Love, loneliness, and mystery co-exist in Phanindra Narisetty’s upcoming romantic thriller, Manu.
A lonely artist breaks and enters homes only to re-arrange things in there; a young woman pines after him and sends him letters while an older man attempts to date rape her.
There’s a saviour in every story, and this movie needs one too. Is it Manu? Or does the young woman save herself?
The background score ably supports the visuals; soft but menacing, it builds to a slow crescendo. The sound design is certainly inspired, and is best savoured on your headphones.
The first two teasers presented actor Chandini Chowdhury as a lonely young woman Neela, who attempts to connect with Manu (played by Raja Goutham) through letters. He is an artist who creates imagery that brim with sadness; and the actress wonders if it is what that draws her to him. Manu knows who she is, even though she hides behind a mask. I know your identity but nothing else, he says. There’s a desperate sort of loneliness that underlies their every interaction – two lost souls irresistibly drawn to each other. There’s also a grim sense of foreboding; perhaps this couple won’t be getting their forever and always moment after all.
Director Narisetti rose to fame after his short film Her, starring Regina Cassandra, went viral. This is his first feature film; he has also made shorts such as Backspace and Madhuram, available on YouTube.
Actor Raja Goutham is banking on Manu to boost his career. He made his debut in Pallakilo Pelli Koothuru in 2004 and was later seen in Basanthi, but both films were box office duds. After working in commercial films, Manu seems to be an unconventional choice for the actor.
The film’s female lead Chandini Chowdary has been part of many short films under MR Productions’ banner. She was last seen in the Telugu film Howrah Bridge.
Interestingly, Manu is a crowd-funded independent project, which is why the film’s production team is called the ‘The Crowd’. The movie also stars John Kottoly, Aberaam and Mohan Bhagath. Naresh Kumaran has composed music. Manu is scheduled to release on September 7.