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Manam (film)

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Manam
Manam poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vikram Kumar
Produced by The Akkineni family
Written by Harsha Vardhan
(Dialogue)
Screenplay by Vikram Kumar
Story by Vikram Kumar
Starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nagarjuna
Akkineni Naga Chaitanya
Shriya Saran
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Music by Anup Rubens
Cinematography P. S. Vinod
Edited by Prawin Pudi
Production
company
Distributed by Reliance Entertainment
Release date
23 May 2014[1]
Running time
150 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu
Budget 280 million[2]
Box office 365 million[3]

Manam (English: Us) is a 2014 Indian Telugu-language fantasy drama film written and directed by Vikram Kumar and produced by Akkineni Family under the Annapurna Studios banner. Nagarjuna appears alongside Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Naga Chaitanya, Shriya Saran and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. Amitabh Bachchan, Amala, and Nagarjuna's younger son Akkineni Akhil made cameo appearances along with other personalities.

The film is set in various time periods, over the course of a hundred years up until 2013, and deals with the concepts of rebirth and eternal love. The plot features a wealthy businessman, Nageswara Rao, attempting to bring a young couple together resembling his deceased parents and the elderly Chaitanya's attempts to bring the businessman and a doctor together. They resemble Chaitanya's deceased parents who died because of a mistake committed by him in his childhood.

The film was made with a budget of 280 million. Harsha Vardhan wrote the film's dialogues, while Anup Rubens composed the film's music. P. S. Vinod handled the film's cinematography. Production began on 3 June 2013. Principal photography began on 7 June 2013 and was shot in and around Hyderabad, Coorg and Mysore till mid April 2014.

Manam was the last film of Nageswara Rao, who died on 22 January 2014 during the film's production phase. The film was promoted as a "befitting send off" and a tribute from his son, Nagarjuna. The film was released worldwide on 23 May 2014 to positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful, collecting 365 million in its lifetime. The film was screened at the 45th International Film Festival of India in the Homage to ANR section on 29 November 2014. The film garnered the Filmfare Award for Best Film - Telugu.

Plot[edit]

Radha Mohan and Krishna Veni are a couple leading a miserable marital life due to several misunderstandings and decide to file for divorce. They die on 14 February 1983 at 10:20 AM near a clock tower on their way to the lawyer's office. Their son, Nageswara Rao, becomes a rich and influential businessman and happens to come across his parents' lookalikes, Nagarjuna and Priya. After befriending them, Rao decides to re-establish them as a couple but is shocked when Nagarjuna introduces his lover, Prema. Rao manages to dissolve the relationship with the help of his personal adviser, Girish Karnad. Unaware of this, Nagarjuna swears not to fall in love with anyone. At the same clock tower, Rao meets Dr. Anjali and falls in love with her at first sight. He helps her in admitting an injured old man to a nearby hospital and donates his blood. The injured man, Chaitanya, is shocked upon seeing the pair as they resemble his deceased parents, Seetharamudu and Ramalakshmi.

Seetharamudu was a barrister who returned from London upon his father's death to manage his family businesses. He was a zamindar and was fond of cars. In one such instance, he sees a poor farmer called Ramalakshmi and decides to marry her. Asked by a mediator, she accepts the proposal, without meeting Seetharamudu, but asks him for six months' delay as she has to buy new clothes for the bridegroom, following the village's tradition. Seetharamudu learns about this and meets her as a reformed thief. With his help, Ramalakshmi could cultivate enough grain in three months and buy new clothes with that money. On the day of marriage, she is surprised to know that Seetharamudu is her chosen groom and they marry. On 14 February 1924 the couple goes out, but Chaitanya, suffering from fever then, fakes a stomach ache so that his parents return. The plan works and the couple rush home at high speed but die in an accident at 10:20 AM near the same clock tower where Radha Mohan and Krishna Veni would die. Now he aims to reunite them without letting them recollect their past as they cannot bear the pain of losing him.

Chaitanya stays in Rao's house for further treatment while Nagarjuna joins them as he was expelled from his hostel. One night, Priya, remembering her past life, visits Rao's house only to see Nagarjuna sleeping beside him. She leaves the house in tears. While Rao's attempts to court Anjali begin, Nagarjuna and Priya join Salsa dance classes where Priya constantly expresses her anger towards Nagarjuna. On Rao's birthday, 13 February 2013, Anjali proposes to him which he accepts. This makes Chaitanya very happy. Priya meets Nagarjuna there who is dressed as Radha Mohan, who reveals that he too recollected memories of his past life on the night she left the house in shock. He apologises for his wrong deeds and proposes her. She accepts his proposal and Rao is relieved.

