Manamantha / Vismayam Review – Mohanlal and the Climax makes it work

Mohanlal in Manamantha

Vismayam takes its own time while slowly unfolding the four stories in its first half. One of the stories (Vishwant’s) is actually pretty weak too . But the good news for us is that Mohanlal gets the most exciting story of the four and in a role that has lot of scope to perform, the actor puts his heart and soul. The result is a memorable performance after a long time and a stellar return to form.

There are few things on screen that give us more pleasure than watching Mohanlal portraying a common simple man at his┬ásubtle and restrained best. As a supermarket’s assistant manager who struggles to correct a mistake he committed, Mohanlal is a treat. Watch out for a scene where he goes in a bar looking for a girl’s father. He knows he is not in there yet he cannot tell that to the girl and the actor like we know is at the top of his game. The movie also benefits immensely in the second half with actor’s terrific ability to bring urgency to the tense scenes.

The little girl gets the second best story in the movie and her bond with the little boy does melt our hearts at times. Both the girl and boy act pretty well. In Gautami’s story, Urvashi’s presence paves way for few laughs but you might start losing the interest in this thread pretty soon. Vishwant’s story is the weakest of all and if done away with or shortened would have done wonders to the movie.

Despite the flaws in the movie, director Chandra Sekhar Yeleti does two things right. One – He lets the story pick up the pace drastically in the last 30 minutes and brings in a beautiful culmination to the four stories. Two – When the film-makers in Malayalam were busy using Mohanlal’s classic one liners and characters to get applause in their movies, Yeleti for a change decided to exploit the ‘actor’ in Mohanlal. It is ironic that we needed a director from Telugu for that but we are glad you came forward Yeleti !

“Evideyo vechu njan vazhi maari poyi….” tells Mohanlal’s character in this movie and you cannot help but find a resemblance in that line to the actor’s choice of movies off screen in last few years. Lets hope Vismayam is just that break which we were looking for where the actor starts the return to his roots.