Directed by: Sandeep A Varma
Starring: Sasho Satyiish Saarthy, Yashpal Sharma, Seema Biswas, Kishor
Kadam, Anjorie Alagh, Faisal Rashid
What's it about:
Based on the true story of Shanmugham Manjunath, the film attempts to
throw light on the reasons leading to his death and how his attempt to
expose the corrupt business of selling adulterated diesel cost him his
life. There are episodes that tell us why he grew up to be the person
he was, as Sandeep Varma brings in supporting characters who create a
dramatic interpretation of events leading to his final hours. If you
google up his name and read up some material before watching this
film, it will be more impactful and interesting.
Full marks to the research team for putting together the script. Given
the subject it is commendable that they have managed to also showcase
the sometimes complex yet subtle relationships Manjunath had with his
parents and friends. Seema Biswas does a fantastic job of playing his
mother and we wonder why we don't get to see more of her in such
strong author backed roles. Sarathy too is a great find to play the
lead role and he does it with ease. Varma despite the dangling sword
of making his film commercially viable is able to get his audience
engaged in the somewhat uneven storyline.
Parts of the film seem forced and rehearsed. Especially portions
leading up to his death and the after math needed a better graph. It
also tests your patience and there is no instant gratification. You
have to wait till the very end to get a bird eye view of the films
motive. Sequences involving the court case, police enquiry, candle
light vigil marches seem like a bad cut paste job.
What to do:
Manjunath is a story that needs to be told in a time when corruption
has seeped into every tiny crevice of our society. We wish the effort
was more hard hitting than its attractive posters.