The next day, Nagarjuna goes to a temple with Priya in a car which has no brakes and Rao chases them along with Anjali. Both of the couples are nearing the same clock tower where they died in their past lives. A worried Chaitanya is offered a lift by a young biker who follow them. On 10:20 AM when all the four are safe near the clock tower, a lorry driven by a drunk driver is shown rushing towards them. The biker and Chaitanya jump from the bike, which goes on to hit the lorry tyre, distracting the lorry's path. The four thank Chaitanya who urges them to thank the biker, Akhil.

Cast[edit]

Special appearances:

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

After the release of 100% Love (2011), Akkineni Nagarjuna decided to act and produce in an all-star film along with his father, actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and elder son Naga Chaitanya. Nageswara Rao suggested Nagarjuna to begin the film as early as possible, because of his age. After examining and rejecting many scripts due to a perceived lack of novelty, Nagarjuna was advised by actor Nithin's father and distributor Sudhakar Reddy to listen to a script by Vikram Kumar, who was directing Nithin and Nithya Menen in Ishq (2012). Although he liked the script after the first narration, he agreed to act in the film only after watching Ishq before its theatrical release.[4]

Kumar requested Nagarjuna a year's time to complete and provide the finishing touches to the script. The latter read the script to director K. Raghavendra Rao, who suggested Kumar develop a simpler version, as the original was too complicated. The rewritten version was read to Nagarjuna in two and a half hours and to Nageswara Rao over six hours, as the latter wanted every detail to be clear. Due to the complex nature of the second half, the latter suggested Kumar to add a comedy plotline between grandfather and grandson. After its incorporation into the script,[4] and after considering the titles Hum and Trayam, Manam was chosen as the film's title on Nageswara Rao's suggestion.[5][6]

The film was officially launched on 3 June 2013 at Annapurna Studios office by conducting a small pooja ceremony.[7] Nageswara Rao died in late January 2014, making this film his last project as an actor. The promotion material featured the "Akkineni Family" as the film's producer. Nagarjuna revealed in an interview that he did so because Nageswara Rao taught his family the importance of it in his last days.[8] Reliance Entertainment co-produced and distributed the film.[9]

Casting[edit]

Ileana D'Cruz (left) was considered for the female lead to be paired with Nagarjuna in the film but Shriya Saran (right) was finalised due to remuneration issues with the former.

Nagarjuna engaged Samantha Ruth Prabhu as the female lead, to be paired with Chaitanya in the film. This was her third collaboration with Chaitanya after Ye Maaya Chesave (2010) and Autonagar Surya (2014).[a] Her inclusion was confirmed in mid-October 2012 by Nagarjuna in an interview with The Times of India.[11]

Ileana D'Cruz was approached for the other female lead role to be paired with Nagarjuna in early February 2013. She was impressed with her role and the film's script and quoted a fee of 20 million, which was denied by sources close to her.[12] However, Shriya Saran was signed as the other female lead as her fourth collaboration with Nagarjuna.[b][13] Nagarjuna announced in mid September 2013 that Kaushal Sharma, Srikar Chittarbu and Krishna Yadav, who graduated from the Annapurna International School of Film and Media, would make their debut with this film.[14]

Nagarjuna's younger son Akkineni Akhil was rumoured to be making a cameo appearance following Nageswara Rao's request.[15] Sources close to the film's unit initially denied those reports.[16] Samantha later tweeted that Akhil appeared for shooting his portions in the film.[17] When his health conditions worsened, Nageswara Rao asked Nagarjuna to bring the dubbing equipment to dub for his role fifteen days before his surgery as he did not want any other artist to do it if his voice worsened. He completed those activities just before he died on 22 January 2014. Only an appearance in a song remained incomplete.[18]

"My father [Nageswara Rao] always thought of Bachchan saab as one of the finest actors we have. I thought just having him in my film would be an honour to my father's memory. When I asked him, he immediately agreed. We didn't want Bachchan saab's appearance to be made public. We wanted it to be a surprise. But nothing he does can remain undisclosed."

