‘U’Certified, 2 hrs 51 mins
What Is the Film About?
The story of the movie is well known and there is nothing to add about it. NTR Kathanayakudu is the journey of Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao in becoming a cinema icon in Telugu people’s heart. How and what makes him take a political turn is what the movie is about?
How Is Balakrishna’s Performance?
Nandamuri Balakrishna has done his part of playing his dad onscreen with a lot of sincerity. That is the best compliment that can be given to the acting done by Balakrishna. Critically speaking though, NBK has been partially suitable for the role. Yes, the star is the only available option but in hindsight, he should have done this a lot earlier if a movie like this was on his mind. The portions in the first half needed a younger charismatic persona. It is in the second half where Balakrishna totally gets into the character when it looks age appropriate. The acting and the visuals are a perfect match then. The biopic is a challenging part for the senior star and NBK leaves his mark, but only intermittently.
Direction by Krish?
When director Krish last made a film with Nandamuri Balakrishna, the complaint was that there was very little content. Four action scenes were stitched together with fillers in between. When it comes to NTR Kathanayakudu, the problem is the opposite.
The story and real life of NTR are well documented and known to all his followers. Even among the general audience, there is a basic idea. So, that leaves us with very little surprise. Also, there is not much struggle that could be cinematically depicted. It is all about the attitude and choices made by NTR. The rooting for lead actor’s cause is missing here.
Director Krish, therefore, has a difficult job in keeping the audience engaged in the narrative. He picks a drama arc involving husband and wife and that becomes the backbone of the movie on which the entire emotional arc rests. However, they lack the depth. He is only able to scratch the surface of the emotions. The reason for that is Balakrishna’s nonstop tryst with redoing his dads iconic moments. One after other they keep coming adding nothing to the story or its emotional core. The over-excitement to show NTR heroic in all his choices is palpable. The first half feels little inconsistent as a result.
The second half too has the above-mentioned problem but with Balakrishna looking more like the part and issues on screen bringing a new dimension to his onscreen character, there is an engagement to the proceedings. Then there are also the high giving moments to the fans which further helps the cause. Finally, starting from the Diviseema block, the focus shifts to politics entirely. These sequences are neatly presented although there is a fair dose heaviness attached to them. It all ends well with the political party launch.
So, we have a film where the first half is passable and the second half is slightly better. The general feeling is that of a sincerely made movie that is a decent one-time watch. There is nothing bad per se but if one were expecting a classic and memorable outing, it is not the case.
Vidya Balan and Others?
Vidya Balan playing the lead female protagonist is an absolute delight. It is her combination scenes with Balakrishna that bring the highly engaging moments in the movie. Apart from them, there are a number of known faces doing characters that are well recognisable. Sumanth playing Akkineni Nageswara Rao is okay. So is Kalyan Ram in Hari Krishna’s part. Prakash Raj, Krish, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore and others are all decent in the limited time they get. The blink and miss appearances by many heroines feel overdone.
Music and Other Departments?
The music for the film is provided by MM Keeravani. The songs are situational and they go well with the flow of the movie. The background score is the best effort musically from Keeravani. The cinematography is superb. The editing could have been ruthless. The set work is neatly done. Sai Madhav Burra’s dialogues are perfect.
Too Many Cinematic References
Not Enough Emotional Depth
No matter how much we think, we can’t come up with a better alternative than to have a single part instead of the two we have now. It would have been more compact and impactful.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes for most parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes but with little reservations.
NTR Kathanayakudu Review by Siddartha
NBK and Vidya Balan register among all. In short, NTR Kathanayakudu is among those average movies made in all honesty without any over the top elevations. Visit back for our frank review soon.
– NTR announces his political party ‘Telugu Desam’. Movie ends.
– Rana (Chandrababu) and a couple of other political characters have been introduced.
– NTR Kathanayakudu second half shows how NTR is influenced towards the public and their struggles.
First Half Report:
The first half of NTR Kathanayakudu is pretty straightforward and alright overall. There is nothing to complain and at the same time nothing to elevate. It is moving along the lines of the previous film in the actor and director’s combo. It’s time for the second half, now.
– After an emotional episode, interval.
– Rama Rao donning Lord Sri Krishna role scene has come out very well. Background score adds enough elevation to justify the scene.
– Rama Rao goes for fundraising (Jole) but runs into a conflict with the production house agreement. He has decided to produce his own films.
– Rama Rao slowly becoming a popular hero.
– After some struggle, Rama Rao gets a chance in movies.
– Flashback time. The story shifts to Bezawada. Rama Rao resigns his government job and decided to try in movies.
– NTR Kathanayakudu show started in Madras (1984). The movie opens on Hari Krishna worrying about his mother’s health.
NTR Kathanayakudu US Premier live updates will begin at 2 am IST. (3.30 pm EST).
Preview: NTR Kathanayakudu
One must agree that this movie is expected to be a great tribute to one of the most influential personalities that Telugu Cinema has ever witnessed, the legendary NTR who left his mark in politics, as well. ‘NTR Kathanayakudu‘ would be the glory of the legend when he was a living wonder on the big screen in the Telugu Film Industry.
The biopic on NTR wouldn’t get a better actor than Balakrishna for reprising the legend’s role. Balakrishna already impressed in his father’s role in the posters, the promos and the trailer and therefore, one wouldn’t even doubt if he was a fit for the role or not. Even most of the actors chosen for reprising important characters like Basavatharakam, ANR, Savithri, Hari Krishna etc. got a huge initial thumbs up from the audiences for their looks and we wouldn’t doubt their performances, as well.
All said and done, all the thoughts are now directed towards Krish who would be responsible for how the legend’s life has been delivered on the big screen and how he could weave an intriguing narrative to keep the audiences lost in the magic, remembering and reminiscing the legend once again, in all his glory.
The pre-release buzz is excellent, and the advance bookings are quite flattering. The name ‘NTR’ is the biggest strength of the movie. There is a minor glitch in the form of not very impressive audio from MM Keeravani who gave an album that looked dated, however, if the visuals are great, that wouldn’t be a problem at all for the biopic.
Vidya Balan needs a specific mention here as she reprised NTR’s wife Basavatarakam’s role. There would be less dramatic moments in ‘NTR Mahanayakudu’. But going by the hearsay, Krish tried to drive the entire narrative highlighting emotional moments using Vidya Balan’s portrayal of Basavataraam. Here, the way her character is etched and the emotional bond between NTR and Basavatarakam is portrayed, will give the audiences a hook to hold the narrative and get along with the flow.
Finally, the moment has arrived that would let us know if Krish was successful in fulfilling Balayya’s dream who wants his father’s biopic to be like a valuable jewel, a guide for the future generations to know about the legend, NTR. Keep watching this space, we’ll be back with the most awaited ‘NTR Kathayakudu’ review from michi9 team. Just, stay with us.