Manamey review: Sharwanand returns to form in style with a refreshing, lightweight rom-com

The film, put together by a capable cast and crew, is a breath of fresh air and ticks along smoothly without any major hiccups.

BySrivathsan Nadadhur

Published:Jun 07, 2024

Sriram Adittya's directorial Manamey

Manamey (Telugu)

07-06-2024, Romantic Comedy, 2 hours 35 minutes U/A
  • Main Cast:Sharwanand, Krithi Shetty, Rahul Ramakrishna, Rahul Ravindran, and Seerat Kapoor
  • Director:Sriram Adittya
  • Producer:TG Vishwa Prasad
  • Music Director:Hesham Abdul Wahab
  • Cinematography:Vishnu Sarma



In times of pan-Indian films, overly hyped commercial potboilers, and franchise-driven storytelling, it’s refreshing to watch a Telugu film—Manamey—that takes itself lightly and is aware of its boundaries.

It’s a pleasant, familiar rom-com, bolstered by refreshing performances and feather-light treatment. It’s a timely reminder that you don’t need earth-shattering stories to make a feel-good film.

Manamey tells the story of a laidback, easy-going protagonist (Vikram played by Sharwanand), settled in London.

His world comes crashing down with the sudden demise of his close friend Anurag and his wife Shanti. Their son Khushi miraculously survives the accident.

As a temporary arrangement, Vikram and Shanti’s friend Subhadra decide to co-parent the child. What’’ in store for the duo?

Also Read: Interesting motion poster of Sharwanand’s ‘Manamey’ dropped

Playboy Vs disciplinarian woman

A poster of Manamey

A poster of ‘Manamey’. (X)

Director Sriram Adittya places polar opposite characters—an irresponsible man-child and a disciplinarian of a woman —along with an infant under the same roof.

The tale significantly unfolds in London revolving around Vikram and Subhadra’s misadventures. The clash of their worlds and the verbal banter keep the humour quotient in the film going.

The heart of the premise is in its right place as the lead pair comes to terms with unexpected parenthood and finds a renewed purpose in their lives.

However, the director indulges a tad too much in establishing the playboy side of the male protagonist, as he boozes around aimlessly and flirts with every second girl he meets. Though enjoyable initially, the indulgence is slightly unwelcoming.

The foundation for the love story is still laid well, given that both the pivotal characters don’t try hard to impress the other but forge companionship with the excuse of parenting the child.

The emotions in the film aren’t pronounced and the drama in the story is only sparingly used in a few instances. The dialogues are mostly conversational, life-like sans much exaggeration.

Even as Manamey delves into predictable terrains, the film doesn’t lose its spunk, thanks to the breezy screenplay.

Sriram Adittya weaves magic

A still from Manamey

A still from ‘Manamey’. (X)

Manamey transitions into a love triangle in the latter half, unfolding mostly on the road. A gentleman of a third wheel accompanies the couple through the journey.

A syrupy encounter with an elderly couple ultimately makes the leads realise they’re made for each other.

There’s adequate cinematic flourish in a typical climax with a surprising twist.

Not all ends in the film are tied together with finesse, but you overlook the little blemishes for the joy it provides.

In its final portions, the director empathises with the loneliness of parents ignored by their children settling abroad, chasing their dreams.

“It’s all about loving your parents,” Sriram Adittya says, in his style.

After a series of action comedies like Bhale Manchi Roju (2015), Devadas (2018), and Hero (2022),  Sriram Adittya comes of age as a storyteller and widens his palette to a larger audience with Manamey.

The filmmaker displays appreciable consistency in building the right ambience for a mature story that’s likely to have been born out of a personal experience (he turned a father in 2020).

Also Read: ‘Ika Na Maate’ song from Sharwanand’s ‘Manamey’ out

Sharwanand and Krithi Shetty at their best

Sharwanand, Vikram Adittya, and Krithi Shetty

Sharwanand, Vikram Adittya, and Krithi Shetty in ‘Manamey’. (X)

Sharwanand couldn’t have asked for a better film to redeem himself after a lull phase. He’s tailormade to play Vikram—someone who’s forthright and doesn’t go overboard in expressing his emotions.

Sharwanand’s finesse as a performer comes to the fore in the third act, convincingly justifying Vikram’s transformation. The “Charming Star” moniker couldn’t have come at a better time for the actor.

While there was no doubt about Krithi Shetty’s ability to be a quintessential heroine (with humour, screen presence, and the song-dance routine), it takes a film like Manamey to prove her evolution as a sensitive, solid actor.

Child artiste (Sriram Adittya’s son) Vicky’s presence is judiciously used in crucial instances to provide humour and underline the film’s core theme.

Shiva Kandukuri has just the right propriety you expect out of a third wheel in a romantic triangle.

Sudharshan, Vennela Kishore, and Rahul Ramakrishna take care of the laughs as you expect them to.

Seetha, Thulasi, Sachin Khedekar, and Mukesh Rishi sleepwalk through their portions.

There are a host of special appearances—Rahul Ravindran, Thrigun, Seerat Kapoor, and Ayesha Khan. But not all characters get a deserving closure.

Manamey owes its vibrant exterior to the contributions of the cinematographers Vishnu Sarma and VS Gnanashekar, who breathe life into the narrative with an arresting burst of colours—ably aided by the production designer Jonny Shaik.

Not all of Hesham Abdul Wahab’s songs strike a chord instantly, though he packs a punch with the background score.

The use of the Tyagaraja Krithi “Sadhinchene” for the scene where Vikram gets ready for an interview is a masterstroke.

The rom-com, put together by a capable cast and crew, is a breath of fresh air and ticks along smoothly without any major hiccups.

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Final take

This monsoon season, savour Manamey. It is comfort food packaged with a touch of class, something Telugu cinema desperately needs at this hour.

(Views expressed here are personal.)