 —Nagarjuna in an interview with IANS.[19]

Neetu Chandra, who worked with Kumar on Yavarum Nalam (2009), made a cameo appearance in the film. Nagarjuna's sister Supriya told the media that a few other actors also made cameo appearances in the film.[20] Rashi Khanna confirmed in early April 2014 that she too would make such an appearance.[21] Kumar convinced Nagarjuna to let Akhil make a cameo appearance towards the end of the film or in a special song. However an official confirmation was originally unavailable.[22][23] Amitabh Bachchan posted in his official blogging site on 27 April 2014 that he would make a quick cameo appearance in the film which would be his debut in Telugu cinema.[24] Lavanya Tripathi also made a cameo appearance on Kumar's request.[25] Akhil made a cameo towards the film's end, as he did not want to miss a chance of sharing the screen with his grandfather.[26]

Crew[edit]

Anup Rubens was selected to compose the film's music and background score in mid March 2013 marking his second collaboration with both Kumar and Chaitanya after Ishq (2012) and Autonagar Surya (2014) respectively.[a][27] Kumar read the script to Rubens without revealing the film's cast. After Rubens accepted a role in the film, both met Nagarjuna. Rubens said in an interview that he worked for fewer days when compared to his previous works and added that Kumar had a small story to tell within every song in the film. Due to Nageswara Rao's death, a song's tune was replaced with another tune and a few lines of the song Nenu Puttanu from the film Prem Nagar (1971).[28]

Harsha Vardhan was selected in late April 2013 to write the film's dialogues, in consideration of his work in Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde (2013).[29] Since the film was a period drama, Nagarjuna wanted an experienced veteran cinematographer, and approached P. C. Sreeram. As Sreeram was busy with I (2015), P. S. Vinod was finalised as the cinematographer, marking his return to Telugu cinema after Panjaa (2011).[8] Chennai-based costume designer Nalini Sriram, who worked for Ye Maaya Chesave, was selected as the film's costume designer. While all the artists had to give their inputs for the costumes, Nageswara Rao gave her full freedom to design the film's costumes.[30]

Rajeevan, also a part of the technical team of Ye Maaya Chesave, was chosen as the film's art director.[31] In a press interview during the first look launch, executive producer Supriya announced the remaining key technicians. Prawin Pudi was confirmed as the film's editor. Brinda was signed in on to choreograph the song sequences. FEFSI Vijayan was chosen as the stunt choreographer. Vanamali and Chandrabose were chosen to write the lyrics for the songs.[32]

Characterisations[edit]

Nageswara Rao played the role of a 90-year-old man.[33] His character enters the film just before the interval and remains until the very end of the film.[8] All the members of the principal cast except Nageswara Rao played dual roles in the film. Nagarjuna said in an interview that he would be seen in the 1920s, 1980s and 2013 and would play a zamindar in 1920.[8] Saran revealed that every character in the film would have a specific aspect; Nagarjuna's character loves cars.[34] Regarding her role, Saran said that she would be seen as a poor but content farmer in the flashback sequences and a doctor in the present day.[35] She added "My character goes back to 1930s and comes back in the present era. I can't tell how it happens though. It's a fun character and you will find me stammering a lot. Suddenly, I'm talking normally and suddenly I start stammering, that's how you understand my character."[34] She added that apart from Nagarjuna, she has more scenes with Nageswara Rao and only a couple of scenes with Chaitanya in the film.[35]

Chaitanya is seen as the father of a six-year-old in 1980s and a happy-go-lucky college student in 2013. He described the former role as a challenging one.[36] He also said that both the roles would have multiple layers and added, "The film as you all would know by now, is spread across three generations, and all the characters go back and forth in time. I play a happy-go-lucky college guy in the present era. It's a typically fun character and has nothing in common with my character from the flashback. So acting wise, it was a big challenge".[37] He described the drunk scenes shared with Nagarjuna, Nageswara Rao and his confrontation scene with Samantha towards the end of the film as the toughest scenes to act.[36][37]

Samantha revealed that she too would be seen in a dual role — a mature mother named Krishna Veni in the past and a bubbly girl named Priya in the present. She added that she would not be overshadowed in the film despite the presence of three male leads.[38] Similar to Ye Maaya Chesave, Chaitanya and Samantha had a kissing scene in this film as a part of the script.[39] A clip of one of Samantha's looks in the film was leaked in late July 2013. She was seen sporting an urban look and opted for a complete makeover.[40] Nagarjuna's look in the film was leaked in mid August 2013 and he was seen sporting corrective eyeglasses and a conventional clean shave and moustache for which he removed the goatee he grew for his previous works Greeku Veerudu (2013) and Bhai (2013).[41] Saran's look in the film's flashback sequences was leaked in late February 2014.[42]

The film had two particular wedding scenes, one filmed on Chaitanya and Samantha and the other on Nagarjuna and Saran. The first pair greet each other with "Hi" during the wedding. When Kumar wrote those scenes, they were surprised and felt that such scenes were unrealistic. But it was retained as Nageswara Rao liked it. For the other wedding scene, Kumar wanted to heighten the emotions between the two characters in that scene and it was Nagarjuna who came up with the idea of not revealing his identity to the bride till the last moment.[43]

Filming[edit]

Hyderabad campus of BITS Pilani, where the film was partly shot.

