Who's the master performer?

Film reviews

Who's the master performer?

Mangana Kaili Maanikya
Kannada (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: Rajendra Karanth
Cast: Ramesh Arvind, Rangayana Raghu, Ravishankar Gowda, Harshika Poonacha

Alright, perhaps fed up with the deviousness of Hollywood Woody Allen has descended upon Kannada filmdom. Or more precisely, upon well known theatre personality Rajendra Karanth, who debuts as a film director with “Mangana Kaili Maanikya” after writing dialogues to umpteen films including Rama Shama Bhama.

The title is apt: An ego clash with a hot-shot producer and a director whose fame has skyrocketed results in the latter being thrown out of an ambitious project and replaced by another Barigaalu Manohar whose eccentricities have lost him success, goodwill and his assistant-cum-girlfriend. The ex knows his potential and manages to get him the project. But an overexcited and hypertensed Manohar loses his vision (literally) before shooting commences.

“Hollywood Ending (2012)” was a commentary of sorts on the upheaval Woody went through in his personal life then but for Kannada audience, it serves as a refreshing storyline (alas), tickling the funny bone without due thought or logic. With Ramesh Arvind leading the gang comprising Rangayana Raghu and Ravishankar Gowda, “Mangana Kaili Maanikya” acquits itself very well on the comedy front, except perhaps for the censor-mandated beeps. Harshika leads the ladies but fails on crucial occasions. But her pairing with Ramesh looks fresh. Ramesh though embraces comedy wholeheartedly, and his efforts leave the audience grinning to say the least.

Two songs by Rajesh Ramnath seem out of place in the madhouse but the locales in and around Mysore are eye-catching, thanks to cinematographer J G Krishna. Nagendra Urs’ editing is bang on target. “Mangana Kaili Maanikya” is for those looking for some “original” comedy. Not a bad choice at all.

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