Soulful love, scintillating message

Film review

Soulful love, scintillating message

Beautiful Manasugalu
Kannada (U/A) Cast: Shruthi Hariharan, Neenasam Satish, Achyut Kumar, Tabla Nani, Prashanth Siddi
Direction: Jayatheertha

Jayatheertha’s Beautiful Manasugalu is trapped in a commercial format, but comes up trumps thanks to its nifty story telling. It raises above the mundanity of its necessitated setting, to drive home a powerful message.

Jayatheertha needs to be lauded for ensuring that Beautiful Manasugalu is a women-centric film that champions their causes. Also, a special toast to Shruthi Hariharan whose stellar performance as Nandini overwhelms one. She gives a measured performance as a girl caught between physical needs and larger social responsibilities.

As a beautician fending for her paralysed father and schoolgoing brother, Shruthi brings meaning to several such Nandinis for whom family comes before one’s own desires and love. She puts Prashanth aka Pracchi in his place. After all, a man is sufficient for satiating one’s physical pleasures, but a responsible husband is required to run a family.

Though she tries to drive sense into the wastrel son of a wine shop-owner, she wilts under his charms, only to be spurned in her hour of need. Branded a prostitute following a police raid by vengeful inspector Rajashekar, Nandini rushes to Prashanth for solace, but is rebuffed.

Beautiful Manasugalu assumes a thriller format in the second half, trailing their romance and the forms it takes later. Inspired by a real-life incident, the movie also boasts of bravura acting by Tabla Nani as the philosophising harmonium player and theatre painter. So is Achyut Kumar as the corrupt cop. What also embellishes Beautiful Manasugalu is Bharath B J’s soulful scores.  The only disappointment is Neenasam Satish who is yet to shake off his Lucia and subsequent films’ hangover.

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