Release Date : November 17, 2023
123telugu.com Rating : 3/5
Starring: Payal Rajput, Ajmal Ameer, Nandita Sweta, Chaitanya Krishna, Ajay Ghosh, Divya Pillai, Ravindra Vijay, and others
Director: Ajay Bhupathi
Producers: Swathi Reddy Gunupati, Suresh Varma M
Music Director: Ajaneesh Loknath
Cinematographer: Sivendra Dasaradhi
Editor: Madhav Kumar Gullapalli
Related Links : Trailer
Mangalavaaram, starring Payal Rajput, has created very good buzz with its promotional content. Director Ajay Bhupathi assured that the film has an element which has never been touched before in Indian cinema. The movie has hit the screens, and let’s see how it is.
Set in a rural area, a series of deaths shock the villagers. The people who died are believed to be in an extramarital affair. All the deaths happen on Tuesday. Very soon, the villagers devise a plan to crack the mystery behind the deaths. Who is the killer? What is his/her motive? This is what Mangalavaaram is all about.
The main point Mangalavaaram tries to discuss isn’t known to many, and the director deserves special appreciation for attempting something of that sort in mainstream Telugu cinema. There is a very thin line between the film’s concept and vulgarity, and had it not been handled well, the very purpose of the film would have been defeated. But the way Ajay Bhupathi designed Payal’s character is pretty good, and one would empathize with her by the time the film ends.
The second half of the movie is where things start falling into place. We get to see the backstory of Payal Rajput and the hardships she goes through. Also, a few key twists are revealed. The one that comes in the climax is impressive. The narrative is engaging for the most part in this second hour.
Payal Rajput played an unconventional character, which others might not even dare to do. Performance-wise, Payal Rajput did a tremendous job. Her character suffers from a health disorder, and the actress did complete justice to the role. The way she breaks down into tears in important moments speaks volumes of her talent. Ajaneesh Loknath is the second hero of Mangalavaaram. His intriguing background score is the heart and soul of this thriller. Ajay Gosh, Ajmal Ameer, Ravindra Vijay and Divya Pillai are fine in their respective roles.
The first half is below-par with inconsistent narration. The way things are set up initially isn’t great. Payal Rajput is introduced during the halfway mark, but that’s not the problem here. The scenes that lead to the interval are not that exciting. A series of murders take place in the village, but the tension is not built well. A few scenes, like the one where villagers fight among themselves, aren’t presented well.
The background score is no doubt top-notch, but the writing lacks depth in the first hour. The edge-of-the-seat moments are missing here despite stunning technical values. A noted actor played a cameo in the film, but that character isn’t etched well. The presentation seems a bit clumsy in a few sequences. At times, the storytelling pattern will remind us of a recent Telugu blockbuster.
As mentioned earlier, Ajaneesh Loknath did a remarkable job with Mangalavaaram. His terrific background score worked in the film’s favor big time, and he surely is one of the best talents from Sandalwood. The excellent sound design is the icing on the cake. Cinematographer Sivendra Dasaradhi’s arresting visuals and stunning production values make the film technically superior.
Coming to the director, Ajay Bhupathi, he did a decent job with Mangalavaaram. He has chosen a unique point, and his narration is good in the second half. He tried to showcase the difference between two important aspects, and he is clear in his approach. But the way the first half is executed is strictly below par, and this brings down the overall impact. Had there been more thrilling moments, the movie could have gone to the next level. The director made superb use of the technical values to narrate the story.
On the whole, Mangalavaaram deals with a unique concept, and the screenplay is quite engaging in the second hour. Payal Rajput’s character is well-designed, and the actress is at the top of her game. Mangalavaaram has also got the best technical values in recent times. However, the narrative in the first half is uneven, with not so gripping moments. You can give this film a shot for its fresh concept and strong technical values.
123telugu.com Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by 123telugu Team
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