Starring : Charmi, Subhash, Pradeep Rawat, Chitram Seenu and others...
Director : Tulasi Ram
Music Director : Vishwa
Producer : Tulasi Ram
Tollywoodstuff Rating :5/10
It’s been quite sometime since we have seen a horror film in Telugu cinema. Mangala starring Charmi is one such film which has elements of horror and black magic. The film desperately tries to be a taut thriller and has its fine moments of spine chilling horror which catch you off-guard. But is that enough? Directed by Osho Tulasiram, the film brings together Charmi and Tulasiram once again after their earlier hit film, Mantra. The duo’s latest film, Mangala is about an actress who becomes a victim of a dreaded black magic spell and she has to save herself before the spell brings her closer to death.
What’s the story : Charmi stars as Ammulu, who’s made quite a name for herself as an actress. One day, a crazy fan of hers tries to meet her and in the process she misunderstands that he tried to molest her and she slaps him. Disheartened by this incident, he commits suicide. His father (Pradeep Rawat) tries his best to convince Ammulu to come and save his son who’s refusing to take medicine unless he meets his favourite actress and eventually he dies. Pradeep Rawat plans to take revenge for his son’s death by evoking a deadly spell of Black Magic which would mean a certain death for whom it’s being used. Charmi is the victim this time and the rest of the story is about how she tries to deal with the situation and whether she manages to save herself or not.
What is Good : Charmi is the heart and soul of the film. She breathes life into her character and portrays fear to perfection. Her transformation from an innocent actress to a ‘possessed’ girl is proof enough of her acting talent. She shrieks her lungs out, freaks out her director who tries to outsmart her and literally lives her role throughout the film. The guy who played her confidant as Subbu delivers an honest performance. The sound effects in the beginning of the film and the background score raise the bar for this film which unravels as a well crafted thriller till the end of first half. Uttej, Saptagiri are good as the producer and assistant director of a film which goes haywire due to a crazy director’s antics.
What is bad: After some spine chilling moments in the first half, the film desperately tries to live up to the expectations when the actual ‘solving-the-problem’ act begins. The final act of the film is a major let down. Is it a little too much to ask for a larger-than-life drama and action to solve an issue as big as what Charmi has to face in the film? After almost ten reels of living through the horror, there’s hardly any good versus evil fight which would make you vouch for the heroine. Mangala is one of those films where the climax just spoils everything which the film has tried to achieve in the end. Moreover, the film unnecessarily tries to up the glam factor by inserting two raunchy numbers with an excuse that Charmi is an actress in the film! The much hyped Aghora factor in the film which is all the more prominent in the posters is a let down in the end.
Technical Departments : The film scores high in terms of the background score and the sound effects. Music by Viswa is alright and the bum gyrations which Charmi seemed to have mastered for this film are nothing but a so-called ‘commercial element’ meant to attract the male species. Keeping aside the debate whether it’s good or bad, it does serve the purpose! Most of the film has a sepia tone and the cinematography is decent. Osho Tulasiram who wrote the story and screenplay apart from directing the film loses track somewhere in the middle of the film. While the story is well set up and it moves at a break neck speed till the end of first half, it begins to lag with endless drama while trying to reach the final act. But then, the film is a good attempt with a small crew and limited budget.
Bottomline : Mangala promises a lot more than what it accomplishes and that’s its biggest fault. However, the silver lining on this black (magical) cloud is an incredible performance from Charmi and she holds the fort for most part of the film. And when a film of this magnitude ends up with an anti-climax, one begins to wonder why it had to be so alluring in the beginning! Perhaps no one would ever know who’s to blame; it would be a wise decision to blame the God for playing the spoilsport. Who said ‘Evil’ is bad? In a film like this, perhaps that would have been the saving grace. Amen.