Chandra Sekhar Yeleti is known for coming up with interesting films within the commercial space and has made his mark in Telugu cinema ever since he made his debut with Aithe way back in 2003. Namadhu is his latest release, this being the Tamil dubbed version of his own Telugu film Manamantha (which also has a simultaneous Malayalam version, Vismayam). The film has been in the news for its casting, the presence of Mohanlal in particular taking people by surprise. It’s a surprise because after all these years of his being around, Manamantha is his first lead role in a Telugu film. The film also has Gautami, who left quite an impact last year with Papanasam.
Namadhu is a film that talks of four different people, all of them from middle class backgrounds and what happens in their lives. Sairam (Mohanlal) an assistant manager in a supermarket is someone who is struggling under the burden of his responsibilities, when all of a sudden the possibility of a promotion at work gives him a ray of hope. Gayathri (Gautami) is a typical middle class homemaker whose life revolves around her family. Her time is spent caring for her family members and in the company of her neighbour (Urvashi). One day she meets her college professor (Gollapudi Maruti Rao) who now wants to do something for her, being indebted to her support in the past. Abhiram (Viswant) is a smart and ambitious engineering student but he falls in love with a rich girl (Anisha Ambrose) and forgets his aim in the process. Finally we have Mahita (Raina Rao) a school going girl with a caring nature, who goes on to get very friendly with a poor boy, going on to decide to help him join school.
The first half is all about these four characters and their stories getting set up while the pace picks up post interval, giving it a racy feel towards the culmination. It’s a simple feel good film where the focus is on the 4 main characters and the world around them. Good to see Yeleti focus on the supporting characters as well and avoiding an emotional overdose even though there was a scope for the same. The actors are all good, Raina Rao makes a good debut and both Mohanlal and Gautami are very reliable in their characters. The only sore thumb being the fact that it is a dubbed version; hence you just cannot appreciate it as much as you would appreciate the original version. Namadhu is a tale of people like us, around us and that’s what works in favour of the film.