The North East monsoon should be hitting the coast of Kerala within a fortnight & that in turn will usher the beginning of yet another academic year. So keeping in mind of this fact, arrives a movie which focuses on the relationship between a teacher & his students. Incidentally, this venture is brought onto the silver screen by M.Mohanan whose debut effort was the block-buster "Kadha Parayumbol". In such a scenario, it goes without saying that there is a huge amount of anticipation surrounding his latest offering "Manikyakallu". So will it be live upto the success of its predecessor???
Among all the various courses, 10th standard results still holds the most pivotal position since its the first time that students are exposed to such a huge competition, not to forget that at times its the only qualification required for jobs. The film also unfolds with a similar scenario of the results being published but with a difference. As opposed to the numerous schools with cent percent results, Vannanmala Govt Model School has been the recipient of the dubious distinction of having cent percent failure since many years. The situation wasn't surprising as the teachers were more concerned about their side businesses rather than imparting wisdom to the pupils. Into this scum, enter Vinayachandran (Prithvi Raj) who makes it a point to turn around the mentality of the staff & students alike & in turn the fortunes of the school. So in short, "Manikyakaalu" talks about the efforts of Vinayachandran. How & what does he do to achieve his aim , is what remains to be seen.
After the stupendous success of "Kadha Parayumbol", Mohanan bided his time before come up with this venture. Coming to look at it, "Manikyakallu", is a decent effort with hardly anything to point out that it's appalling. However, the script doesn't tread on any new territory & after a point of time we are made to wonder as to how comes things are falling in place so easily. The protagonist seems to be virtuosity personified who could do no wrong while all the other characters turn into a new leaf by his inspiring anecdotes without hardly a whimper. The first half was built up properly & when we do expect something in the latter half, the same trend continues yet again. Inspite of this there are a couple of genuine scenes which does tug at our heart cords though at times you might feel its inspired from the previous venture.
Prithviraj has performed his part to perfection with a toned down performance as opposed to the imposing style that he usually imbibes. Samvritha Sunil as the smart & loud Chandni, was a refreshing change from her previous roles. As for the remaining cast, they neither had scope nor did they overdo their part. Coming to the technical crew, the music by Jayachandran was soothing & gelled with the mood of the movie while the other aspects were fine.
Verdict: "Manikyakallu" is without doubt Prithviraj's low budget movie in recent times both in terms of advertising & finance. Though there is nothing specific as such to tag it as bad, it doesnt offer anything out of the ordinary. In short, its a feel good movie where people dont have shades of grey. You can give it a try to soothen your stressed out mind or else give it a miss!!!