Mangalavaaram jeevi review



Jeevi rating: 2.75/5
: Bold period rustic thriller
Banner: Mudhra Media Works
Runtime: 143 minutes
Release date
: 17 November, 2023
Theatre watched: Screen 2, Prasads multiplex, Hyderabad

: Payal Rajput, Nandita Swetha, Divya Pillai, Ajmal Ameer, Ravindra Vijay, Chaitanya Krishna, Sritej, Ajay Ghosh, Sravan Reddy, Laxman

B Ajaneesh Loknath
Dasaradhi Sivendra
: Gullapalli Madhav Kumar
Real Satish, Prithvi
Production design:
Raghu Kulkarni
Art Director: Mohan Talluri
Dialogue writers
: Tajuddin Syed, Raghav
: Bhanu
Costume Designer:
Mudasar Mohammad
Story - Screenplay - direction:
Ajay Bhupathi
Swathi Reddy Gunupati, Suresh Varma M and Ajay Bhupathi


During 1990s, in a village called Mahalakshmipuram, there are couple of twin suicides on consecutive tuesdays. But the newly appointed cop (Nandita Swetha) believes that these are murders disguised as suicides. A day prior to murders, somebody writes a rumor of an illicit affair between two married people. And these people turn up dead the next day. Rest of the story is about how this story is connected with Sailaja (Payal Rajput).

Artists Performance

Payal Rajput’s role has two shades to it. She performs well. Nandita Swetha is good as a cop. Ajay Ghosh is entertaining in a typical role of a women-chasing gossipers in villages. His dialogue delivery and body language adds to the comedy aspect. Laxman who made his debut with RX100 comes up with a winning performance of a blind guy. He along with Ajay Ghosh generate ample comedy in this serious thriller. Chaitanya Krishna is excellent as an atheist Zamindar with a crucial scene in the 2nd half. Divya Pillai plays a pivotal role as a devotional wife to an atheist husband. Ravindra Vijay suited the role really well. Sritej is good in a rustic get-up and succeeds in attracting suspicion towards him. Ajmal Ameer and Sravan Reddy are fine.

Story - screenplay - direction: Mangalavaaram is basically a murder mystery with a female-centric story. The director has taken a bold approach while selecting a physical condition for the heroine character. By setting the premise in the 1990's, the director was able to add a lot of newness to the film in terms of visuals and sound. Another notable aspect of the film is that the heroine was introduced during interval. And the director has succeeded in establishing characters and creating mystic/suspense throughout the first half without the primary character being directly shown. Though the director chose a rare physical condition for the heroine, he tried to create scenes to draw sympathy for the heroine. It would have been more effective if the disorder is shown without getting into the morality part of it. The love aspect with Ajmal was also not effective. However, the director has pulled back the film on track in the last 25 minutes with continuous moments. And there is one RX100 trademark scene towards climax which received rousing reception. Director has used digitally created butterflies as a symbolism for the heroine. The director has also given hints in the first half and connected a few scenes towards the latter part of the second half when certain twists are revealed. He has used sound and visuals well to narrate the story. However, the lengthy tent fight (reminded me of Malayalam film style) should have been trimmed. A couple of songs slowed down the film (with not much happening to accelerate the story). Screenplay of the film is decent.

Other departments: Highlight of the film is the background score composed by B Ajaneesh Loknath (Kantara fame). The signature sound in the film is a haunting one and is very creatively composed. Dasaradhi Sivendra has done fabulous camera work. The way the camera is used (sometimes as a vision of a running dog) is very innovative and enhances the mood and mystic nature of the film. Dialogues by Tajuddin Syed and Raghav are good. Production design by Raghu Kulkarni is excellent and the art direction (Mohan Talluri) is authentic as this film transports us to a rustic village in the 1980’s. Editing by Gullapalli Madhav Kumar is good. Fight Masters Real Satish and Prithvi have done a good job. Production values by Swathi Reddy Gunupati, Suresh Varma M and Ajay Bhupathi are grand.

Analysis: Mangalavaaram is a rustic thriller with a bold flashback. It has nice twists towards the climax. The flashback episode is ineffective and songs are not needed. The director Ajay Bhupathi should be appreciated for coming up with some original story and for creating a new ambiance for the film with the help of sensational background music and excellent cinematography. It’s like Pedda Vamsi’s vintage thriller with updated technology (sound and visuals). The heroine’s condition is something which we don’t discuss openly. Mangalavaaram is a film that works for the target audiences despite a few drawbacks.

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