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Mandakini Review: A Dive into the Tides of Wedding Drama and Family Dynamics

In the bustling world of Malayalam movies, Althaf Salim's new film, "Mandakini," is like a boat ride through the choppy waters of family gatherings and wedding excitement. With Anarkali Marikar and Salim himself at the helm, the movie promises an adventure into relationships, though it encounters a few rough patches along the journey. 

mandakini movie poster

Release date 24 May 2024
Critic's Rating 2.5/5
Director Vinod Leela
Cast   Althaf Salim, Anarkali Marikkar, Ganapathy, Kutty Akhil, Aswathy Sreekanth, Saritha Kukku
Duration  127 minutes

The plot involving a young couple, portrayed by Althaf Salim and Anarkali Marikar, who unexpectedly uncover more about each other on their wedding night. However, the film strangely prioritizes lengthy drinking scenes and simplistic humor over this compelling narrative. During Aromal and Ambili's wedding celebrations, Aromal's brother-in-law and friend concoct a cocktail to bolster his confidence for the night ahead. However, Ambili inadvertently consumes the drink and, in her intoxicated state, reveals details about her past relationship with Sujit Vasu, played by Ganapathi, and how he betrayed her. Rajalakshmi, Aromal's determined mother, portrayed by the spirited Saritha Kukku, takes charge of the situation. She resolves to address the issue decisively, either facilitating Ambili's departure with Sujit or securing her position as her daughter-in-law.

still from film mandakini

Salim, making his directorial debut, proves himself to be a skilled navigator of human emotions, especially within the family circle. Through subtle touches and heartfelt moments, he weaves a tale that pulls viewers into the emotional currents swirling around the wedding festivities. While "Mandakini" excels in its portrayal of female characters and their inner struggles, it occasionally falls short in giving equal attention to the male characters. The focus seems to lean heavily towards the female perspective, leaving the male characters feeling a bit like background scenery at times. Despite these occasional hiccups, "Mandakini" manages to stay afloat, buoyed by its strong performances and engaging storyline. It avoids the typical melodrama and over-the-top theatrics often associated with wedding dramas, offering a refreshing take on familiar themes.

Overall, "Mandakini" is a captivating journey through the ups and downs of family dynamics and wedding festivities. While it may hit a few bumps along the way, it leaves a lasting impression, much like the ebb and flow of the tide.

Read more: Hidden Gems: 10 Worthy Indian Films That Deserve The Spotlight But Went Unnoticed