Ever since the announcement of the Asuran remake was made, there has been widespread debate on the lead actors performance. It was whether Venkatesh would match the original act of Dhanush or not. The National Award for Best Actor further made it a huge topic. Today, when Narappa is officially out, the question remains. So, who has done better, now that two performances are out in open?
The answer on the surface is easy. But, it is when we put a little thought into it, things become much clearer.
Without any doubt, Dhanush is better. His age, anger and Vetrimaran’ astute direction work to his advantage. However, it doesn’t mean Venkatesh is any less.
Venkatesh has been phenomenal playing the old Narappa. As we have mentioned, he lived in the role. The wear and tear of an aged person were convincing on him compared to Dhanush who has to ‘act’ older than his age.
The response too, is, therefore, overwhelmingly positive for Venkatesh’s old Narappa act, and the film overall if we go by the organic word of mouth on social media. And all this is true for those who have seen the original (Asuran). Imagine what would be the reaction of those who haven’t seen it?
Narappa is a film that would have benefitted heavily from a theatrical release. All the current comparison and minute criticism are due to the segment which watches movies online. They have seen both versions and hence all the noise. A theatrical release would have brought a lot of masses into the picture who wouldn’t have seen Asuran. It would have been further reflected in the numbers. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening due to the circumstances.
The bottom line here is that Venkatesh has held his own amidst high scrutiny and delivered a winning act. The fans are thrilled and the regular Telugu movie-going audience is happy with Narappa. Yes, Dhanush is better, but Venkatesh is no less.