Ram Venkat Srikar
Mangalavaaram is an extremely 'engaging' film. Everything is sensationalised in this rural mystery drama and it barely gives you time to breathe. Something or the other is always happening in the film.
The story is narrated in such a sensational, exaggerated tone, we are rarely given the time to think and process, and naturally, the film keeps us engaged from start to finish. There's no room for calmness or dullness here.
Ajneesh Loknath's score is energetic and relentless, underlining and exaggerating every tiny moment, with the decibel levels hitting the roof for the more conventionally dramatic moments.
Etching good character arcs, twists that aren't just gimmicks to achieve momentary pleasure, decent portrayal of women, a backstory that goes beyond the beaten-to-death, melodramatic exploitation of the revenge saga.
The first half of the film, despite all its issues, is engaging. There are some thought-out moments, but the flaws or let's say creative choices that didn't sit well with me, are way too many.
For someone who isn't particularly thrilled by the screenplay structure in which the backstory or the reasonings dominate the progression of the story, the second half of Managalavaaram is a nightmare.