Movie Reviews

NTR Mahanayakudu Movie Review:It Proves Krish To Be A Master Storyteller

NTR Mahanayakudu(Telugu)

Starring Nandamuri Balakrishna,  Vidya Balan, Rana Daggubatti

Directed  by Krish

Rating: ****(4 stars)

Without a  shadow of a  doubt,  NTR Mahanayakudu  is  a worthy weighty  sequel to  NTR Kathanayakudu which came  a few  months ago.

The  story  of  N T Rama Rao’s  rise as the  political voice  of  Andhra Pradesh could not have obtained such a  deep voice and  lasting  resonance were it not for the  director  Krish’s  absolute control over the narrative. We  have seen  Krish handle  period films with panache in  the past. His last outing in the genre Manikarnika  was marred by some ugly interference  .

 Here  in the NTR bio-pics he is given  a free hand to explore  the  dynamics  of  Andhra  politics as seen through the eyes of a politician  who rewrote the rules  of democraticgovernship  even as  he struggled  to retain his selfworth  as  it was assaulted  from disgruntled  political  forces.

In one sequence  of this tightly-edited handsomely packaged paean  to  a idealist-politician, two women from his rival’s camp  virtually attack him  him physically in parliamentary and  loudly  wish him dead  as  NTR  sits stoically under  the glare of the worst possible humiliation. But Balakrishna’s NTR  never melts down.

When  asked why didn’t speak up NTR warns, “Do not mistake  my silence for weakness.”

It s indeed a masterstroke to get NT Rama Rao’s son to play the  multi-layered actor-politician who  was  many things to his family , fans  and followers. The script subsumes  all of the roles with smartlywritten  lines and pithy plot movements . The film takes an objective view  of  the  subject,  treating  NTR as  a man who was  almost anointed a god by his fans.

In  furiously  spectral  mob sequences we see   NTR bonding with his disciples, lecturing to them, holding their hands in smiling conversation.Playing the man who would be God, Balakrishna brings  an empathetic energy  to the part.Gentle  and ferocious  in turns  and sometimes  together, the actor  is able to bring forward  the  myriad shades  of  the  passionate  politician and  the  dedicated householder.

 NTR’s  growing bonding with his political rival  turned most trusted lieutenantChandrababu Naidu is beautifully  etched into the  film’s pulsating  political framework. Rana Daggubatti  gives  the  best  performance  of his career  so far as  Chandrababu.Almost unrecognizable in that  reedy makeup  he  brings a harnessed  fire and  fierce  sincerity to  his  role.

I wish there was more  of Vidya Balan as  NTR’s wife. There was more  of her in  the  first part  of  the  bio-pic. For most  of  this  film ,whenever she is there, she throws adoring glances at  her husband.  Her death  however will  leave you teary-eyed.

Fiercely  dedicated  to  making NTR’s  real-life image come alive on celluloid, directorKrish shows  us who is the  boss of  the epic drama. If you  have seen  the  first part  of the director’s Krish bio-pic then you can’t afford to miss the second part.  If  you haven’t seen the first  part you will undoubtedly  want to go back  to it after seeing this stormy engaging saga  of a man who refused to  be slotted as a singer  and wannabe  politician. He  had  to be  the best. This  film has  no quibbles with  NTR’s lunge towards  excellence.

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