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Times of India
It seems the Marathi film industry is making up for the first six months of mediocrity and we are more than happy. After a lovely romance (Muramba) and horror flick (Lapachhapi), Manjha comes as another diversion from the run-of-the-mill stuff.
The film revolves around the life of a mother and her son who are starting life afresh. Jaideep (Phalke) is going through therapy to come to terms with his father’s behaviour towards him and his mother Samidha (Bhave). After the two move to Lonavala, Jai befriends Vicky (Mudgalkar) and the latter is always there for him. But he comes off as too clingy after a while and that’s enough for Jai to become suspicious of his behaviour. Jai confides in his mother and she tries to warn others but to no avail. So, Samidha decides to take things in control and bring out the truth.
Essentially a psychological thriller, Manjha takes time to build up. The first half is tedious but things pick up gradually. The sudden shifts in Vicky’s behaviour have been ably handled by youngster Sumedh Mudgalkar. He tends to go overboard at times but as the psychotic Vicky, he’s perfect. Among other actors, Ashvini Bhave seems to have developed a penchant for thrillers and after Dhyanimani, she follows it up with another good performance in Manjha. Rohit Phalke, who we last saw in Balak Palak, is sincere and measured in his role as Jai.
In fact, performances from the leads are the high points of this film which doesn’t really succeed in terms of keeping you on the edge of your seat. It’s a decent watch, yes, but not as intriguing as it could’ve been.