‘Manmatha Leelai’ Movie Review: There’s Nothing For Adults In This Quick Shot From Venkat Prabhu
The way adultery is handled, to make it presentable and cool, begs the question of whether it was made for self-respecting adults or a gullible “young” crowd.
The way in which adultery is treated, to make it presentable and costs, raises concerns about whether it was designed for self-respecting adults or a gullible “young” crowd
Two similarly constructed incidents take place in parallel at two different times in Venkat Prabhu. Manmatha Leelai. Both involve Sathya (Ashok Selvan) stepping outside of her boundary to get physical with two women, Poorani (Samyuktha Hegde) and Leela (Riya Suman). They’re intercut to show the similar nature of the scenes, but that spoon-feeding gets tiresome after a while.
The first half is built entirely on these two parallel tracks, stretched to an unrecoverable point. What is remarkable in the central idea of Manmatha Leelai, a film claiming to be an “adult comedy” is the lack of idea (the story is by Manivannan Balasubramaniam). What is adult or comical about these individual events is left to our imagination. Let us know in the comments section.
The common denominator you encounter is adultery. There are two types of extramarital relationships in Manmatha Leelai; one you anticipate and the other punches you in the face – certainly not in a way you would imagine. The second, however, can seem outrageously funny, indulges in the blame game, cracking jokes at a woman’s expense, of course.
In the first storyline, which takes place in 2010, Sathya appears to be dating Poorani through Orkut. They haven’t met in the real world. Poorani is that paavam girl with whom we must sympathize. She is dressed like a typical Tamil woman getting ready for her mudhal iravu (first night) when Sathya meets her. But she somehow transforms into a model for a condom commercial in the same scene.
Leela’s role is even better. She looks like she missed Splitsvilla before she even fired a shot. By a miracle, she lands at Sathya’s doorstep one rainy evening. These two women aim to titillate the public more than Sathya. Apart from a few scenes, fortunately, the film does not objectify them in a disturbing proportion, as in the films of Santhosh P Jayakumar. There is a third wife, Anu (Smruthi Venkat), the classic nagging wife of Sathya.
This is of course not a problem, since “adult comedy”, historically speaking, was only aimed at male audiences. There is very little here for women to enjoy. That said, wait for the last half hour to kick in. We’ll see if you get over it.
Sensitivity is the least you can expect from an adult comedy. Me, of course, no. But the way adultery is handled, to make it presentable and costs, raises concerns about whether it was designed for self-respecting adults or a gullible “young” crowd.
If anything, it shows that for two consulting adults to have sex, even if it was in a business gone bad, you have to show alcohol as an excuse to heighten their intimacy. Sex, without alcohol, is apparently considered a sin. Manmatha Leelai also illustrates that a simple “quickie” simply doesn’t work if both parties involved rush through the process, not letting things develop organically.
This film was originally slated for a streaming platform, which has become a dumping ground for such lackluster efforts. Manmatha Leelai East this movie you wouldn’t bother watching, even if the streaming platform’s algorithm throws it at you.