Cast: Nandamuri Balakrishna, Vidya Balan, Aamani
Movies certainly do have an impact, but determining the magnitude of it is tough. And in an election year, a politically fueled ‘biopic’ is indeed an attempt to hit the right chords.
Legendary actor-turned politician N.T.Rama Rao biopic’s second edition portrays his political journey, while the first one was focused on his personal life and his successful acting career.
Hopes were high on the second part as the former did not succeed in weaving much of a magic on the screen. Another advantage to the second part is that it is majorly about his political journey, an attempt to highlight his ‘charisma’ which helped him in getting accepted as a 'leader.'
NTR has been a ‘Telugu’ mascot, a man who is seen as an icon of Telugu Pride and that’s been well played in the latest part. Within minutes, it covers NTR's life starting from his childhood. The second part is a combination of his political journey and his bond with wife Basavatarakam, especially during her final years. Nobody could have played it better than Vidya Balan who begins from where she left in the first part.
Mahanayakudu focuses on NTR’s intense political campaigns and how he believed that it was extremely important to connect with people on the ground. Balakrishna, once again, fits in quite well. He channels his energy in the right direction.
A significant focus is on Chandrababu Naidu, also NTR’s son-in law, on how he’d helped keep the Telugu Desam Party intact. Naidu’s role in pulling the party out during some extremely tough times has been very well highlighted. Rana Daggubati shines as a terrific mobiliser.
The movie is largely based on the '80s politics, of how NTR became the chief minister to his differences with Indira Gandhi and how he stood firm in what he’d believed. Another key character in the movie is Bhaskar Rao, a key friend-turned-foe figure in NTR's journey.
However, the length of Mahanayakudu could be a concern for some as it loses sheen quite quick in the second half. Still, a very watchable film.