Directed by Deepak Reddy / Reviewed by Adva Reichman
Love is a fickle little thing that can turn your life upside down. Understanding your partner, staying happy and making the right choices is not always easy, as we all know. So many things come into play as we put our hearts on the line, time and time again. Most times, love stories end, and yet, we love to love, and we love to watch others fall in love. This is exactly where Manasanamaha comes in the picture.
This short film is one of the best shorts I’ve seen lately. It is beautifully crafted and was a delight to watch. As it began I thought I was about to see a story about a clueless man who blames women for his own mistakes, but I was happily mistaken. Instead, the film centered around a man who shared with us his three love stories from various times in his life. And yes, with it came his frustration and confusion over different behaviors, but more apparent were his love and devotion.
“Manasanamaha” roughly translates to ‘Salutations to the mind’ in Sanskrit, and according to its creator, the film is an ode to the process of making memories and how they define our perspective.
What started out as a man baffling over women’s right to change their mind or feel indecisive over small random issues, became the loving tales of sweet romances and the pain of goodbye. Instead of progressing in a usual linear style and showing the viewers the relationship from its wonderful beginning to the sad end, the creator reversed the plot. We got to see the love story unravel from its end to its very first (sweet) encounter. As the couple fall in love, so do we, and even though we know how it ended for them, we can’t help but rooting for them.
The director, Deepak Reddy, explains that the endings of love stories can be happy or sad, but the beginnings are always happy. So, he decided to narrate this film backwards and to end it on a happy note. He was right. This film will leave you feeling good once it’s done, and in days like these, that is greatly appreciated. It will also leave you waiting for its sequel, as the director left us with a little teaser about hearing the love stories from the woman’s point of view. I for one can’t wait to see it.
The cinematic choices elevated the script. The shots were exact, and were used perfectly while toying with our expectations, the camera work was impeccable and precise, and the acting was on point and endearing, thus making the overall outcome worth your time and attention.
The lead actor, Viraj Ashwin, delivered a beautiful performance. His presence captures the heart of the film and gives the character a charming relatable touch. The music written for the film is stunning and sets the right tone for the whole piece. The sound and post sound work revealed true craft and played a crucial role in the edit of this film. The director’s choices paid off and the visual and emotional experience is glorious.
This film, start to finish, was beautifully made. If you want to feel good, remember why you love to love and why it’s all worth it, Manasanamaha is the film for you.