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Srikanth’s latest sob story Manasellam is a mind numbing melodrama that will leave you exhausted. Like in his earlier two films Rojakootam and April Madathil, his one point programme seems to be running around girls who turn out to be mirages. Not much of a story, as Srikanth who has a likable vulnerability about him gets trapped in the slot of the lover boy turning into a perpetual loser.

On the way to Chennai, Bala`s (Srikanth) bag and certificates get stolen in the train. But he has a look about him that endears him to a petty shop owner Sundaram (V.M.C. Haneefa), who provides him accommodation along with a few bachelors (Vayyapuri, Shyam Ganesh and Sukran) in the top portion of his house.Malar (Trisha) stays opposite this house and the bachelors are crazy about her. They are scared if the handsome and generous Bala will try to woo her and so they hatch a plot and frame him, so that Malar’s two brothers beat him up black and blue. Three strangers, who claim to be his true friends from Hyderabad, save an unconscious Bala.

Now the true identity of Bala is told in a flashback by these friends, that he is a rich son of an industrialist (Rajeev and Fathima Babu). Malar saves Bala from an accident and soon they are in love. But her brothers take her back to Chennai, as her sister had already eloped with someone. The brothers does not want her to commit the same mistake and make her promise that she will only marry someone of their choice. Then there is another secret that nobody knows - Malar is suffering from some brain disease and will die soon(!!). Bala comes to stay opposite her house to see and make her happy till the end.

Sadly, the film lacks soul and style. If Srikanth is steadily moving up as the strong contendor for the top slot among the younger crop of heroes, it is no surprise. His charming, boyish-handsome looks, the sincerity and sensitivity with which he approaches his role, makes him eminently watchable on screen. And he's grown in maturity as an actor too, since we last saw him in 'April Mathathil'. Trisha has been projected better here, than in her debut film 'Mounam Pesiyathe', but has a long way to go where emoting is concerned.

For a debutant director, Santosh's (apprenticed with directors Ezhil and Sashi) work is promising. The first half moves at an interesting pace, and the twist just before the second half, leaves the audience in a state of suspense and curiosity. But then the second half falls short of expectations. There are quite a few cliches, co-incidences, and unanswered questions.

The script could have done with some sprucing up, and more logical situations. Specially in the scenes following the discovery of Malar's terminal illness. Ilayaraja’s music is average. On the whole Manasellam leaves you with a migraine.

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