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Mangalavaaram Review: A dark thriller with splendid performances

Mangalavaaram is Payal Rajput's second film with director Ajay Bhupathi. The dark thriller has been released in multiple languages on November 17, 2023. Ajaneesh Loknath composed the music. 

Mangalavaaram Review: A dark thriller with splendid performances

Payal Rajput in Mangalavaaram

Last Updated: 01.52 AM, Nov 17, 2023



Mangalavaaram is based in a small village that is filled with fear as people start getting killed in mysterious circumstances every Tuesday. In comes a cop(Nanditha Swetha) to investigate the case and the narrative takes us back into the flashback where a village belle, Shailu(Payal Rajput) is introduced. Her falling in love with a school teacher(Ajamal Aamir) and getting cheated leads to dire circumstances in Shailu's life which is also interlinked with the deaths in the village. To know Shailu's backstory and the twist behind these murders, you need to watch the film on the big screen.


Mangalavaaram is Ajay Bhupathi's latest thriller that has a very unique selling point. The film touches upon a subject that not many would attempt as the backdrop of their film in Telugu cinema. The film deals with Payal Rajput's character having a sexual disorder and how it connects the dots in the murder mystery.

Ajay Bhupathi has set the film in a small village where things go wrong and the innocent villagers are clueless as to what is going on with them. Ajay Bhupathi narrates the entire first half showcasing the deaths happening every Tuesday and how the villagers start looking for the one who is behind these murders.

Payal Rajput
Payal Rajput

The film goes into a flashback mode in the second half after Payal's character is introduced. The disorder she has and how the character of Shailu faced issues in life are showcased in a very bold manner. To play such a role, one needs to have guts, and Payal Rajput going all out is the best part of the film. Payal's innocence, her bold moves, and her emotional outbursts in tense situations prove her acting prowess. With Mangalavaaram, Payal once again proves that she is a director's actor, and if supported well, she can be a great asset to the industry.

Though the director's narration regarding the heroine's disorder is not proper in a few scenes, Payal brings a lot of depth with her performance. Krishna Chaitanya gets a meaty role and he is amazing as the village head. Ajay Ghosh is amazing in his fun role as a pervert. Nandita Swetha overacts for no reason in her role. Ravindra Vijay of The Family Man gets an important role and he is good. The rest of the cast has done a great job in their respective roles.

Mangalavaaram is quite engrossing in multiple areas and this happens because of the amazing score by Ajaneesh Lokanth of Kantara fame. He breathes life into the narrative with a mind-blowing background score and engages the audience till the end. Managalavaram is a period drama and the production design is amazing. The camera work showcasing the rustic village visuals is top-notch.

Ajay Bhupathi gets things right for the most part but takes a lot of time to unleash the main conflict point in the film. The entire first half is taken to introduce characters that do not have much importance in the script later on. If the runtime had been reduced by ten minutes and had he introduced Payal's character in the pre-interval block, the output would have been something else.


Mangalavaaram has a very bold subject and a section might not like it as well. Though the story looks routine after a point, Ajay Bhupathi weaves his magic in the last half an hour, and the twists that he unleashes in the form of a special entry in the climax come as a shocker. The second half and climax of the film is a major asset but one needs to sit through a decent but dragged first half to enjoy this film.



On the whole, Mangalavaaram has a unique backdrop and is narrated well for the most part. Payal Rajput gives her career-best performance and will surely shock you with her bold character. Barring the slow first half, the twists and turns are good and the amazing background score keeps you engaged in this dark thriller.


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