Cast: Sasho Satish Sarthy, Yashpal Sharma, Divya Dutta, Seema Biswas, Kishore Kadam
Director: Sandeep Verma
An idealistic protagonist, realistic treatment and commendable performances make this film an inspirational experience.
The narrative designed by newbie Sandeep Verma is not without faults though. Especially the decision to use Manjunath’s ghost to raconteur his work life and encounters with the petrol mafia eventually leading-up to his cold-blooded murder.
Verma tries to tell his story within a story, frequently using flash backs, going back and forth in time, causing a disorientation in time and space for the viewer. It does hamper the narrative but it also creates some excitement and interest.
The Manjunath paradigm is based on true events amalgamated together to present a prototype of the Idealist who brooks no wrong, even if it costs him his friends and his life.
Manjunath (Sasho Satish Sarathy) is a musically inclined IIM, Lucknow grad, a Tamil speaking Kannadiga transported to UP following employment by Bharat Oil, and is on a self-appointed mission to cleanse the system of corrupt practices. He stands alone in his belief and has to pay a heavy price for it- to the extent that he is diagnosed as schizophrenic and sent away on a forced sabbatical. But once back in his groove, he continues his mission fearlessly and eventually loses his life in the process. The following part of the narrative focuses on how his IIM colleagues set up a fund in his memory to fight his case which ends on a winning note.
The narrative is inventive and engrossing, the performances are sharp and gravitating, the background score lends a steady youthful tempo to the proceedings.
It is told with a minimum of fuss and and manages to touch your heart without seeping into sentimentality. It’s earnest and sincere in its agenda to keep you interested. Many whistleblowers have lost their life and limb in their crusade against corrupt practices and this film is basically a memoriam to their unstinting courage and idealism.