Mr. Majnu cast: Akhil Akkineni, Nidhhi Agerwal
Mr.Majnu director: Venky Atluri
Mr.Majnu rating: 2.5 stars
Director Venky Atluri has made a couple of bad choices in his new film, Mr. Majnu. The romantic story is majorly set in London, but the filmmakers were unable to cast decent English-speaking actors. And for some reasons, British characters speak English like members of the Russian mafia. Set aside these bad casting choices, Venky has whipped up a watchable romantic drama that plays up the strengths of its lead actor, Akhil Akkineni.
Judging from the trailers, I was prepared for cringe-worthy dialogues from Vikram Krishna aka Vikky aka Mr. Majnu (Akhil Akkineni). I expected to see a hero who objectifies girls for his amusement and gets celebrated for his infidelity. However, I was relieved that my guess was partially wrong. Vikky, indeed, is a playboy who keeps hopping from one romantic partner to another without any strings. But, he does not disrespect his partners, mistreat them or boast of false masculine pride. Mr. Majnu spares us of ill-conceived dialogues or scenes that make one flinch.
Vikky spends four years in London to complete a two-year course in financial studies. You can guess what kept him distracted all these years. Venky has stripped the surroundings of Vikky of good-looking men to ensure there was no competition to the hero’s credibility as the most handsome man in the room. The director has manufactured scenes where it feels Vikky is the last man on earth and women have no other options apart from him.
Mr. Majnu becomes predictable when the story moves to India. On his way home, Vikky bumps into Nikky. And Vikky tries to befriend Nikky. Nikky says no thanks, at least in the beginning. Later, Vikky finds out Nikky is his future brother-in-law’s sister, and Vikky tries to straighten things out with Nikky.
Now that we know the playboy side of Vikky, it was time to see how caring he was towards his family. Venky has written very generic beats of family drama, a situation to turn him into an action hero, and a wedding song to cheer up the upset family members. When Nikky is told smoking and womanizing are the same or something to that effect, her opinion about Vikky drastically changes. And she falls for his charms.
Venky’s writing gets interesting when the real conflict between Nikky and Vikky comes to the fore. The story move backs to London setting, and also the humour in Mr. Majnu grows stronger.
The movie opens and closes with a famous Nageswara Rao dialogue, which Vikky uses as his go-to pick-up line in Mr. Majnu. The film aims to strengthen Akhil’s brand as a ‘chocolate hero’ and it works. He has played his role with confidence and swag, and makes even cheesy scenes click. Nidhhi Agerwal gets ample screen time, but she has not been able to muster more than two expressions in the film.
Like Tholi Prema, Mr. Majnu is also a textbook romantic drama filled with forced feel-good moments. But, Venky extracts some value out of very familiar situations, making his film watchable.