Cast: Sri Vishnu, Nivetha Pethuraj, Amrutha, Sivaji Raja, Raj Mudiraj
Director: Vivek Athreya
Like with Pelli Choopulu, which he handed over to debutant director Tharun Bhasker, producer Raj Kandukuri gives the baton to Vivek Athreya who justifies the confidence placed in him. Like with Pelli Choopulu, Mental Madhilo, which also revolves around marrage, was screened for a select audience in advance and has generated much buzz. The film introduces Nivetha Pethuraj, who turns out to be the highlight. She is stunning and gives a lively performance with the ease of an experienced actress. She is the big surprise from the film. Vivek Athreya takes the story of a young man who is befuddled with choices who suddenly finds himself in the marriage market and narrates it in a hilarious and entertaining manner. He establishes the lead actor Sri Vishnu’s character in an amusing manner from his childhood, and cleverly inserts a new girl in his life to much comical effect.
Despite this, it must be said the first half is interesting and the film tends to drag in the second. The young director deserves a pat for this neat romantic entertainer. Most of the scenes and the dialogues are uncomplicated, and flow like a conversation between friends. Sri Vishnu, known to be reserved in real life, gets to play a similar character on screen and lives the role. He looks natural and Mental Madhilo must count among his best films. The story revolves around Aravind Krishna (Sri Vishnu), who is confused when he is given choices. This is a problem from his childhood, whether it is to select a shirt or to answer a multiple choice question. Besides, he is shy and avoids talking with girls.
His father (Sivaji Raja) looks for a suitable alliance for Aravind who is rejected by many girls. An alliance is struck through a friend, and Swecha (Nivetha Pethuraj) likes him for his innocence. Both want to know each other better before the engagement. In the meantime, Aravind leaves for Mumbai on his office work where he meets the mischievous Renu (Amrutha). Vivek Athreya and the cast delightfully help the perplexed Aravind.
Sivaji Raja is gets another meaty role, playing the father of Sri Vishnu. He brings his experience to make it entertaining. It is good to see him get lengthy and good roles. Amrutha looks good in the second half. Kireeti, Anitha and Raj Mudiraj support with good performances. Prashanth R. Vihari provides good music and the cinematography by Vedaraman is impressive. Mental Madhilo is a decent film with a simple narration. It cannot be described as great, but director Vivek Athreya does come up with something new and interesting. If you like Pelli Choopulu, you may like this too....