Padi Padi Leche Manasu Review: This love story is far too pedestrian
Despite being technically competent and featuring good performances from the leads, this film is let down by a predictable screenplay
Padi Padi Leche Manasu, starring Sharwanand and Sai Pallavi, is a competently made romcom 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, despite their opposite temperaments. There’s a mythological connection to this episode as well -- Lord Krishna and Rukmini's love story, albeit told 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 in a marriage scene.
Direction: Hanu Raghavapudi
Cast: Sharwanand, Sai Pallavi, Priyadarshi
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 romcoms in recent times, you know where this story is headed. The characters and their motivations, however, feel realistic, though they lack emotional depth. It's unfortunate 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 with uplifting background score. However, to give credit where it's due, the film does avoid double entendre and sexist jokes.
Sai Pallavi goes through her scenes earnestly and she deserves praise for not subjecting us to the loud performances we usually get to see in most love stories. She infuses energy into even ordinary scenes and impresses you with how well can she pull off her character.
Sharwanand too gives an inspiring performance and delivers some witty one-liners. It’s refreshing to see him as a lover boy, sharing crackling chemistry with Sai Pallavi. Sunil, who made a re-entry as a comedian, has little to do but does bring in a few laughs with his innocence. Murali Sharma and Sampath play their parts well, while Priyadarshi and a motley of youngsters make their presence felt.
Padi Padi Leche Manasu is also technically competent. Jay Kay’s camera moves smartly and he captures the picture-postcard sights and the textures of Kolkata and Nepal really well. The soothing music score of Vishal Chandrasekhar accentuates the laid back vibe of this pedestrian love story, which tries too hard to woo you.