It is not uncommon for parents to name their children after their own recently-deceased parents or grandparents, address children all their lives with affection and respect using the same word they use(d) to address their own mother or father. 'Manam' a charming fable and a magical film that celebrates this universal household tradition, brings together three actors from three generations and tells a story of life, love, death, family and legacy. The fact that three generations of the same family participate to tell such a story elevates the story to higher levels of romanticism.
'Manam' mischievously mixes up the names and the relationships between the real and reel life characters, makes the characters retain their personalities and quirks across lifetimes and welcomes the audience into this want-to-believe world. After a long while I watched a film that is so captivating that I wished that it would never end. It is a movie that celebrates continuity and reaffirms the circle of life and death with life triumphing in the end. I wondered if I should be a little disappointed that a few loose ends were not tied up more neatly in the end; then I tell myself that I shouldn’t be nitpicky when the story and the cast trump those little flaws in the movie.
You come out of the movie hall wanting to believe what you saw on screen and wishing that you spawn your own family tree (or be a part of one), live a long life to see all those fresh leaves and branches from roots upwards.
Oh, by the way, from whatever little I got to see of Akhil Akkineni, he is more Amala than Nagarjuna.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Generations