Title: NTR Mahanayakudu
CBFC Rating : U
Run-Time: 2 Hrs 03 Mins
Release Date: 22-02-2019
Banner: NBK Films, Vibri Media, Vaarahi Chalanachitram
Cast: Nandamuri Balakrishna, Vidya Balan, Nandamuri Kalyanram, Rana Daggubati, Sachin Khedker, Vennela Kishore and Others
Music: MM Keeravani
Cinematography: Gnanasekhar VS
Producer: Nandamuri Vasundhara Devi, Nandamuri Balakrishna
Written & Directed by Krish Jagarlamudi
After showcasing Legend Nandamuri Tarakarama Rao’s rise in cinema in ‘NTR Kathanayakudu’, Part 2 of NTR’s Biopic, ‘NTR Mahanayakudu’ depicts his political journey and deals his emotional bonding with his wife Basavatarakam. Film deals with the formation of Telugudesam Party, how people embraced him, how he single handedly brought the party into power. After becoming Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh he loses power due to a political conspiracy. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
With no burden of looking and acting like the younger version of Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao, the overall effort in the second part of the biopic in ‘acting’ terms comes across as effortless from Balakrishna. The body language and dialogue have a natural attitude and swag that can’t be missed. The dynamic part is expected, but NBK surprises with the sensitive, emotional side and showing inner turmoil without going overboard. The sequence in the hospital with the doctor in the first half and the assembly portion in the second half are glowing proof of that. An unseen before side of Balakrishna has been unveiled through the two parts of NTR biopic.
Rana has less screen time, but he is sure to make a strong impression. The body language and dialogue delivery have been suitably modified to give a feel of Chandra Babu Naidu. However, never does it appear that the actor is copying the iconic public figure.
Vidya Balan, as usual, is a highlight. She brings dignity and aura to the character of Basavatarakam that only a few can. All her scenes involving Balakrishna are poignant with some sure to make the audience teary-eyed.
Kalyan Ram is shown sparingly but proves to be the right choice for the part. Sachin Khedekar brings his experience as a versatile actor to fore and delivers the act with correct timing that doesn’t go overboard at the same time; it isn’t too subtle. Vennela Kishore, Daggubati Raja, Supriya Vinod, Manjima Mohan, and two teenagers paying the younger version of NTR and Basavatarakam have all done their parts well.
The movie gets slow paced at times
Director Krish is in his zone with the cinematic journey of the legend NTR being complete. The focus is on a critical chain of events post the winning of the election by NTR. The happenings are shown in detail, and the director brings out successfully how it tough journey it was politically for NTR.
The movie oscillates between two different emotions; one is involving the political happenings and the other on a personal front. The mix of the political and personal gives the feeling of a dense narrative at times and a sense of things getting slow or dragged. In isolation, they are superbly done, but as a whole, the heaviness can be felt.
The political aspects keep the momentum going. The second half stands out in this regard. The way CBN keep the MLA’s safe and how parallelly NTR is fighting to save democracy has come out well. Also, the floor test sequence where a seething NTR stays calm despite all the abuses thrown at him is neatly done. Overall, NTR – Mahanayakudu is a proper conclusion to the story arc taken by the team.
MM Keeravani has done a fabulous job with the music and background score. The songs are blended seamlessly into the narrative without breaking the flow. The cinematography by VS GnanaSekhar is brilliant. It takes us back into the old era. The editing by A Ramakrishna is fine. Sai Madhav Burra has done an excellent job with the dialogues. Nandamuri Balakrishna, Sai Korrapati and Vishnu Induri need all the appreciation for taking a mammoth undertaking like this and delivering with an uncompromised vision and clarity.
Bottom-line: The Legend Continues