Principal photography began on 7 June 2013.[44] Scenes focusing on Chaitanya and Samantha were shot at Narayanguda in mid June 2013.[45] The latter completed her part in the schedule and left for Switzerland on 18 June 2013 to work on Attarintiki Daredi (2013).[46] The first schedule was wrapped up by late June 2013 and the second schedule was scheduled to begin in mid-July 2013. Some important scenes were planned to be shot in that schedule.[47] Shriya Saran joined the film's sets in late July 2013.[48] Samantha tweeted on 31 July 2013 that the film's second schedule had been wrapped up.[40] The film was shot in Hyderabad Campus of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in late August 2013 and Samantha rejoined the film's sets on 1 September 2013 after completing Ramayya Vasthavayya (2013).[49]

Scenes featuring Nageswara Rao, Nagarjuna and Chaitanya were shot from 9 September 2013 in Hyderabad.[50] Executive producer Supriya announced in mid September 2013 that the filming would be completed by November 2013.[32] Nageswara Rao had chronic stomach ache, and doctors found out on 8 October 2013 that he is suffering from cancer. He announced this to the press on 19 October 2013 while on set.[51] Recovering from surgery, Nageswara Rao rejoined the film's sets in mid November 2013.[52] A 15-day schedule in Coorg starting from 1 December 2013 was announced in late November 2013 and key scenes on all the members of the principal cast except Nageswara Rao were planned to be shot.[53] The next schedule began in mid December 2013 at Mysore.[54]

Lalitha Mahal, where the flashback portions were partly shot.

The film's team continued filming at Melukote, Lalitha Mahal and in the backwaters of the Krishna Raja Sagara among others.[55] Samantha completed filming her portions on 22 February 2014.[56] By late March 2014, the entire filming, except for a song sequence, was completed; the song was planned to be shot in April 2014[57] Featuring Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya, it was shot at Annapurna Studios in mid-April 2014.[58] Amitabh Bachchan shot the scenes for his cameo at the Filmistan Studio in Mumbai on 27 April 2014.[59]

Saran later revealed in an interview that during the shoot at Coorg, the team's day began at 4:30 AM everyday. She visited coffee plantation and black pepper farms to observe the farmers' work for her part. For a few particular scenes, where Saran teaches Nagarjuna some farm chores, the team made a few takes, as Nagajuna, being a quick learner, completed the tasks better than Saran.[34]

Themes and influences[edit]

The film was initially rumoured to be inspired by the American science fiction comedy film Back to the Future. It was also compared with an older Hindi film Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971) for its casting.[60]

Nagarjuna revealed that the film is set over a period of a hundred years, up until 2013, and involves reincarnation.[61] He said in an interview that the film's script is not particularly intense, but has a light narration.[62] The film's basic theme, established by Kumar and his assistant directors, was "that things have changed and our sorrows and joys have been exchanged; Night and day, morning and evening, a movement of souls united in being, cosmic beings rearranged. Some things may go wrong in one’s life but they are corrected in the other life. The universe and nature correct the mistakes made in one life, in the other." He said that this statement would seem complex but would be fully explained by the film.[4]

Nagarjuna added that the film's characters would reborn with no special purpose unlike other reincarnation films like Janaki Ramudu (1988), Arundhati (2009) and Magadheera (2009).[4] Saran said in an interview that the film basically has a family-oriented theme and is about falling in love with "small, little things that you sort of don't see every day, but are really, really important".[34] Unlike other reincarnation based films, the film's story develops two separate themes — the relationship between reborn lovers, but also the relationship between reborn parents and their children.[63] Naga Chaitanya acknowledged in an interview with The Hindu that the film's script might seem to have a few overly-convenient coincidences, but felt that Kumar's detailing in every scene made the script believable.[64]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack features five songs as well as a theme musical piece all composed by Anoop Rubens. Chandrabose wrote lyrics for three songs and the remaining two were written by Vanamali and Rubens himself.[65] Aditya Music acquired the audio rights and released the soundtrack on 9 May 2014 on YouTube.[66] The soundtrack received positive response, especially for the songs Kanulanu Thaake and Chinni Chinni Aasalu.[67]

