'Manchi Rojulochaie' is the only straight Telugu film in the box office race this Diwali. On the back of its trailer, which is fun-filled, the movie has attracted encouraging advance bookings. The paid premieres held on the night of November 3rd saw enthusiastic crowds expecting a cracker of an entertainer. In this section, let's see what the movie has in store.
Gopalam (Ajay Ghosh) is proud that his daughter Padma (Mehreen Pirzada) is of the "perfect character". By perfect character, he means someone who is not in love with anyone against his wishes. When he discovers that Padma is in love with Santosh (Santosh Shoban), all hell breaks loose for him. His friends accentuate his suffering by flashing a doomsday scenario. Gopalam develops differences with Santosh, who takes everything in his stride. Santosh decides to root out the actual problem that Gopalam faces. What is it? How does Santosh end the stalemate? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
Santosh Shoban is coming into its own film after film. Immediately after the enjoyable 'Ek Mini Katha', he was seen in the web series 'The Beauty & The Baker' this year. The young actor's ease is getting better by the day. In 'Manchi Rojulochaie', he is more confident than ever. Mehreen Pirzada is evolving, too. Her experience of doing big-ticket movies like 'F2' and 'F3' shows in this film. She is fine in the role of a young woman who gets romantic with her boyfriend.
But the film doesn't really belong to the lead pair. It belongs to Ajay Ghosh and his character, which was touted to be a very consequential one before the movie's release itself. And the actor pulls off both funny and serious scenes with reasonable ease.
Vennela Kishore plays a frustrated doctor, while Sapthagiri has an extended cameo as a GPS-powered ambulance driver. Viva Harsha is wasted, so also Srinivas Reddy, a boastful marriage broker. Sudharshan and Praveen are part of the cast.
Composer Anup Rubens is in good form. By picking the happening singer Sid Sriram for 'So So Ga', he ensured a breezy pub song that comes right at the beginning (almost). If 'Ekkesindi Ekkesindi' is a winner, the melodious 'Kanapadani' is situational.
The visuals by Sai Sriram are good. For a film that was shot in 28 days flat, the size of the cast is not small. And the entire team got their focus right, thanks to the efficient technical team.
The premise of 'Manchi Rojulochaie' is not bad at all. It's about how a middle-aged man thinks he is always staring at death. When his ill-intentioned 'friend' dies, Gopalam grows jittery and thinks that anything and everything can kill him. The onset of coronavirus only exacerbates his paranoia. He becomes so irrational that he gets frozen when someone around him mentions even a small tragedy.
While the premise is okay, the film doesn't have a screenplay that milks the premise. Maruthi's comedies such as 'Mahanubhavudu' and 'Prati Roju Pandage' have been somewhat madcap. But they were enjoyable. In 'Manchi Rojulochaie', he resorts to the low-hanging fruit of slapstick comedy.
It's a bold idea to give a full-fledged role to Ajay Ghosh. The artist has got more number of scenes than even Santosh Shoban. His concerns and fears become the top priority of the screenplay. Given this, the comedy should have been rib-tickling. But there is no consistently strong comedy in the film.
The scene where Ajay Ghosh's character is fooled into believing that a woman is itching to have romance with him is hilarious. The climax has a touching line or two. Santosh lecturing someone to respect his daughter's privacy is another good moment. Satyam Rajesh's cameo works.
Vennela Kishore and Saptagiri should have got a few more scenes. The film doesn't let the heroine's father and his two friends lie low even for 15 minutes at a stretch. The element of Gopalam believing that his fate is tied to his neighbour doesn't work at all.
Despite an okayish premise, 'Manchi Rojulochaie' proves to be a mixed package.