Mr Majnu Review: A bland, archaic love story
The film seems like a poorly done rip-off of Love Aaj Kal, Rangula Ratnam and Venky Atluri's own Tholi Prema
Akhil Akkineni hasn't yet scored a hit, and to break this streak of misfortune, he has teamed up with director Venky Atluri, who won laurels for his refreshing romcom, Tholi Prema (2018), for his third outing, Mr Majnu. Unfortunately, it seems like third time is not the charm for this young actor.
Cast: Akhil Akkineni, Niddhi Agerwal, Rao Ramesh
Direction: Venky Atluri
The film starts in London where Nikki (Niddhi Agerwal) dreams of having an ideal husband like Lord Rama. The next frame cuts to a college where Vicky (Akhil Akkineni), a casanova, gets rusticated by his principal for misconduct. But soon, his ouster gets revoked after a dramatic incident. It is at this time that he bumps into Nikki on his way back to India and flirts with her. Though they don't hit it off straight away, as time passes, she gets to know Vicky's true nature and falls in love with him. Vicky has commitment issues, and Nikki's possessiveness makes him realise that his affection for her is a sham. And so, he breaks up with her.
The film takes a lot of time to establish the characters and bring the conflict to the fore. Vicky’s shift to wanting to commit to Nikki comes out of the blue, and is therefore exasperating. But other than this, the film is quite predictable and you know what is coming at the end from a mile away. While the love story is amusing, it doesn't help that the film moves at a sluggish pace. It almost feels as if the director had no idea how to go forward with his banal plot. Despite giving us an interesting interval block, he seems unsure how to proceed and the second half is loaded with boring sequences. An old-fashioned approach can do the trick sometimes, but sadly the story here goes about making its point in the silliest manner.
Mr Majnu is too long for a story that's all too familiar. It seems like a rip-off of Love Aaj Kal, Rangula Ratnam and Venky Atluri's own Tholi Prema. Niddhi Agerwal lacks the maturity to make up for the lapses in the writing and is unable to construct a credible character out of Nikki. Akhil is about as expressive as a sack of grains. Although there's some improvement from his previous film, Hello, he still struggles through even basic scenes. For instance, he looks irritated when his character is expected to be aggressive. Rao Ramesh brings a degree of naturalness to the film that none of the other actors are able to serve up and serves as the emotional anchor of the first hour.
Contrary to his debut film, Venky Atluri has not been able hit the right note this time around and the result is that Mr Majnu feels like a bland, archaic love story.