7.2/10
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8 user 3 critic

Manjunath (2014)

'Manjunath' is a warm inspirational film based on the true story of Manjunath Shanmugam, a sales officer from a petroleum company who was killed by the oil mafia in 2005 for his stand against fuel adulteration.

Director:

Sandeep A. Varma
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Cast

Credited cast:
Anjori Alagh Anjori Alagh ... Sujata
Karan Ashar Karan Ashar ... Undy (college friend)
Aarun D. Baliean Aarun D. Baliean ... Sujata's Boss
Asif Basra ... Devendra
Seema Biswas ... Manju's Mother
Saksham Dayma Saksham Dayma ... Inspector Sukla
Divya Dutta ... Anjali
Kishore Kadam ... Manju's Father
Rajesh Khattar
Nalneesh Nalneesh ... Panwala
Anand Nandkumar Anand Nandkumar ... Manju's brother
Om Prakash Om Prakash ... Lallan
Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid ... Gautam
Gireesh Sahedev Gireesh Sahedev ... Jai (as Girish Sahdev)
Saurabh Santosh Saurabh Santosh ... Convicted
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Storyline

Manjunath is a true, inspirational and hard hitting story of an ordinary man and his fight against corruption. After passing out from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Manjunath Shanmugam was placed with an Oil company as a sales manager only to blow open the large scale adulteration of fuel taking place in the country. It was then that this courageous and honest man was brutally murdered while trying to do his job in the right way and became the victim of this very system which he was trying to protect.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

9 May 2014 (India) See more »

Filming Locations:

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
A well intentioned film revealing a shocking truth but I wish it was made with a better execution reaching a wider audience.
2 June 2014 | by bobbysingSee all my reviews

In the late nineties, while travelling in the outskirts of Delhi (around Najafgarh) in an auto-rickshaw, I felt a constant irritation and burning sensation in my eyes. Also I strangely could feel the smell of kerosene oil from the moment I took the auto but wasn't sure. So reaching the destination, I asked about it to the driver and he started smiling. On my repeated questioning he revealed that actually the petrol here is mixed with kerosene oil and therefore the smell & irritating eyes. Puzzled to hear that, I really couldn't believe this new piece of information about the adulterated petrol, so left it right there, never to recall it again.

Cut To - The memory came back after more than 15 years while watching MANJUNATH, a film based on the shameful real life event of 2005, wherein a truthful officer was assassinated because of his voice raised against a hidden crime. And that undisclosed, unheard crime was the same illegal practice of selling impure petrol (mixed with kerosene oil) openly at various petrol pumps in U.P. The film certainly made me open my eyes widely with that old time memory reviving in mind and just forced me to think that this was all happening since the late nineties (or even before) when I had that unbelievable chat with the auto driver.

Hence based on such major yet less talked about activity, MANJUNATH can easily be rated as an important attempt to educate the youngsters about that forgotten event. And admittedly I was also not aware of the exact proceedings before watching the film, which might be the case with many friends here in all possibilities.

Therefore as a purposefully made project by director Sandeep Varma, MANJUNATH largely works in one way, being an honest and sincere attempt to spread awareness about the unsung hero and his brutal murder. But unfortunately as a film, it is not able to impress in its opening hour taking too much time to come to the point and gaining momentum only in the final 40 minutes, when the case gains national attention. The director remains faithful to his core subject throughout but the execution is not that hard hitting and impressive as it should have been. Particularly using the poor rock song in between, talking to Manjunath's spirit post the murder and the hurried court case in the end, completely fails to reach the audience in the desired manner. Both Cinematography & Background score remain average, whereas few performances do manage to grab your attention in the second half namely of Seema Biswas, Kishore Kadam, Yashpal Sharma and Faisal Rashid. Divya Dutta coming in the final moments only remains wasted and Sasho Satiiysh Saarathy sincerely tries hard to play the lead revolting character resulting in a mixed kind of impact.

On the whole, yes projects like MANJUNATH need to be made to expose the shocking truth, before it gets lost in the weak public memory as usual. And thus the film indeed can be rated as a courageous effort from the team with a moral mission. However I really wish it was executed in a more polished way which could have taken it to a much wider audience fulfilling its basic aim.


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