Sangeeth Shobhan, Narne Nithiin, Ram Nitin headline MAD, produced by Sithara Entertainments
MAD, the campus comedy that released in theatres globally on October 6, turned out to be one of the surprise hits of the year in Telugu cinema. Kalyan Shankar made his directorial debut with the film largely comprising newcomers - Narne Nithiin, Sangeeth Shobhan, Ram Nitin, Sri Gouri Priya Reddy, Ananathika Sanilkumar and Gopikaa Udayan. Sithara Entertainments, Fortune Four Cinemas produced the film.
While the film faced stiff competition from many other releases in the same weekend, it clicked immensely with the younger lot and was an instant source of nostalgia for other viewers. Four weeks after its impressive theatrical run, MAD is now out on OTT. Netflix acquired the post-theatrical digital rights of the campus comedy and decided to premiere the film earlier this Friday.
MAD derives its title from its pivotal characters - Manoj, Ashok and Damodhar. While Manoj is an unabashed flirt, Ashok is playful but guards his emotions. Damodhar, the goofiest character of the lot, has a funny bone and maintains a dead-pan expression while narrating the funniest of jokes. The film takes the viewers through the highs and lows in their college lives.
Kalyan Shankar doesn’t really try to sell a story here but relies on whacky situations, clever writing and enthusiastic performances to keep its humour quotient alive. At no point, MAD tries to be original. The film, in fact, pays a homage to some of the most popular campus films - from Munnabhai MBBS to 3 Idiots to Happy Days, Chichorey but gives it a fresh spin with new pop-culture references and dialogues.
Even in potentially serious, dramatic situations, Kalyan Shankar finds a way to change the tone of the film and never lets its momentum slip away. The film’s most promising finds are Sangeeth Shobhan and Ram Nitin, who have an unusual sense of comic timing. The comedy genre enjoys an impressive success rate in Telugu cinema and one can’t wait to see if MAD works with OTT viewers too.