Muddled Narration Turns NOTA Boring
‘U/A’ Certified, 2 hrs 30 mins
What is the film about?
Vasudev (Nasser) appoints his son Varun (Vijay Deverakonda) as interim Chief Minister as he has a case to deal. What happens when a reluctant none interested Varun takes over as CM is what the film is all about?
How is Vijay Deverakonda’s performance?
For an actor who is playing the character of a Chief Minister, Vijay Deverakonda misses the attitude and gravitas required for the part. That would be how it is if we only look at the performance from the lens of a Chief Minister.
However, the character graph of the Chief Minister here is different. The role is built in a different sort of way that the usual heroic style we are used to in Telugu cinema. It is more like the Oke Okkadu and Leader terrain. However, unlike those films, the character here lacks the proper elevation and flow. The inconsistent graph makes one get a disconnect with the portrayal. The aggressive in parts role looks passive in the end or more like a passive observer.
The press meet scene during the riots followed by dance number, the flood sequence intercut with black money handling. The way the dynamic changes between the opposition leader and others, the CM role never builds to give a satisfactory high. The performance, as a result, gets shortchanged and lacks impact.
Direction By Anand Shankar?
If one has seen the previous films of Anand Shankar, one can easily make out how NOTA is going to head. The narrative style is the same with similar problems exhibited here as well. The screenplay is the problem. It lacks cohesive energy and is all over the place.
The biggest issue which bogs down the narrative is the various subplots. There are just too many. Every character seems to have a story of their own, and even though it’s not shown in length, the short parts are enough to derail the proceedings from time to time.
An example here would be the press meet scene of hero post the riots where he gets the public mandate. It is followed by an MMS scene. The next thing we get is Nasser’s flashback that tests the patience. And then we are back to the hero his rowdy warning. There is so much happening, but the energy and proper flow are missing.
The second half gets worse on this score. The flood sequence is handled well. Then the black money trail is started. There is the opposition angle that takes a logically illogical turn. Amidst all these, we have the flashback of the character of Mahendar (Sathayaraj) which feels totally jarring.
Still, the director never stops in going ahead with giving new content and throws something or the other which is not formulaic and is engaging in moments. That might have few takers, but for a broader audience, this is an opportunity lost.
Overall, NOTA is interesting in parts, but the sum is far from satisfying. Give it a try if watching something different is the criteria even if that is engaging or not.
Mehreen Kaur Pirzada and others?
Mehreen has another blink and miss part. It can be removed from the film, and no one will notice the absence. Yashika Anand has few scenes more, but after the initial burst, she too is related to the background. The real key player and actors of the movie are Nasser, Sathyaraj and MS Bhaskar. These senior character artists are given well-rounded roles, and they do their parts with great interest and apparent enthusiasm. There are other parts which are finely cast but have a minimal role like the one playing Swamiji. Priyadarshi is wasted.
Music and other departments?
Music by Sam CS is alright and so is the background score. The latter is better at few places, but overall there is nothing memorable. The cinematography is decent. The editing could have been better. The Telugu lip-syncing looks very odd in close up shots. The writing is weak and is a significant issue for the lack of immersion into the movie and its world.
Inconsistent Hero Graph
Too Many Subplots
The Swamy ji angle with black money angle should have got the chief prominence and focused from the beginning. Something on the lines of the second part of Hindi Singham which has a similar setup, but with CM as the protagonist, it would be a different viewpoint.
Did I enjoy it?
Will you recommend it?
With huge reservations
NOTA Review by Siddhartha Toleti
NOTA is lifeless and below par political drama with absolutely no high moments. There is nothing even Vijay Deverakonda could do to lift it from doldrums. Visit back for our frank and detailed review soon.
– Chief Minister Varun (Deverakonda) makes a decision not to go for door to door campaign in the next election by doing the work right.He passes an order to clean Musi river in three years of time. The movie comes to an end.
– Varun (Deverakonda) gets re-elected as the Chief Minister. The movie is heading towards Climax.
