Monday, May 26, 2014

The Legacy of Manam!

The legacy of Manam - ANR lives on - Kartik Dayanand Boddapati

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway

While I punch the keys on my laptop to write about the Telugu film Manam, my feelings are similar - instead of blood, I have tears in my eyes. Tears that refuse to stop long after the show got over. Tears that seem to emanate from a complex set of emotions triggered by nostalgia, sadness and joy - all at the same time. It is as if the movie has done some kind of black magic on me. The only way for me to make sense of all those tears is to write this blog post. Who knows, you might be feeling the same way too after watching the film.

One basic assumption before watching Manam is that this is a film about glorifying the decades old ANR legacy which starts with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the 1940s to his son Nagarjuna starting in the 80s and then onto his grandson Naga Chaitanya starting in the new millennium – all of whom star in this film. It is an easy temptation for the film makers to fall into a trap of over the top hero worship but Manam pleasantly surprises and almost shocks everyone with its approach to storytelling.

Manam isn’t just a film about glorifying the legacy of one family but is a mirror to the existence and continuity of life beyond the pendulum of life and death!

Very rarely do we come across films that tie in the elements of deep philosophy and love while retaining the essence of glorifying a legacy. Manam is that rare gem which achieves the impossible, and this is why it made me cry…