sloppy sentiment scenes, adult jokes and lousy treatment.