Some stories should be told. And director Sandeep Varma does a splendid job of chronicling the tale of Manjunath Shanmugam and bringing it to multiplexes.
Manjunath was 27 when he was assassinated in 2005. The director creates a vivid portrait of a young man who was an obedient son, a thoughtful friend and an honest worker in this biopic called MANJUNATH. Working for the Indian Oil Corporation, Manjunath was a whistleblower, who exposed the petrol pumps selling unadulterated fuel.
Unfortunately, Manjunath's voice was silenced. He was shot dead on duty for doing what was right.
As a film, MANJUNATH works in totality. Director Sandeep Varma presents the heroic deeds of Manjunath, putting together the events meticulously and crafting an engaging film around him. It's an honest endeavour that oozes sincerity. A courageous attempt, since the storyteller remains faithful to the subject material.
Sandeep gives an insight into Manjunath's life at the IIM-L, his interaction with his friends, the relationship with his parentsâ€¦ the storyteller also integrates humor, besides a song or two in the narrative.
One of the factors that elevates MANJUNATH to another level is its talented cast and the superior performances they pitch in. Seema Biswas and Kishore Kadam, portraying Manjunath's parents, are outstanding. Recall the sequence when they attend a program in memory of their son. The sequence is sure to melt even the stone-hearted. Anjori Alagh interprets her part with complete understanding. Divya Dutta is absolutely believable. Yashpal Sharma and Asif Basra are effectual. Faisal Rashid is first-rate.
Expectedly, it is Sasho Satiiysh Saarathy who wears the character like skin and is the soul of MANJUNATH. He portrays strength, anguish and simmering rage with incredible ease and conviction.
On the whole, MANJUNATH documents the story of Manjunath Shanmugam in a life-like way. It is realistic, brave and powerful. Watch it!