ABO Review : 'Manchu Charitra'

`Manu Charitra`: A shallow love story


As the film begins, we are witness to the murder of a strongman in Warangal. A political heavyweight`s brutal killing follows. Cut to the present, an otherwise well-read Manu (Shiva Kandukuri) is doing the bidding of Rudra (Dhananjay), a powerful goon whose life he saved during an assassination bid.

Now, you are mistaken if you assume that the film is a genuine gangster drama. It`s a love story, first and foremost. Manu busily woos Sravya (Priya Vadlamani), followed by a handful of other women. He has become unstable in love and is breaking the hearts of multiple girls because he himself is heartbroken. His first love, Jennifer (Megha Akash), is not in his life. What happened to her? Will Manu ever get to meet her again? What made Manu become a goon in the first place? That`s what the rest of the story is about.


When he did `Gamanam` and `Meet Cute`, Shiva Kandukuri appeared to be going the OTT way. `Manu Charitra`, which was in the making for too long, is his first commercial movie designed for theatres. He plays a multi-dimensional character harbouring destructive habits. Manu is aggressive, kind-hearted, sympathetic and pitiable. But the sloppy script doesn`t let Shiva deliver a memorable performance.

`Daali` Dhananjay`s and Srikanth Iyyengar`s track is woefully underwritten. It seems it was force-fitted to lend a new (artificial) layer to the story. Megha Akash looks good and that`s the only thing we can say about her character. Instead of finding her character adorable, we tend to laugh at her after she confesses love to Manu in front of the college principal on the first day of college.

Garima Kaushal, Pragathi Shrivastav and Priya Vadlamani leave no impression. Harishita Chowdary, as the neighbourhood teacher who pines for Manu, is a cliched character.

Technical Departments:

Music: Respectable. `Ekkada Untadhiro Aa Pilla` is an enjoyable song.

Cinematography: Decent.

Editing: Prawin Pudi was given too much footage. He damns us to watch a 170-minute headache-inducing film. 

Action: The many fights are basic.


The film is replete with two types of scenes. The male lead and some female character are seen saying/hearing `I love you` time and again. We are supposed to feel love at least once when the characters are flooding the script with `I love you` confessions one too many times. But never does the film appear that it knows how to arrest the audience. Intensity is all about imitation here.

The other type of scene is this: The male lead continues to get beaten up on and off. There is no full-stop to the number of times he faces violence.

It is as if the writers first conceived these two scenes and wrote the rest of the story afterwards. 


Gopi Sunder`s music is a big plus. The songs singularly save the film from turning into a complete cringe-fest.


Trying to make an epic-scale love story with an unknown actor in the lead role.

Borrowing certain sensibilities from other films without attempting to lend a unique touch.

The run time of nearly 170 minutes.

A stream of redundant scenes that just don`t add anything.

The dialogues lack a contemporary edge.

Overall rating: 1.75/5

Box-office verdict: Stands on a weak wicket.

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