Mental Madhilo - Movie Review

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 08:45
Mental Madhilo (2017)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Mental Madhilo
Cast: Sree Vishnu, Nivetha Pethuraj, Amrutha, Raj Madiraj, Anitha, Sivaji Raja and others
Story: Vivek Athreya, Jonathan Cristillo
Music: Prashanth R Vihari
Cinematographer: Vedaraman
Editor: Viplav Nyshadam
Art: Manisha Satyavolu
Stylist: Ajab Ali Akber
Producer: Raj Kandukuri
Written and directed by: Vivek Athreya
CBFC Rating: UA
Runtime: 141 min
Release date: November 24, 2017

What's it about!

Since childhood, Aravind Krishna (Sree Vishnu) has a problem in ticking one when multiple choices are given - be it in exam papers, or in daily life like selecting t-shirts, etc. He is also very clumsy in talking with girls. When he attains marriageable age, his parents start finding suitable girl for him but he gets rejected by all. His 30th alliance Swecha (Nivetha Pethuraj) okays him after understanding his innocence and shyness. After getting to know each other for few days, their engagement date is set. Destiny has other plans. When he leaves for Mumbai on office work, he gets introduced to a mischievous and mysterious girl Renu (Amrutha). After few days of friendship, he gets attracted to her and his old problem resurfaces - selecting one between Swecha and Renu.


Raj Kandukuri, the producer of 'Pelli Choopulu', a modern tale of love and marriage that won national and Nandi awards, comes up this rom-com 'Mental Madhilo', introducing new director Vivek Athreya. Finding your soul mate or life-partner is not that easy, you always get confused. More so for a guy who has issue of indecisiveness! What would happen if such guy lands in confusion of selecting one between two women?  This forms the base line for debutant director Vivek Athreya's movie.

It begins with some hilarious scenes of hero's characterisation. When he is a kid, his mother asks him to wear either of the shirts she placed in the cupboard but he can't choose one and steps out naked in front of all the guests. Then the story moves forward to his matrimonial ordeals. He lacks courage to talk to women. This results in many rejections. His father gets irritated with his son as he's being rejected by girls at pelli choopulu. These are played out well that establishes the hero's situation and generates a hearty laugh. One can easily convince with the thread of Swecha liking him and showing fondness towards him. As the story moves forward exploring the aspects of this couple's pre-engagement days, we get totally involved in.

The director has presented this part so coolly and so entertainingly. His narrative drive in the first half is deft and he superbly withholds some happenings before interval to reveal them post-interval (perhaps inspired by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's screenplay technique).

Any guy who is rejected by more than 28 women at pelli choopulu and who is shy of talking to girls would be more than content with the girl who accepted his alliance and loves him. But here the director and writer gets confused like the hero's character and introduce another woman in the story to test the hero's multiple choice issue. Well, this forcible entry of Renu in hero's life not only disturbs him but also changes the mood of the movie completely.

On paper Renu's angle sounds good but the execution of this episode that entirely happens in Mumbai is a bore to the core. One reason is the scenes and situations here happen inorganically. They are forced. The other reason is the girl's back-story and her reason for being in Mumbai and getting attracted to him doesn't make much sense. It is also illogical: a girl so easily moving into a stranger's flat that has three unmarried men and sleeping besides them on floor without worrying anything defies logic.

These episodes took nearly 40 minutes of runtime post-interval. Luckily, the movie chugs back on to the track when Swecha enters again in the scene and the breezy moments begin to happen again. The film ends on happy and emotional note leaving us satisfied.

Sree Vishnu is perfect choice for the role. He has already proved his acting mettle in films like 'Appatlo Okadundevaadu' but here he is spot on in this role. Newcomer Nivetha Pethuraj is brilliant. Her beauty, her performance, her understanding of the character has made the role so endearing. She is the main pillar to this romantic drama. Amrutha is okay as the other girl but her character is weak. As Sree Vishnu's father Sivaji Raja is hilarious. Raj Madiraju, Anitha, Kireet Damaraju and others are good in their roles.

Prashanth R Vihari comes up with good music and Vedaraman's camera work is impressive. Film has decent production values. Editing is inconsistent. As writer and director Vivek Athreya has shown so much command in the first hour of this movie.

Bottom-line: 'Mental Madhilo', a rom-com about a guy's indecisiveness to choose right partner between the two women he's attracted to, has many funny and entertaining moments. Total first half is breezy and an enjoyable ride. However, it slips many steps in the middle. On the whole, it makes a fun watch.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli