Manoharam directed by Anvar Sadik is a template feel-good movie that has an extremely predictable script with only one major difference; the backdrop. The movie’s running time is around 122 minutes and thus this movie never becomes a burden for the viewer. With too much of guessable turn of events in the screenplay, Manoharam is a onetime watch with no big takeaways to its credit.
Manu is a guy who is an artist and he paints advertisements on walls and boards to earn a living. The situations around him have changed and flex printing has taken over the market. When Manu got to know that his childhood rival is planning to start a flex printing unit in his hometown, he decided to overtake him by making an effort to start the unit first. The efforts of Manu to accomplish that and the hardships he faces in that endeavor is what Manoharam showing.
As I said, the premise of the movie is kind of exciting as it has not been really explored. Initially, Manu is a representation of true art and he succumbs to the pressure of adapting to time. He decided to do a lot of things that weren’t really his thing. Over a course of time through several failures, Manu learns that he is ultimately an artist, not a businessman. These points make the story of the movie one with good intention. But Anvar Sadik’s route map to the ultimate climax is the problem here. In the beginning, things are pretty hasty and stiff. The initial scenes have a forced nature in its way of incorporating humor. The interval twist was a predictable one, but they managed to give a different ending that sort of generated a curiosity. When it comes to the second half, things are getting tweaked a little too much. It is really difficult to buy all those things Basil and Vineeth’s characters are doing. You would easily know how and when some characters will appear and change their nature. But the way the film sort of maintains the feel-good nature saves it.
Vineeth Sreenivasan has that innocent face by default which makes him a likable Manu with an inferiority complex. His dialect is a mixture of both Kannur and Palakkad slang. Aparna Das, whose IMDB page says she was there in Njan Prakashan, is actually a really good find. The acting was fine and there is a sense of minimalism in her expressions. Basil Joseph was fine handling the humor. Indrans was also okay in a role that doesn’t really demand too much from him. Deepak Parambol was a bit too eccentric in the first half where he is showing off his wealth and power. It was good to see Hareesh Peradi in a different light. Ahmed Siddique, Nandini Sree, Sree Lakshmi, Jude Anthany Joseph, Nisthar Sait, Delhi Ganesh etc are the other major names here.
Anvar Sadik’s first film was also with Vineeth Sreenivasan; Ormayundo Ee Mukham. Coming to his second film, Anvar definitely shows some improvement and he is trying to strike a balance between realism and usual drama. Nidhin Raj Arol who has edited the movie tries to make it slick in the initial portions of the movie through some fast cuts even in normal conversations. While it worked for sequences that had a montage feel, similar cuts for conversations was making things look too much in a hurry. The screenplay is actually trying to place usual conflicts, twists and turns in a relatively unexplored backdrop of flex printing and painting. Cinematic liberty is taken abundantly to create situations and as I already mentioned it is difficult to believe a lot of things that unfold at the beginning of the second half. Sanjeev Thomas’ music was effective. Jebin Jacob’s cinematography was nice in terms of framing, but somewhere I expected a better coloring for a movie of this emotional tone.
Manoharam may not move you emotionally the way usually feel-good movies do. In terms of the ultimate feel this movie provides, it comes below Aravindhant Adithikal in my opinion. But the minimal runtime and some sweetness in the overall story make it a onetime watch that has no desperations to be an entertainer.
Manoharam may not move you emotionally the way usually feel-good movies do. But the minimal runtime and some sweetness in the overall story make it a onetime watch.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended