Review 'Masthu Shades Unnai Ra':  An aspirational, small-town tale

'Masthu Shades Unnai Ra' has been released in theatres. It is produced by Aarem Reddy, Prashanth V, and Bhavani Kasula. What is the film about? Let's find out:


Manohar, known as Manu (portrayed by Abhinav Gomatam), encounters a setback when his bride leaves him in pursuit of better opportunities. Hailing from a modest background, he finds himself vulnerable. His uncle (played by Nizhalgal Ravi) and his friend Shiva (portrayed by Moin Mohammad) become his pillars of support as he dreams of establishing an offset printing machine center in his hometown.

Along the journey to elevate his socio-economic status, Manu faces financial hurdles, self-doubt, and unfortunate circumstances. Amidst all this, where does his love interest Uma (played by Vaishali Raj) and the emergence of Rahul (portrayed by Ali Reza as a newfound rival) fit into the larger narrative? That's the essence of the story.

Performances and Technical Departments:

When comedians transition into leading roles in Telugu cinema, they often opt for lighter characters. Ali, Sunil, Vennela Kishore, Saptagiri, and Sudigali Sudheer have followed this trend. However, Abhinav Gomatam takes a different route by embracing a predominantly serious role. Throughout much of the film, he portrays a character plagued by distress and an inferiority complex, among other challenges. Socially semi-awkward and seemingly devoid of even a semblance of luck even in the rarest of instances, he brings to life a persona that contrasts sharply with his comedic counterparts. The 'Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi' actor should have looked a bit relaxed at least here and there.

Vaishali Raj looks homely, while Nizhalgal Ravi (the Kollywood import) plays his part well even though he is an underwritten character. Ali Reza of Bigg Boss Telugu fame gets a cliched character. Moin, Lavanya Reddy (as Vidhya), Tharun Bhascker (in a cameo, as an MLA), Anand Chakrapani and others are also seen.

'Hello Ammayi', sung by Sid Sriram, is cool. Composer Saneev T's work is otherwise inconsistent.


An upside of Anwar Sadiq's story is that the male lead's struggles and the practical difficulties he faces in setting up a small establishment have been shown with a touch of realism. From concerns about purchasing a used machine to grappling with its hefty maintenance expenses, from securing a loan to honing his skills, he navigates through a multitude of life's hurdles. He must also confront individuals who deride his aspirations, adding to his burdens. Amidst this discouragement, Uma provides a semblance of solace through her mere presence. However, even her support doesn't render his journey effortless.

By and by, the story becomes more about Manu's everyday issues as a small-time entrepreneur in a small-town setting where customers can get violent. His negotiations with a landlord for rental space and issues like this come with attendant pacing issues.

In the first half, at least, the Manu-Uma track is realistic. There is a reason why Uma trusts Rahul more and she makes it clear with her body language while being demure. It is in these portions that director Thirupathi Rao Indla shows his knack for keeping things slice-of-life. Uma's relationship with Manu takes off in the backdrop of a training institute where the Ameerpet coaching centre genre of comedy plays out for a brief while. With better writing, this segment could have been stretched out. However, these elements give way to some dreary scenes in the second half. From a sexual harassment element to an ill-fated bike ride, the scenes look adrift. While the conflicts are half a dozen in number, the tension fades out in the latter portions.

Vox Verdict:

'Masthu Shades Unnai Ra' needed to be many shades better. Yet, it works as a small-town film with practical, everyday conflicts on display.

Rating: 2.75/5


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