Jaggesh is at his best in Melkote Manja. He is also the story writer, dialogue writer and director of this film. Jaggesh’s ‘Manja’ characters in Eddelu Manjunatha and Manjunatha BA LLb were as cinematic as they could get. Here, Manja is one with whom anybody can connect. Melkote Manja is produced by Kondada Bhereshwara Films.
Jaggesh plays Manja, who is from Melukote. He tries his hand at many businesses and fails in all of them. He drives up a lot of debt from several people in the town. He is always dodging creditors, coming up with a new trick and a white lie every minute and always with the hope to escape the situation. The film is about a loan shark played by Rangayana Raghu, whose background checks of prospective clients is far more stringent than even banks have. Yet, Manja manages to do the impossible and cons Raghu into giving him a loan. He then falls in love with a girl while trying to help her. She is being forcibly married to someone. Half the film is about how Manja becomes successful in life and the other half is about how he helps the girl. The film slows down a bit in the second half due to the extended focus on a single issue and soon rushes towards a predictable climax. Aindrita Ray, who is the heroine, looks good and does justice to her casting.
The actor director has always wanted to make films that entertained audiences and not preach messages. "In everyday life, you will come across many such Manjas, who take loans and then abscond, their phones will be switched off and there will be no way to reach them or recover the money. This story was inspired by many such incidents," said the actor-director to TOI.
If it's a Jaggesh film is it bound to be a laughter riot. ‘Melkote Manja’ is like his trademark films with comic marathon a social message and therefore gets a 2.5 star rating!