Cast: Naga Shaurya, Niharika, Rao Ramesh, Avasarala Srinivas and Others
Directed by: Rama Raju
Produced by: Madhura Sridhar Reddy
Banner: Madhura Entertainment
Music by: Sunil Kashyap
Release Date: 2016-06-24
Niharika Konidela's debut helped Oka Manasu to make some buzz prior to the release. Director Rama Raju's previous film Mallela Teeramlo... won the appreciation of critics, which added to the media hype around it. Despite Rama Raju's noble intentions of making a clean romantic drama, Oka Manasu fails to tug heart strings due to its snail pace and pointless screenplay.
What is it about?
Sandhya (Niharika) is a house surgeon that falls in love with Surya (Shaurya) an aspiring politician. Surya wants to contest in the Municipal elections but falls prey to a friend's politics and ends up in jail. Surya comes out on bail after three years. Although Surya's future looks bleak Sandhya decides to live with him. Can they ever get together as Surya gets into deeper troubles?
Naga Shaurya keeps it simple. He is maturing as an actor with each film. He is perfect for his character and did well without going overboard. He is superb as the person caught between love, father and life ambition. Niharika Konidela can act. She makes a confident debut. Although the character is a bit matured for her age, Niharika somehow managed to look the part. Rao Ramesh has an underwhelming character. Avasarala Srinivas is wasted. Pragathi overacts as usual. Vennela Kishore's cameo doesn't work. Krishna Bhagavan also is wasted in a purposeless character.
Rama Raju tried to present this story in poetic style. He succeeded up to an extent but things get repetitive as the story moves forward. Same scenes and conversations come again and again that ultimately tests the patience levels of the viewers. Rama Raju should have made a love story that reflects contemporary times. The story and emotions look dated and unconvincing. Only part that the director made some impact is the climax portion of the film.
Music by Sunil Kashyap is mediocre. Not even a single song is soothing or catchy. Background score is unimpressive. Cinematography is okay with pleasant visuals. Editing is bad. Editor could have trimmed down the run time by a good half an hour or so.
Oka Manasu is a romantic drama that is set in contemporary times but will only appeal to people from the previous generations. Will a doctor blindly fall in love with some random guy with whom she sees no future? Oka Manasu is poetic, but it is impractical. There is scope for better drama with the conflict point, but the director chooses to make it a never ending saga of philosophical conversations between the lead pair.
More than ninety percent of the scenes are on the lead pair itself. They meet in various places and keep on talking all the time. At times they kiss or hug! There is absolutely no chemistry between the lead pair. It is hard to get involved into these sluggish proceedings even during the climax part where the story heads for an unusual ending.
Love stories needs to be pleasant and make us root for the lead characters. But the lead pair in this film get on our nerves that we don't even feel the pain during their biggest miseries. There are sub plots and other characters that are not used at all. There is a lot of scope for drama, but Oka Manasu refuses to make use of it. It is not fair to compare this to a television serial. Even they are trying to be funny these days. On a whole, Oka Manasu is like an ultimate test for one's patience.
Verdict: Never ending Love saga.