NTR Mahanayakudu Movie Review

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Starring : Nandamuri Balakrishna, Vidya Balan, Kalyan Ram, Rana Daggubati and others
Director : Krish
Producers : Balakrishna, Sai Korrapati and Vishnu Induri
Music Director : MM Keeravani
Rating: 3/5

After NTR Kathanayakudu, all eyes are on NTR Mahanayakudu. The second part is based on NTR’s historic journey in politics. The film had its premiere at AMB Cinemas yesterday evening and has finally hit the screens today. Let’s see whether the film succeeds in living up to the hype and expectations.

Story:


NTR Mahanayakudu’s story begins with NTR (Nandamuri Balakrishna) launching the Telugu Desam Party. He then tours across the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and campaigns on his iconic Chaitanya Ratham, with his son Harikrishna (Kalyan Ram) as his charioteer.

With the massive public support, NTR becomes the Chief Minister. The real drama begins when NTR loses power due to a political conspiracy. How NTR fights his way back to power and how his better half Basavatarakam (Vidya Balan) loses her battle with cancer form the main crux of the film.

Performances:

Balakrishna has lived in the character of Ramarao. He faced a bit of struggle to get the younger version of his father right, due to age factor in the first part, but in Mahanayakudu, the veteran is terrific with the portrayal of Ramarao's character. He didn't try to imitate his father and focused only on getting the emotions right. His performance in the climax sequences in Assembly is sensational. He is also good in the scenes with Vidya Balan.

Bollywood actress Vidya Balan gets a meaty role in this part and she sinks her teeth into it. She has lived the character and shows the admiration of Tarakam towards her husband just through expressions. Rana Daggubati is very good as Chandra Babu Naidu. His demeanor, diction and the screen presence make his performance a standout one in Mahanayakudu. He gets more screen time and importance after Balakrishna and he grabs the opportunity with both hands. Sachin Khedekar is a fine actor and he does well as the evil politician. Supriya Vinod who played Indira Gandhi is authentic. Rest of the actors had a very little role to play.

Plus Points:

Balakrishna's performance
Rana as CBN
Scenes between Balakrishna and Vidya Balan

Minus Points:

Dragged screenplay
Abrupt climax
Convenient storytelling

Technical Aspects:


Special mention must be given to Krish for the way he maintains drama and emotions in NTR’s political and personal lives. Right from penning an intense script that showcased NTR’s journey which was full of ups and downs to extracting fine performances from his actors, Krish has done a commendable job.

Veteran music composer MM Keeravani shows his genius yet again with his thematic background score that highlights the intensity and drama in the narrative. Cinematography by VS Gnana Shekar is realistic, as a majority of the film was shot in real locations and outdoors. Ramakrishna’s editing should have been a bit sharp in a couple of elaborate political scenes.

Art Director Sahi Suresh too deserves a pat for keeping the milieus as realistic as possible. Writer Sai Madhav Burra plays to the gallery as he elevates NTR’s magnanimity and firebrand attitude with his dialogues. The film’s production values are decent.

Verdict:

On the whole, NTR Mahanayakudu showcases NTR, the legendary politician, to the current generation. Balakrishna’s splendid performance as NT Rama Rao and Krish’s deft handling of the political events that rattled Andhra Pradesh in the late 80s are the major highlights of this political drama. On the flip side, the abrupt climax, the serious tone throughout the film and a slightly underwhelming subplot between NT Rama Rao and his wife Basavatarakam may hinder the film’s prospects to an extent. NTR Mahanayakudu is definitely a one-for NTR fans but for the regular audience the film may end up as just a one time watch.
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