Nageswar Rao aka Bittu (Nagarjuna) loses his parents (Krishna and Radha) right in the childhood in an accident near a clock tower. Eventually he grows up into a well off businessman and miraculously finds Nagarjuna (Naga Chaitanya) and Priya (Samantha). Assuming his lost parents have reborn for him, Nageswar Rao befriends them. While trying to unite them, Nageswar Rao happens to find his soul mate Anjali (Shriya) accidentally. Nageswar Rao and Anjali rescue a patient by name Chaitanya (ANR). How did Nageswar Rao unite his parents and how is Chaitanya related to this story forms the plot of the story.
ANR: It is absolutely a treat to watch this legend for one last time. However, his chemistry with his grand son Naga Chaitanya is a must-watch in the film. The comedy they generate is absolutely endearing.
Nagarjuna: He is the showstopper. Yes…this film is close to his heart and you can see Nag at his lifetime best in this film. Be it sentiment, romance or name whatever emotion, he’s won it with grace!
Naga Chaitanya: Even Naga Chaitanya was at his best in this film. The way he portrays two different roles (Nagarjuna and Radha) in two different timelines is impressive. He has definitely made the cut as an actor but somehow pathos and emotional scenes are simply not his things. Hope, with age and experience, he mellows!
Samantha: This lady is already an A-grade actress of her times and she just proved why she is always a winner in her league. Krishna and Priya are tailor made roles for Sam. Beauty, Poise and Mellowness make her character a must-watch.
Shriya: You can’t help falling in love with this lady once again after Nuvve Nuvve. Her characters Ramalaxmi and Anjali are very realistic and lovable. Except for some miniscule dubbing errors, she was a ‘perfecto’ for the character.
The rest of the cast including MS Narayana (as Principal Father), Ali (as dance master Leonardo DiCaprio), Saptagiri, Posani (as SI Dharma), Tejaswi and others have done their part to make this film an enjoyable watch.
*Apart from this jumbo pack, you’ll have four special appearances – Amala, Akhil, Lavanya and Big B [Well, we can't reveal much] but all we can say is 'Don’t Miss them'!
One can’t help appreciating this beautiful mastermind behind a serene and endearing story like Manam - Vikram K Kumar!
He has crafted and molded this family entertainer not just as a conventional commercial entertainer but with love and utmost care like how a mother raises her baby. The way he told two stories set across two different timelines with the same gentleness and feel is certainly laudable. For most of the time, you have magic but watching closely you’ll get the logic as well. ANR, Nagarjuna and Chaitanya have the same aura and reason for everyone to watch, feel and cherish. Well, he hasn’t forgotten to leave his trademark thriller impression even in this family entertainer and it is quite evident from some scenes - well we got that too!
First Half: The movie takes its time to settle down and once it seeps in, it sails on smoothly. Nagarjuna-Naga Chaitanya comedy, Posani comedy, Samantha performance, Big B introduction, Shriya and ANR's entrance are a must-watch in the first half.
Interval: Thoug it is predictable, you won't mind skipping it off.
Second Half: This segment has the sheer domination of Nag and Shriya, their story and performances. ANR-Chai comedy and the climax remains the highlight of this segment. And watch out for the climax - you have a surprise!
- The lead cast performances and the lovable characters that’ll stay with you.
- The sensible storyline knit around sensitive points and subtle emotions unlike regular melodramas and the engaging narration that make the film watchable.
- The intense scenes that tug you at some point in the entire run of the show.
- The dialogs that fit the bill so well – be it comedy or sentiment. For instance, “Cheptene Premundani kaadu but Premunte Cheppaliraa…” shall definitely strike the chord.
- The brilliant cinematography, editing and music that take this film close to your heart.
- Lack of the conventional commercial elements might disappoint the mass audience.
- Lack of hilarious humor and separate comedy tracks might just take expectations for a toss.
- The sound design was abrupt at times.
- Brahmanandam was not totally under-utilized.
If you can ignore logic and logistics, you can enjoy the magic of Manam. It is a celebration of love and beauty of relationships. Even for the one who comes to watch on a sympathy note, the director offers a legitimate reason to watch! And no one can make it better than Vikram did.
Apart from the heartwarming tunes he has given to Manam, Anoop Rubens has definitely escalated in terms of re-recording. He almost went to the extent of seeping into the chambers of the heart with his back ground score. And nonetheless to say, the songs have been picturised well except the much anticipated Piyo Piyo Re song.
The cinematography by PS Vinod and Art by Rajeevan were top notch. Every the editing by Preveen Pudi was impressive.
Manam is an outright family entertainer that needs to be watched for ANR and the entire Akkineni family. Along with a magical story, you’ll have lot to laugh, cry, cherish and to be surprised in the film! You’ll take back home a good feeling and ANR’s smile for sure.