– Mehreen’s track is poorly written. She hardly has any scenes and relation to the main plot.
– CM Varun (Deverakonda) is on the run. His father Nassar announces new Chief Minister candidate from the party.
– The story takes a different turn after Varun’s (Deverakonda) father Ex CM Nassar recovers from his serious health issue.
– Varun (Deverakonda) is trying to find a link behind the big money laundering deal his father is involved in.
– NOTA second half started. CM Varun (Deverakonda) sets up a war room and gives a call to youth to handle a flood situation. This episode could have been lot better.
First Half Report:
NOTA first half runs on out and out serious mode. Couple of songs in the first half act as speed breakers. Missing novelty factor in the political setup is the big drawback so far. Overall, it’s an average first half at the best.
– Varun (Deverakonda) decided to play the political game, announes that Rowdy CM is coming. Interval.
– After an attack on his father Nassar, intelligence warns about a potential threat to Varun (Deverakonda) and his sister. The threat is also linked to a big money deal Varun has no clue about.
– How a Swamiji is linked to the Nassar’s resignation from Chief Minister post and reason why Varun (Deverakonda) is picked for CM is revealed.
– Varun (Deverakonda) continues to be a video game freak and boozes with girls. Time for second song “Raja Raja”. Opposition secretly records his moments with girls.
– Varun (Deverakonda) is moved by a death in the riots and takes charge of the situation. He passes strict orders to control the law and order irrespective of the party.
– CBI arrests Varun’s (Deverakonda) father Nassar. Riots started in the state. Varun (Deverakonda) going to the Secretariat for the first time.
– Varun becomes Chief Minister reluctantly. He doesn’t act as a CM, continues to be a reckless youth. He hates to be a politician even for two weeks.
– Varun (Deverakonda) takes oath as temporary Chief Minister of the state.
– Varun’s (Deverakonda) father and Chief Minister Nassar all of a sudden decides that Varun should be the new CM. The reason for doing is his father facing a legal case.
– NOTA show started with the song ‘Shot Number Shot Number’ on the occasion of Varun’s (Vijay Deverakonda) birthday.
NOTA US Premier Live Updates will begin from 3.30 am IST. (6 PM EST).
‘NOTA’ is a different film for Vijay Deverakonda who is riding on three back-to-back blockbusters ‘Pelli Choopulu’, ‘Arjun Reddy’ and ‘Geetha Govindam’ besides the blockbuster ‘Mahanati’ in which he played an extended cameo. His stardom is not just about the three blockbusters, it also shows his increasing fan base.
Naturally, there is a certain curiosity among the audiences to watch his films on the big screen as ‘Geetha Govindam’ took his craze to the next level at the box-office game and also a promising actor who showed a vivid variation between the roles he played in ‘Arjun Reddy’ and ‘Geetha Govindam’. Hence, trade is keen how big ‘NOTA’ will turn out to be.
Here, the curiosity factor has increased as ‘NOTA‘ is coming from a Tamil director, Anand Shankar who is not a known name for the Telugu audiences and going by the trailer content, one can clearly see the director’s mark in the Tamil sensibilities. However, the film is carrying a decent pre-release buzz and Vijay D is trying his best to promote the movie in his own style.
In Telugu, ‘NOTA’ has got an open release but in Tamil, it has a good competition from multiple releases. Will the Tamil flavour hamper the chances in Telugu? Unlike Vijay’s previous ‘Geetha Govindam’, ‘NOTA’ isn’t backed by chartbuster music or a heroine like Rashmika who had enough scope and screen presence to woo the audiences to the theatres and thus, the movie’s content has to do all the talking.
We will know very soon how fa Vijay’s bilingual will weave magic on the big screen and woo both the Telugu and Tamil audiences? Will Anand Shankar win the hearts of Telugu moviegoers with his Tamil sensibilities? Let’s see. Stay connected with us as we’ll back with genuine ‘NOTA’ movie review, shortly.
NOTA US premier gross – $173,432 from 120 Locations.