Release[edit]

Nagarjuna planned to release the film on 31 March 2014, on the eve of Ugadi,[c] confirmed on a visit to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple with Akhil in early March 2014.[69] However, he later postponed the film's release, planning to release the film after the 2014 general elections.[70] The film's trailer confirmed the release date as 23 May 2014.[71] The film was confirmed to feature in both Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround sound systems.[72] On 14 May 2014, the Central Board of Film Certification passed the film with a "U/A" certificate instead of a "U" certificate that the makers expected because of a few drinking scenes.[73] The British Board of Film Classification passed the film with a PG rating due to "brief images of injury, mild bad language".[74]

Nagarjuna arranged a special premiere show on 22 May 2014 at Prasads IMAX for Nageswara Rao's fans.[75] He succumbed to the huge demand from the admirers of Nageswara Rao and changed the single screen premiere into a five-multiplex screen red carpet show at Prasads IMAX, playing host to thousands of celebrity invitees.[76] CineGalaxy Inc. stated that the film would release in more than 100 screens in the United States alone with advance ticketing commencing at few locations.[77] The film's release however clashed with Vikrama Simha, the Telugu dubbed version of Kochadaiiyaan (2014).[78]

Nagarjuna planned to release the film in more than 1000 screens in India as well as international markets. In India, 171 theatres in Nizam,[d] 95 theatres in Ceded, 50 theatres in Vishakhapatnam, 85 theatres in East and West Godavari districts, 40 theatres in Krishna, 45 theatres in Guntur, 25 theatres in Nellore, 12 screens in Chennai, 20 screens in Bangalore and 25 screens in Maharashtra were booked. In overseas, 108 screens in the United States, 9 screens in Toronto, 6 screens in Germany, 2 screens in Switzerland and 3 screens in Netherlands were booked.[80] The advance ticket booking was made available both online as well as in theatres five days before the film's release. It registered nearly 50% advance booking by 22 May 2014 and was expected to register more than 75% before its theatrical release.[80]

Distribution[edit]

Sudhakar Reddy acquired the distribution rights of the film in Nizam Region.[81] CineGalaxy Inc. acquired the entire overseas theatrical screening rights of the film.[82] Lorgan Entertainments acquired the film's distribution rights for Australia and New Zealand.[83] DBB Films later acquired the theatrical screening rights of the film in all European countries except the United Kingdom,[84] where Errabus Films was the distributor.[74]

Promotion[edit]

The first look poster of the film was unveiled by Nagarjuna on 19 September 2013 on the eve of Nageswara Rao's 90th birthday.[85] The poster featured Nagarjuna dressed in a black suit, Chaitanya sitting in a throne as an elder in traditional costume and Nageswara Rao sitting on the floor posing as a child. The poster received praise for its offbeat theme.[86] The theatrical trailer of the film was planned to be released on 11 April 2014.[87] The second poster was released on 31 March 2014 on the eve of Ugadi.[88] A special video named "Candid Moments" was released along with the theatrical trailer as a tribute to Nageswara Rao on 8 April 2014 on the eve of Sri Rama Navami.[89][90] The trailer began with a voiceover of Rao and ends with the message "ANR Lives On".[71]

Upon release, the trailer went viral, praised as "refreshing".[91] IndiaGlitz stated "The trailer looks very refreshing and promising. In overall, the trailer looks very delightful, colourful and loaded with entertainment. Hope the movie will be a befitting farewell for the great actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao" and gave it the verdict "Refreshing, Vibrant and Vivid".[92] Oneindia Entertainment stated "The trailer of Manam shows that the movie has amazing background score, stunning camera work, breath-taking exotic locales, wonderful performances by the lead actors".[93] The trailer was also screened in theatres screening Race Gurram (2014) on 11 April 2014.[94] The trailer received 1 million views of YouTube. Nagarjuna released the promo of the song Piyo Piyo Re on 26 April 2014.[95] It featured Nagarjuna and Chaitanya dancing in a pub. It became a viral video post its release.[96]

After the audio launch, the positive reception of the song Chinni Chinni Aasalu prompted the makers to release a video featuring the making of the song. Shot in the backdrop of a village, the song featured Nagarjuna dressed as a farmer while Shriya Saran was dressed as an innocent villager. On the other hand, the video showcased the recording of the song by Shreya Ghoshal.[97] The video too received positive response.[98] A still featuring Chaitanya and Samantha in an intimate sequence from the flashback was re-tweeted many times by the fans and Telugu film websites.[99] A short teaser, 31 seconds long, was unveiled on 13 May 2014, in which Samantha was seen speaking about Nageshwar continuously at a doctors' check up and the montage of the film's male leads being played side by side.[100]

Shilpakala Vedika, where the film's 100 day celebrations were held on 22 September 2014.

