Director: Vivek Athreya
Cast: Sri Vishnu, Nivetha Pethuraj, Amrutha Srinivasan
Adding to the current wave of urban romances hitting the Telugu screens — the likes of Arjun Reddy, Pelli Choopulu or Ninnu Kori — Mental Madhilo is a realistic depiction of a regular fickle young guy’s romantic confusion. Aravind Krishna (Sri Vishnu) is an indecisive and socially awkward youngster whose family is on the lookout for a bride for him. While his parents believe that getting married will solve his constant state of dilemma, the idea of making a choice is elusive for Aravind. Only until he meets Swetcha ( Nivetha Pethuraj), with whom he finally feels comfortable.
Comfortable enough to share a beer and a smoke with her. Soon enough their engagement is fixed. Alas, their wedding plans hit a roadblock when Swetcha’s grandmother passes and Aravind is sent to Mumbai for professional reasons. His stay in Mumbai brings with it a new confusion for Aravind through a girl he meets there called Renu (Amrutha). His indecisiveness begins to affect three lives including his. Who will Aravind end up with?
In hindsight, the movie on the whole consists of two love stories shown - one portrayed elaborately in the first half and the other in the second. The climax finally shows his clouded romantic inclinations cleared wrapping the plot in a neat bow. The main characters in the movie — Aravind, Swetcha and Renu - are well-written in terms of maturity and realness. None of their romantic inclinations seem out-of-character for how they are established since the beginning.
A mention needs to be given to how the female characters have been moulded. Swetcha and Renu are their own women; they don’t butt heads or induce drama despite the obvious conflict. Neither of them are demonised and neither of them are wronged. The story is an honest depiction of a plausible situation which anyone can encounter. Every character reacts the way they might if they were real which is quite a breath of fresh air in the clutter of high-octane drama.
All the actors stay true to their roles and were rather convincing. On the technical end, the film’s visuals are no-frills yet appealing. Music is fresh although you might not find yourself humming the tunes later. The only complaint about the film could possibly be the sluggish narrative which feels like it goes on and on. Mental Madhilo is a feel-good romance with honest characters and a realistic approach.