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Times of India
Synopsis: Bujangaiah (Prakash Raj), a Dubai returned businessman has dreams of doing things his ways; Susheela (Priyamani), an escort is materialistic at core; an autodriver Siva (Satya Dev) has his eyes on unfulfilled Dubai diaries, and a director, Garuda (Pruthvi) is head over heels for his dream movie project. Bujangaiah is stuck with Susheela in a house outside his own and Siva hasn’t returned although he promised he’d be back with food as he is caught drunken driving with Garuda. Bujangaiah’s struggle to save his reputation and his consequent self-realisations is what mana Oori Ramayanam is about.
Movie Review: The story of Mana Oori Ramayanam unfolds during Ram Navami representing how every person during the festival aspires to be Rama, despite all of us having a Ravana in us. Bujangaiah quite literally gets a change of perspective from the locked room, which opens finally only to let out a changed man.
All metaphors aside, the movie is a simple story of human nature that plays out as the consequence of a drunken adventure. The realistic and believable characters in the movie are a breath of fresh air from the larger than life roles we see in a mainstream Tollywood potboiler. Bujangaiah, the hypocritical man of the conventional rural family, a prostitute for whom money is the biggest priority, an autodriver who wants to turn around his destiny and a movie maker who’s trying to catch hold of a hero for his next script – the four main characters of the movie act and react how you would expect a person in that situation would. For once, the story doesn’t run the characters; it’s the other way round. How the paths of these characters are intertwined is engaging.
Prakash Raj called this directorial venture of his, a “comedy-thriller”. And instead of just throwing together the two genres, the screenplay transitions from comedy to thriller seamlessly. Bujangaiah’s situation which was funny just minutes earlier turns tense before you know it. The movie manages to keep you glued to the seat through the journey of self-discovery of the protagonist.
Prakash Raj as usual was a treat to watch as he brought Bujangaiah to life. Priyamani meanwhile pulled off the role of Susheela effortlessly. Satya Dev’s performance was quite notable and that’s a feat considering he was sharing screenspace with National Award winners.
If Prakash Raj didn’t make the movie for commercial audiences then he succeeded - by doing away with the elements like songs, dance and seperate comedy tracks. The music and comedy in the movie is blended into the plot rather than patched on to the narration as additions.
Prakash Raj delivers with yet another ambitious movie; Mana Oori Ramayanam makes for a perfect watch for the festive season.