A behind-the-scenes video of the making of the song Kanulanu Thaake was released on 14 May 2014.[101] The song featured Chaitanya and Samantha as a newly married couple and their onscreen romance with Lavanya Tripathi making a brief glimpse towards the end. It also showcased the recording of the song by Arijit Singh. The video received a positive response, with praises directed towards the on-screen chemistry between Chaitanya and Samantha.[102] The audio launch event, entitled "Manam Sangeetham", was aired on 18 May 2014 in Gemini TV at 5:00 PM, with the Akkineni family in attendance.[103]

Tata DoCoMo & Brooke Bond Red Label were involved with the film, advertising on hoardings, television, radio, in print, and on buses, among other venues. Tata DoCoMo came up with the tagline "Be a part of the Manam family" and offered a chance to the meet the film's star cast by recharging with a certain amount. Brooke Bond used the slogan "Red Label celebrates the taste of togetherness with Manam" and offered a chance to meet Nagarjuna.[104] First Show Digital handled the film's online promotions.[105] The film's 100-day celebration was held along with the platinum disc function[e] of Oka Laila Kosam (2014) on 22 September 2014 at the Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad.[107]

Leak[edit]

In early March 2014, the film was leaked into the Internet. Two people related to the film leakage were arrested on 8 March 2014. They were identified as Mubashir Sheik and Sheik Abid Basha hailing from Guntur. Basha illegally accessed the feed of the film and handed it over to Sheik who then uploaded it on YouTube.[108] Post release, the film became one of the most downloaded titles in recent times and the Anti-Video Piracy team worked for a week since the film's release to reduce the effect of this leak on the film's gross.[109]

Home media[edit]

The television broadcast rights were sold to Gemini TV for 80 million.[110] The film was planned for a television premiere on 20 September 2014 on the eve of Nageswara Rao's birthday.[111] The film registered a TRP rating of 15.62 making it one of the highest TRPs ever registered for a film in 2014.[112] Reliance Home Video released the film's DVDs and Blu-ray discs in December 2014.[113][114]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Critics appreciated the performances of all the members of the principal cast, Akkineni Nagarjuna (left), Shriya Saran (middle) and Samantha (right) receiving praise in particular.

The film received positive reviews from critics who called it a beautiful film and a complete entertainer, according to International Business Times India.[115] Prabalika M. Borah of The Hindu praised the performances of the film's cast, the work of the technical crew, and Kumar's execution of the film's script in narrating a complex story without confusion. She summarised, "The smile and laughter will not leave you while it still manage to moisten your eyes here and there".[116] Sandhya Rao of Sify stated, "Manam`s story is something new within Telugu films context, but the way the film showcases romance and emotion, it is far from a regular fare. Go watch Manam, a complete entertainer, which will surely enthrall!". She recognised Nageswara Rao as the pillar of the film and termed his performance as an "outstanding" one.[117]

Shekhar of Oneindia Entertainment gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, stating "Manam is a perfect family entertainer and it is director Vikram Kumar's unique script that makes the movie a brilliant experiment. The movie is high on entertainment quotient and it is treat to see ANR, Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya together on screen".[118] Rajasekhar S of Cinemalead also gave the film 4 out of 5 stars and called it "classy and brilliant", stating "Vikram K Kumar has packed the movie in such a way that the audience never get bored. Especially the last 20 minutes of the movie, towards the climax brings us to the edge of the seat".[119] IndiaGlitz gave the film 4 out of 5 stars as well, and called the film a "complete entertainer that is more than a love story" and stated, "The film packs everything that the trailer promised, plus the not-quite-unknown formula of Past Life Regression. Although we have seen many PLR stories in the past, 'Manam' is special because of its sublime and intriguing nature."[120]

Karthik Pasupulate of The Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "You cannot appreciate the smarts in the script has been written, and how humorously it all gets translated onscreen without getting unduly melodramatic. Since this is ANR's last film, the cumulative nostalgia and feel goodness of the movie might just paper over the structural issues. It's definitely worth a watch".[121] Suresh Kavirayani of Deccan Chronicle also gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Vikram Kumar has come out with a nice story and screenplay and created a classic masterpiece. Though there are past life regressions and rebirths, the director’s intelligent screenplay makes you to see more comfortably without any confusion. Manam is a good film to watch and a fitting tribute to Akkineni Nageswara Rao."[122]

