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Sri Manjunatha Review

Sri Manjunatha
Bhargav Shastry / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
7.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Devotional films have always been a safe bet for Tollywood filmmakers. But because of this rather complacent 'safeness', such films have off late become a formula rather than a genre, in our region. Keep the rest of the commercial elements (that means songs, action, villains and sex) as they are, introduce a god or goddess who, at frequent intervals, will give opportunity for some really mind boggling special effects, and we will rake in the moolah - this has become the credo of most filmmakers who attempt anything here.

It needed a casting coup of mammoth proportions, and the stewardship of a showman who has the experience of making an honest devotional film (and that's saying a lot), to make this genre come out of the rut it currently is in. In short, K Raghavendra Rao has delivered an encore.

To be stating it objectively, Sri Manjunatha seems to be a shaivite version of Annamayya, with The Destroyer replacing The Preceptor. But that's where the similarities end. A new and an equally professional star cast, a new surge of devotion and, most importantly, the divine paradox of eulogizing The Destroyer, are splendidly brought out in the film.

It is also a rare occasion in Telugu films when star power, comprising the 'megastar', the 'action king' and an actress of the stature of Soundarya, and the theme have complemented each other so well. Add to that supplements like special effects and soul-stirring dialogues, and what you get is a winner outright.

The film is about the transition of an arrogant atheist Manjunatha (Arjun) into one of the most ardent devotees of Lord Shiva (Chiranjeevi). The rather vehement atheism of Manju is very well brought out in the song 'Oho Garalakantha', where he is cursing Shiva a hundred times and Shiva is at the same time performing the Divine Dance with ├ęclat. When questioned about this rather peculiar behavior by his consort Parvati (Meena), the Lord says that very soon the atheist would undergo a transformation and become a paragon of devotion.

Manju marries Katyayini (Soundarya), an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, and they have a son. And from there the transition of Manju starts with the divine aid of the Lord.

The first half disappoints as we see the director falling back on his commercial caterings. That includes a couple of unnecessary songs, giving Arjun a chance to flex his muscles, and some inane villains.

But it is only in the second half that the purpose of the film is brought out. Some splendid scenes like the one where the Lord comes disguised as an old man to Manju's house and the final scene that is an interlude between Manju and the Lord where he feeds Him food, make the viewers reach a devotional high. Particularly moving are the dialogues here; one of them which has Manju telling Shiva, "Oh, Lord! You are constantly directing this divine play, which must have made you very tired. Here, let me refresh you."

Chiranjeevi as Lord Shiva plays his role to the hilt. And so does Soundarya hers. But clearly, the most commendable performance is that of Arjun, who makes a smooth transformation from his action king image to that of a devotionally charged character. His performance comes as the most pleasant surprise in the entire affair.

Sri Manjunatha is an example of doing justice to a particular genre with complete honesty. It will reap the dividends due to this trait.
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SRI MANJUNATHA SNAPSHOT
Sri Manjunatha (telugu) reviews
USER RATING
8.4
75 USERS
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SRI MANJUNATHA USER REVIEWS
1 - 15 OF 18 COMMENTS  |  NEXT  |  LAST
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USER RATING
8.4
75 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Raju BK on 7th Jul 2001, 4:14am | Permalink
great outcome from chiru's daring decision to cast this kind of devotional movie...All credit goes to Raghvendra rao obiviously...
RATING
8
Raj Kumar on 5th Jul 2001, 4:45pm | Permalink
its simple superb!!
amazing performence by chiru and arjun..
RATING
10
Priyanka Chowdary on 28th Jun 2001, 6:00pm | Permalink
supurb! No words to appreciate the performances of the actors especially chiru's.
He proved that he can fit to any of the roles.
really he is excellent
and so the others also
RATING
10
Chinna on 28th Jun 2001, 2:05am | Permalink
Chiru back to the wreckoning. A devotional masterpiece.
RATING
10
Jayavelu on 27th Jun 2001, 6:03am | Permalink
Excellent movie... Chiru action, agile walking style & shiva tahndavam are really super.
RATING
10
Jayavelu on 27th Jun 2001, 6:03am | Permalink
Excellent movie... Chiru action, agile walking style & shiva tahndavam are really super.
RATING
10
P KIRAN KUMAR on 27th Jun 2001, 12:29am | Permalink
junior NTR is better for this type of roles. He also acts this type of pictures in his 12 th years old. Chiru's action is not good. he didnot suitable for this type of characters
RATING
2
P TIRUPATAIAH CHOUDARY on 27th Jun 2001, 12:26am | Permalink
this is a worst movie than mrugaraju.arjun's action is good than chiru.chiru not suitable to compare with NTR.
RATING
2
Srinivas Gonuguntla on 26th Jun 2001, 12:38am | Permalink
it is excellelent chiru action is superb
he is at his best
RATING
10
Rajesh Chandrbabu on 25th Jun 2001, 12:17pm | Permalink
its very goood movie wonderfull iam really impressed
RATING
10
Prakash on 25th Jun 2001, 9:29am | Permalink
it was NTR yesterday....it is Chiru today.
RATING
10
Swathi Reddy on 25th Jun 2001, 1:04am | Permalink
Very good devotional movie. Chiranjeevi and arjun acted brilliantly. But overall it's chiranjeevi who steals the show with mind blowing performance in different getups.
RATING
10
Laxmi Devi on 25th Jun 2001, 1:01am | Permalink
Chiranjeevi as Lord Shiva is excellent. He has proved again that he is the Megastar of tollywood. Other artists acted well. Overall a very good movie and a sure shot superhit in all the languages.
RATING
10
Sree Reddy on 24th Jun 2001, 4:19pm | Permalink
ok not bad
RATING
4
Suresh Vadalamudi on 24th Jun 2001, 12:05pm | Permalink
a very good film that brings out unconditional devotion.arjun and chru were both very good.music was let down though.
RATING
8
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