Review Movies

Padi Padi Leche Manasu: A muddled up romance

Sai Pallavi and Sharwanand

Sai Pallavi and Sharwanand  

The effervescent Sai Pallavi is the saving grace of ‘Padi Padi Leche Manasu’

Maybe on paper, some portions of Padi Padi Leche Manasu looked like an all-consuming romance that can sweep us off our feet. The atmospherics are all spot-on, from the rain-soaked lanes of Kolkata that brim with character to the city’s trams and trains. Vishal Chandrashekar’s music matches the spring in Sai Pallavi’s step and adds mirth to the City of Joy, beautifully captured by Jay Kay.

Sai Pallavi and Sharwanand are actors who can sink their teeth into solid roles and ensure we have a good time at the movies. When it comes to romance, writer-director Hanu Raghavapudi can paint an absorbing tale. So it’s a jolt when these people come together to present a romance that at first seems joyous, then unsure of where it stands, and eventually gets messy. At one point Priyadarshi wears an apt expression that’s hard to describe in words and declares that he can’t make sense of anything. Neither could I.

 

Padi Padi Leche Manasu
  • Cast: Sharwanand, Sai Pallavi
  • Direction: Hanu Raghavapudi

Medical student Vaishali (Sai Pallavi) is the darling of her locality and getting her attention isn’t easy. Surya (Sharwanand) does the most unimaginative thing of incessantly following her around town. To win her empathy, he cooks up a tale that someone else who’s madly in love with her doesn’t like him and threatens to beat him up. But it’s Surya who’s beating up anyone who dares to cross her path. This charade continues and after the novelty wears thin, I wished he’d just come clean — especially in the scene where he meets both Vaishali and her father, the district magistrate (Murali Sharma in a brief, impressive part).

The music and Kolkata salvage the proceedings initially. Later when it shifts to Nepal and things go awry, with the lead characters further adding to the confusion with their own insecurities and playing hide and seek, it marks the downslide of the film. Retrograde amnesia is discussed and a wooing game begins all over again. In between all this, there’s a thread of how a son still nurses the wounds of growing up in a broken family. The way this comes to the fore, out of the blue, is beyond reasoning. Surya and Vaishali might be confused, complex and immature youngsters. But the actors playing these parts look far more mature to be saddled with these immaturities and end up looking silly. If only they would sit across the table, talk and iron out their differences.

The romance moves along aimlessly and as one knot after the other knot is unravelled, it becomes an exhausting watch. Even brief comic parts by Sunil and Vennela Kishore don’t help.

Hanu Raghavapudi is capable of much better stories. While he gets the best out of his technical team and his lead actors, the plot is a huge letdown.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 1:58:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/padi-padi-leche-manasu-a-muddled-up-romance/article25799007.ece

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