Box office[edit]

The film achieved an average 95% occupancy in both single screens and multiplexes during the morning and matinee shows on its opening day, increasing during the evening and night shows.[123] The film collected 32.1 million worldwide on its first day according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh.[124] It collected more than 112.6 million net worldwide in three days and topped the Tollywood business chart, beating Vikrama Simha.[125] In four days, the film collected 149 million worldwide.[126] By the end of its first week, the film collected 190 million worldwide.[127] The film collected 267.1 million net in 10 days worldwide.[128]

The film collected 327.5 million net worldwide by the end of the 19th day of its theatrical run.[129] By mid June 2014, the film crossed the 350 million mark worldwide, and was expected to reach the 400 million mark.[130] The film collected a worldwide share of 15 million by the end of its fourth weekend.[130] By late July 2014, after completing its 50-day run, it had amassed a 480 million share, including satellite rights and audio rights.[131] The film collected 365 million worldwide during its lifetime, becoming one of the highest grossing Telugu films of 2014.[3] The film's success was attributed to Nagarjuna's strategy of releasing the film on a limited number of screens,[132][133] and utilising a low budget according to IANS.[134]

India[edit]

The film collected a share of 22.3 million on its first day at AP/Nizam box office. The film collected its highest share of 9.1 million in the Nizam region, followed by the Ceded region with 3.9 million and 2.2 million in Vishakhapatnam. It collected 16 million and 0.3 million in Karnataka and the rest of India respectively.[135] The film collected 40.2 million at the Indian box office in two days.[136][137] The film collected 62.2 million at the AP/Nizam box office and 8 million in the rest of India by the end of its first weekend. The film again collected its highest share of 26.7 million in the Nizam region, followed by the Ceded region with 10.6 million and Vishakhapatnam with 6.2 million.[138] Adarsh reported that the film collected a share of 89.2 million in four days at the Indian box office.[139]

It collected 122.2 million at the AP/Nizam box office, 14.8 million at the Karnataka box office, and 3 million in the rest of India by the end of its first week.[127] The film collected 39.4 million net at the AP/Nizam box office and 5.8 million in the rest of India by the end of its second weekend.[128] It collected 218.7 million in AP/Nizam and 21.1 million in the rest of India by the end of its 19-day run.[129] The film company held celebrations after the completion of its 50-day run on 14 July 2014.[2] The film completed a 100-day run on 30 August 2014.[140]

Overseas[edit]

The film collected 5.3 million from 69 screens at its premiere in the United States. The premiere was held on Thursday, 22 May 2014. According to Taran Adarsh, the collections made by the film from its premiere show was a "phenomenal" start.[141] The film collected 33.3 million in three days in the United States with many screens still yet to report as of 25 May 2014.[142] The film collected 49.6 million on 108 screens as of 27 May 2014, in the United States.[143] With this, Manam became the film with the highest grossing opening weekend for Nagarjuna and Chaitanya in the United States, and also became the third-highest grosser for an opening weekend in the country in 2014, after 1: Nenokkadine and Race Gurram.[144] The film crossed the US$1 million mark by the end of its first four-day weekend.[145]

The film collected 62.6 million in six days, thus surpassing the 59.3 million nine-day extended first week collections of Race Gurram in the United States.[146] According to Adarsh, the film continued to do good business in the United States by collecting 64.5 million by the end of its first week.[127] The film continued its successful run in the United States through early June 2014 and collected 82 million.[147] With this, the film broke the record set by Race Gurram and became the second highest grosser in 2014 after 1: Nenokkadine.[148] The film surpassed the lifetime collections of 1: Nenokkadine at the United States box office in 14 days by collecting 83.3 million.[149]

