Majnu: Feel-good romance

Nani in a still from the film  

Boy meets girl, is besotted, woos and wins her over. When everything is going rather smooth, there’s a friction. They move apart only to meet later, albeit in a sticky situation. They hold back and face awkward moments, after which it’s easy to guess their path of action.

Virinchi Varma deals with a storyline that has nothing new. There are no major surprises in the character arcs of the principal players. The suave, humorous guy faces icky situations from which he cannot wriggle out easily; the shy, reluctant girl eventually rises up to a tough situation, and a girl with a devil-may-care attitude ends up being more considerate.

Though the story plods on expected lines, Virinchi Varma and team try to give the audience a few laughs, soak in a dreamy canvas mounted by cinematographer Gnanasekhar, aided by Gopi Sunder’s background score that adds to the romance.

Then there’s the lead actor, Nani, who has made it a habit to deliver one fine performance after another. This is home turf for him, where he plays a charming guy with a funny bone. He aces it, making the film more enjoyable than it really is.

Aditya (Nani), infatuated by Suma (Priya Shri), agrees to share his love story when she urges him to. He retraces his journey with Kiran (Anu Emmanuel), only to realise he hasn’t moved on.

The romance between Aditya and Kiran in Bhimavaram is where Majnu scores. In another film, in another set of situations, a lecturer pursuing a timid student would have seemed like stalking. The director walks a thin line between narrating a playful wooing game and stalking and manages to stay on the right side. A dash of humour and a touch of sensitivity make the difference.

The film is peppered with situational comedy throughout. It’s fun when Aditya tries to drown his sorrow in Ilayaraja’s pathos numbers or when he tells Sapthagiri ‘Ekkuva maatladithe editing-lo theesestha’. The erstwhile lecturer from Bhimavaram is now an assistant director to Rajamouli for Baahubali – The Conclusion. Full props for not holding back from poking fun at the enormous time Rajamouli is likely to take to complete his mammoth project.

However, given the predictability of Majnu’s storyline, there’s only so much that can be salvaged through humour. Whether it’s the protective family background that Kiran comes from or the flimsy reason that makes her move away from Aditya, there was scope to lend it further gravitas.

The songs vary from soothing melodies to jarring ones. The leading women, Anu Emmanuel and Priya Shri, let their lack of experience show. Pitched against a lead actor who’s in fine form, Anu falls woefully short with expressions that border on being blank. She has a warm screen presence but needs to shed her inhibitions while emoting. Priya Shri is shades better, but still has a long way to go.

In the lean portions, the fun track between Vennela Kishore and Nani offers respite.

Majnu is enjoyable but not unique. One just wished that the film had been as endearing as the heartfelt letter that plays a key role.


Cast: Nani, Anu Emmanuel, Priya Shri

Direction: Virinchi Varma

Music: Gopi Sunder

Rating: 3

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