Mind-Blowing Chemistry: Sharwanand and Krithi Shetty Shine in Manamey Movie Review

Sharwanand & Krithi Shetty starrer Manamey is directed by Sriram Aditya of Devadas fame
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Director: Sriram Aditya

Cast: Sharwanand, Krithi Shetty, Vennela Kishore

When I was scrolling Instagram a couple of days back, I came across this post that read, “Having a kid is like getting a tattoo on your face. You better be committed.” Hilarious, yes. I couldn’t agree more though. Parenting is a commitment, one that decides what life looks like for another human being and I see people take it lightly all around me. The choice is made to ward off the pressure from society the majority of the time, and it is something that I have always pondered on. Interestingly enough, Manamey, the film starring Sharwanand and Krithi Shetty in lead roles, is about parenting. It is about two adults who did not choose to become parents, but the situation pushes them to take on the responsibility. These two strangers — Vikram and Subhadra — come together to take care of their friends’ child after their friends lose their life in an accident.

This plotline is not really new considering we have seen that in many Hollywood films. What really makes Manamey interesting is how it sets this up in the milieu of Indian families and a society that is hardwired to frown upon a situation where the parents are not married. In Manamey’s case, we do not see the social context drawn upon too upon, which I personally feel could have added much weight to the film. Instead, as a romantic feel, it hides behind humor most of the times to really entertain audiences. Considering the fact that the two lead characters have opposing personalities — one a fun loving irresponsible dude and the other being a responsible young lady who respects promises — humor does work in the film’s favor. In fact, we can even call it the saving grace. For everything else about the film is either expected, or disappointing.

Do you know why the majority of the audience fell in love with Hi Nanna, which was also a romance drama set around parenting? It did not veer away from the lead characters’ life to introduce an unnecessary villain. In fact, this trope was subverted in the film in a small way. Manamey, on the other hand, veers away from the characters quite a bit because of this ‘villain’. If we move beyond this, there is also the melodrama that comes with these two opposing characters falling in love.

I believe that the villain of the story could have been the confusion and conflicts that arise in this relationship, with a child adding an interesting dynamic to the situation. Instead, the lead characters’ romance seems a bit removed from the child. Sure, he is a consideration, and there is enough care and attention given to his presence in the film, but not enough is given when it comes to the relationship itself. It is about caring for a child, but what does having a child in a newly blooming romance really mean? This is not explored from an emotional angle, which made the film very superficial for me. It also left me wondering, why are we so reticent to explore the emotional aspect of plotlines such as this. Why do we only choose melodrama without emotional context?

Rating: 2.5 (out of 5 stars)

Manamey is playing in cinemas

Priyanka Sundar is a film journalist who covers films and series of different languages with a special focus on identity and gender politics.

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