Padi Padi Leche Manasu, starring Sharwanand and Sai Pallavi, is a competently made romedy with a largely predictable theme at its core. A high-spirited football player meets a medico in Kolkata. He conceals his identity and tries to impress her and at some point in time, creates a situation that she had to acknowledge his feelings on her, despite their opposite temperaments.
There’s a mythological connection to this episode as well – ala Lord Krishna and Rukmini love story, albeit in a humorous way. The light-hearted love story kicks off on a promising note and you may get a feel of watching something epic – a film to be remembered for years to come. But it takes a typical route and even culminates with a marriage scene.
Unlike Hanu Raghavapudi’s previous films, this is a rare breed of film that’s not driven by its content. The director has added all the usual ingredients of a commercial cinema and if you have seen a few rom-coms in recent times, you know where this story is headed. The characters and their motivations, however, feel realistic, but without the emotional depth. Sad that the film runs out of steam in its second hour, particularly after the duo meet each other again in a contrived sequence.
The screenplay moves from cliche to cliche, packing in every stereotype you can think of – from stalking to adding a memory disorder that ends with an emotional outburst of the protagonist amidst uplifting background score.
To give credit where it’s due, the film’s devoid of double entendre and sexist jokes, there is stuff here that might have made for youngsters, had Hanu not fallen prey to that mistake of treating the boys to flirt around with girls in the name of love.
Sai Pallavi goes through her scenes earnestly and she deserves praise for her subtlety and not subjecting us to the loud performances we usually get to see in most love stories. Although she didn’t tread anything new, but she infuses energy into even ordinary scenes and impresses you with how well can she pull off a character seamlessly.
What saves the day for this film from complete letdown is Sharwanand, who in a stroke of a football player, delivers an inspiring performance with witty one-liners. It’s refreshing to see him as a lover boy and sharing crackling chemistry with Sai Pallavi. Sunil, who made a re-entry as a comedian, has little to do but bring in a few laughs with his innocence. Murali Sharma and Sampath played their parts well, while Priyadarshi and a motley of youngsters make their presence felt.
There’s something to like about Padi Padi Leche Manasu as its technically competent. Jay Kay’s camera moves smartly and he captured the picture-postcard sights and textured portrait of Kolkata and Nepal really well. Not to forget the soothing music score of Vishal Chandrasekhar that accentuates the laid back vibe of this pedestrian love story, which tries too hard to woo you.
Movie: Padi Padi Leche Manasu
Cast: Sharwanand, Sai Pallavi, Priyadarshi
Direction: Hanu Raghavapudi