Nikhil Manju’s 'Ammana Mane', starring Raghavendra Rajkumar, may not exactly fit into the commercial mass entertainers we’ve come to know, but, through its content, is able to create a niche of its own. The film feels like a warm hug that reminds us of the relationship with our mothers. Filled with affectionate moments, the film highlights the importance of loving and reciprocating love.
The story revolves around a mother-son relationship, something that has often been explored. Rajeeva (Raghavendra Rajkumar) is a partially paralysed boy since childhood. His clumsy behaviour does not go down well with his father, who after a point loses patience and even leaves home. So, Rajeeva has only his mother (Rohini Nagesh)to turn to, who, inspite of every hurdle that comes by, raises him to become independent and stand on his own two feet.
Over the years, Rajeeva grows up to be a PT master in a school, who is married and has a kid. With age, his mother starts facing the same issues he faced as a child. Despite his own struggles, he takes care of his mother with help from his wife. But he is tested by his daughter Shive (Sheetal), who puts him in a situation wherein he has to decide between her and his mother. How he faces the circumstances forms the core of Ammana Mane, which has two subplots – a father, who goes the legal way to get his daughter’s admission into college done, and the second, about an inspector who realises his negligence towards his mother after her death.
Bringing Ammana Mane, apt for theatre, to the big screen takes courage but Nikhil has done complete justice to the film. He reinforces the seriousness of a common issue that seniors face, including being forced to turn to old age homes. He has also highlighted public grievances and how common people fight it out.
As for the audience, this film has managed to create a niche, and is able to hold the attention of the audience throughout the two-hour long run. The plot drifts through a lot of ups and downs similar to the ones experienced in every middle-class family life.
To the director’s advantage, Raghavendra, who plays the lead, perfectly fits the bill. Given his own health issues, he is able to bring alive and make his character very relatable. His bonding with his mother and his care for his wife and daughter, and concern towards society, connects with the audience. The actor, back after hiatus, has gotten deep into the character. Rohini Nagesh also stands out in the mother’s character. Sheetal, who plays the daughter also shines. Manasi Sudhir has little role to play. Suchendra Prasad, who plays the judge, and Nikhil Manju as an inspector, have their own relevance.
With cameraman Swamy Gugaredhodi capturing the moments well and the on and off background score by music director Sameer, coupled with songs sung by Raghavendra himself, the film is self-explanatory – of mother-son bonding and issues faced in today’s middle-class family.
|Film: Ammana Mane
Director: Nikhil Manju
Cast: Raghavendra Rajkumar, Rohini Nagshekar, Sheetal and Manasi Sudhir