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Mister Medhavi: Not too smart
Radhika Rajamani
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January 28, 2008 16:02 IST

Mr Medhavi is all about being smart and calculating in life. Well the sutradhar of the story to a large extent is the hero Vishwaksen (Raja) who is given this name by his school teacher and not his father. It's the tale of a boy and girl outsmarting each other. Well, the trait of smartness stretches to other characters too. But somehow the audience is not kept engrossed all times.

Vishwa adopted by the teacher in his village Koduru, is brilliant. As a student he meets Sweta (Genelia) who comes from Canada [Images] to study in the village school as her maternal grandmother is ill. The two strike a friendship and spend joyous times together. But heartache strikes when they have to part.

After 12 years they meet again. By then Vishwa joins a firm (showcasing his smart skills) run by Suman and Sweta happens to be Suman's daughter. Sweta wants to set up a pharmaceutical factory. Vishwa tries to capitalise on this old friendship as Sweta's project manager. Sweta springs a surprise on Vishwa saying she's in love with Siddharth (Sonu Sood), Will Vishwa outsmart Siddharth? Will Sweta fall for Vishwa?

Well, director Neelakantha's story on the surface is like a typical love story. Some of the scenes between Vishwa and Sweta are etched well but after a point, it becomes a tad boring. Neelakanta who is known for his offbeat work treads the commercial path this time with some comedy and loads of songs (composed by Chakri) thrown in.

Neelakantha also tries to send a message to the yawning audience. Even the heroine Genelia talks directly to the audience like a sutradhar for a few minutes.

However, credit should be given to the director for his characterisation and narrative technique. He etches the characters well with the female lead getting equal footage (a strong point in his films).

Raja and Genelia make a good pair. Raja is his subdued self despite his calculative and 'make-the-best-for-himself' tendency. Genelia is her effervescent self -- full of joie-de-vivre and lights up the screen. She has been performing consistently well and her earlier two films Bommarillu and Dhee were hits too. Somehow Sonu Sood seems out of place in the film even though his role is not substantial. Suman is effective and Dharmavarapu and M S Narayana are good in their 'battle of words'.

In a day and age when directors are scouting foreign locales, it's refreshing to see a film totally shot in Andhra Pradesh.

Perhaps after the failure of his previous film Nandanavanam 120 km (a thriller) Neelakantha wanted to switch genres and provide something within the commercial realm and a less-risk ridden venture. So even though Mister Medhavi is a fair effort of smart writing, one wonders whether the large mass of audience will take to it. After all it's not easy to outsmart the audience these days! Hope Neelakantha's calculations of the audience don't go awry.

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