The film collected 87.7 million in the United States in 19 days.[129] By mid June 2014, the film collected 91.1 million in the United States, and by the end of its 25-day run and crossed the US$1.5 million mark, becoming one of the biggest commercially successful Telugu films in the country.[150]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Nominee Result
62nd Filmfare Awards South[151][152] Best Film – Telugu Akkineni Family Won
Best Director – Telugu Vikram Kumar
Best Music Director – Telugu Anoop Rubens
Best Lyricist – Telugu Chandrabose for "Kani Penchina Maa Ammake"
Best Cinematographer – South P. S. Vinod
Best Actor – Telugu Akkineni Nagarjuna Nominated
Best Actress – Telugu Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Shriya Saran
Best Male Playback Singer – Telugu Arijit Singh for "Kanulanu Thaake Kala"
Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu Shreya Ghoshal for "Chinni Chinni Aasalu"
Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist – Telugu Vanamali for "Kanulanu Thaake Kala"
5th TSR TV9 National Film Awards[153] Best Actress Shriya Saran Won
Special Jury Awards  – Best Actor Akkineni Nagarjuna
4th South Indian International Movie Awards[154][155] Best Film – Telugu Akkineni Family Won
Best Actor – Telugu (Jury) Naga Chaitanya
Best Actress – Telugu (Jury) Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Best Supporting Actress – Telugu Shriya Saran
Best Music Director – Telugu Anoop Rubens
Best Lyricist – Telugu Chandrabose for "Kani Penchina Maa Ammake"
Best Director – Telugu Vikram Kumar Nominated
Best Actor – Telugu Naga Chaitanya
Best Actress – Telugu Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Best Cinematographer – Telugu P. S. Vinod
Best Male Playback Singer – Telugu Arijit Singh for "Kanulanu Thaake Kala"
Bharath for "Kani Penchina Maa Ammake"
Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu Shreya Ghoshal for "Chinni Chinni Aasalu"
Best Lyricist – Telugu Vanamali for "Kanulanu Thaake Kala"
12th Santosham Film Awards[156][157][158] Best Film Akkineni Family Won
Best Director Vikram Kumar
Best Actress Shriya Saran
Best Music Director Anoop Rubens
11th CineMAA Awards[159] Best Film (Jury) Akkineni Family Won
Best Actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Best Music Director Anoop Rubens
Best Fight Master Ram Lakshman
Best Outstanding Actor Akkineni Nagarjuna

Legacy[edit]

Celebrities like S. S. Rajamouli, Shobu Yarlagadda, Nani, K. Dasaradh, Manchu Manoj, Pooja Hegde, Allu Sirish, Deva Katta, Adivi Sesh, Rakul Preet Singh, Rana Daggubati, Gopimohan, Prakash Raj,[160] Allu Arjun,[161] and Mahesh Babu praised the film.[162] Director Ram Gopal Varma called Manam an "avant garde product but deeply rooted in earth" and "the first constructive demonstration that Tollywood actually can go into a new age of cinema". He added that both Nagarjuna and Vikram deserved multiple salutes for making a film like Manam, and the only tragedy was that Nageswara Rao was not alive to see this film, which Varma termed an "astounding celebration of human emotions".[163] Ram Charan called Manam a film that induces "Love, joy, passion, hatred, excitement and almost every feeling you can imagine and more".[164] Kamal Haasan watched the film on 29 May 2014, at a special screening in Chennai. Haasan became emotional and could not control his tears.[165] Regarding this, he said "I have always been a fan of ANR and this film has brought back very fond memories. I turned emotional when I saw ANR on the big screen. I wholeheartedly appreciate the Akkineni family for paying tribute to ANR in this manner."[166]

IndiaGlitz called Manam, along with 1:Nenokkadine and Drushyam, the best experimental films in recent times.[167] Manam, along with Minugurulu (2014), was nominated by the Telugu Film Producers Council to the Film Federation of India to be included on the list of 30 Indian films for the 87th Academy Awards, in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.[168][169] In late September 2014, the United States postal department released a stamp in honour of Nageswara Rao, making him the first Indian actor in whose name a postal stamp had been released. That stamp featured a still of Nageswara Rao from the film.[170] The film was screened at the 45th International Film Festival of India on 29 November 2014, as a Homage to Nageswara Rao.[171] In February 2015, the makers of Bandipotu (2015) released a poster featuring Sampoornesh Babu, Allari Naresh and Saptagiri, whose theme resembled the first look of Manam.[172]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Manam had its theatrical release before Autonagar Surya because of the latter's financial problems.[10]
  2. ^ Shriya Saran collaborated with Nagarjuna for three films in the past : Santosham (2002), Nenunnanu (2004) and Boss - I Love You (2006).
  3. ^ Ugadi is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar.[68]
  4. ^ For film trade purpose, the Nizam region includes the three districts of Gulbarga, Bidar, and Raichur in Karnataka and seven districts in the Marathwada region including Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Jalna and Osmanabad apart from the state of Telangana.[79]
  5. ^ Platinum disc of a regional Indian film refers to the sale of 50,000 discs within a calendar year from its date of release.[106]

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