Review: MAD

‘MAD’, which is a relationship drama, hit the cinemas today (August 6). Here is our review of the film.

Story:
Aravind (Rajath Raghav) and Madhav (Madhav Chilkuri) are long-time friends who live in their own worlds. Madhav’s father wants to give him the responsibility of managing his business empire but the youngster is reluctant. He is into wooing a woman and living a hedonistic life. 

On the other hand, Aravind boozes a lot and is mighty jobless. A young woman named Akhila (Swetha Varma) takes a liking to him. This is also when Madhav is married off to Madhuri (Spandana Palli as a painter with artistic dreams) by his parents. Old habits die hard and the relationships of the Aravind-Madhav duo threaten to go topsy-turvy soon if they don’t mend their ways. 

Performances:
The actors look somewhat uninspired throughout the length of the relationship drama. Rajath Raghav is comfortable in his skin. But he should have been a little restrained. His chemistry with Swetha Varma works and that’s the only good aspect. 

Madhav Chilkuri and Spandana Palli look made for each other. The latter wears some beautiful sarees and looks composed throughout. The former can try some well-written roles on YouTube and in web series. 


Technical Departments:

Composer Mohith Rehamaniac remains an untapped talent, with the blending of the situational songs seeming hardly profound. There is a pathos song for one of the two guys and listening to it, one feels that both the lyricist and the musician have wasted their energies on an incompetently written character. 

The cinematography and art departments compete with each other to deliver extremely dull output. A character is a painter but her paintings look like prose rather than poetry in the context of the blandly written stretches. 

Analysis:
In the initial few minutes of ‘MAD’, two quotes of Kahlil Ghibran and one anonymous quote are mentioned. They relate to relationship advice, both sane and pro-divorce. If you are wondering what the title actually means, it’s this: ‘Marriage And Divorce’. As the film progresses, however, one starts feeling that the aphorisms were misused for a pretty lazily written relationship drama. 

The film is essentially about how one guy is screwed up by his wife’s decision (revealing it would be a spoiler) and the other guy is screwed up listening to his immature cribbing. There is a progressive idea in the story. But the way the conflict plot points are resolved is silly. 

The segment involving Rajath Raghav and Swetha Varma is pompous at best and vacuous at worst. The former breaks into Urdu couplets but has no thinking capacity otherwise. The latter enjoys having sex because she believes that Dr. Samaram had once said that sex is the solution to all health problems. Some effort should have gone into portraying their relationship. Because of the weak narration, we don’t see any love between them. It’s only lust, lust and lust. 

Writer-director Laxman Meneni seeks to drive home the message that every faltering relationship needs to be given some time before it is ended in haste. Fine. But the film resorts to lazy tropes in conveying the message in a really frivolous manner. It relies on the trope of a spoilt brat, who is described to be a good-natured person otherwise. It relies on the trope of an orphan, who may be a Romeo but ‘dil se’ he is very good. And even this is told in a spoonfeeding manner. 

The initial portions rely on the light-hearted nature of the characters. But they are hardly breezy. If anything, they seem to be making an extra effort to draw the audiences into the supremely superficial world of its main characters. 

Bottom line:
‘MAD’ falls flat with its uninspiring narration. The second half doesn’t go off the tangent, but it struggles to be focused despite its best efforts. The musical nature of the film is not fleshed out properly.

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