Moggina Manasu shifts between the sensible and the banal
The most disappointing film in recent times is “Minchina Ota” mainly because of the expectations thanks to the tall claims of director Ramesh. The best of technology cannot help an inept plot. Sadly, even the technology is not used properly. That the use of a ‘Super 35’ camera cannot enhance the quality of the cinematography is displayed here. Veteran Rajan’s work behind the camera leaves a lot to be desired. Ultimately the entire blame for the monumental waste of money lies on Ramesh. It leaves you wondering if he’s the same director who made “Cyanide”. The climax inspired by Spielberg’s “Duel” is a damp squib. For once even the gifted Rangayana Raghu who brings to life the most inane of characters looks numbed.
It’s difficult to make up your mind about “Moggina Manasu”. By the way is it a co-incidence or superstition that the title sounds similar to producer Krishnappa’s monster success “Mungaru Maley”? Anyway the film vacillates wildly between the sensible and the banal. For a change you get to watch a film from the female point of view. It’s about four girls taking wobbly steps into the world of adulthood, passing through a phase of muddled minds and the urge to impress males with surging testosterones. You could call it the female version of Shanker’s “Boys”. Making a film with four female protagonists and trying to give them equal screen space is a writer’s nightmare, but director Shashank manages pretty well. The positive point is that the preaching is subtle and not in your face except for a professor who lectures about the difference between love and infatuation. There’s the village belle who transforms overnight into a city slicker and even acquires an accent. She’s seduced and deserted driving her to suicide. Then there’s the lass who uses and discards men because someone cheated her sister. The third has a control freak for a father. She leaves her home to live in with her boyfriend only to discover his insecurities. Last but not the least is our heroine who desperately seeks love but gets entangled with a jealous and possessive lover. This and the experiences of her friends put her off love permanently or so you feel till a persistent suitor appears.
The flow in the narrative suffers only because director Shashank does not have enough confidence in his abilities.
The film looks disjointed because the censors have chopped off chunks including a song. The so-called comedy track involving Sharan is as pathetic as the puerile sms jokes that are circulated and has nothing to do with the plot. The heroine’s possessive lover swears he’ll spoil her peace of mind when she walks out but strangely disappears from the film. On the positive side, the performances of the female protagonists especially Radhika Pandit is first rate. She uses her eyes eloquently and never goes over the top though she gets ample opportunities. Her underplaying is even more surprising considering her sitcom background. Here’s another actress who proves that it’s only if you need oomph you have to import actresses but for meaningful performances there’s enough local talent. Shuba Punja is endearing.
The male performers are terrible except for Yash who’s good but aping Ganesh’s ‘mouthful of marbles’ dialogue delivery, which will take him nowhere.S. SHIVA KUMAR