Movie Review: Mahanati

RATING: 3.25/5

OVERVIEW: Savitri’s (Keerthy Suresh) father dies when she is 2 years old. She is brought up by KV Chowdary (Rajendra Prasad) who thinks that they can make money in stage acting and cinemas. She is fascinated by Gemini Ganesan much before she made debut as an actress. She gets an opportunity in films because of Gemini Ganesan. She falls in love with him and decides to marry him though he is already married. Rest of the story is about what happens when things go wrong in marriage.

REVIEW: Keerthy Suresh: It’s not an easy feat to match the might of Savitri while doing a biopic. Keerthi Suresh has excellently portrayed the role of Savitri. In certain angles, she resembles Savithri very much. She looks very young and fit during teenage. And her physical appearance keep changing as she grows old. She portrayed innocence very well. After few scenes in the movie, we forget that she is Keerthy Suresh. She is bound to get a lot of awards for her work in this film.Her character graph goes through subtle changes, and we only realise that in hindsight due to the impact of the particular situation. Otherwise, the variations, from an innocent girl to a woman with a voice, to an alcoholic are very smoothly and neatly done without ever being in our face. Keerthy Suresh lives the character, and we only see Savitri on screen after a point.

After an impressive debut with Yevade Subramanyam director, Nag Ashwin is back with another exciting movie Mahanati. It is a biopic, and they usually tend to be boring when the person on whom the picture is made is a highly revered one. The problem generally is people following the person know everything about them which makes things less exciting on screen.

Samantha does the role of an investigative journalist. Her character starts off as a meek and stuttering women and she changes as the movie progresses. Her performance in climax is very emotional and moving. Dulquer Salmaan plays the role of Gemini Ganesan. He is adorable in the beginning portions and we tend to hate him towards to end of it. He is absolutely a delight to watch. Vijay Deverakonda plays his role with a lot of charm and brings some lighter moments to the film. Mohan Babu plays the role of SV Ranga Rao with a lot of genuinity. Naga Chaitanya essays the role of Akkineni Nageswara Rao effortlessly. Rajendra Prasad is very good as Savithri’s maternal uncle. Krish surprises everybody with a beautiful portrayal of KV Reddy’s character. It’s his scene in which Savitri as an actress introduced in the movie. Srinivas Avasarala is impressive with his portrayal of LV Prasad.

A period movie like this shines only when the production design and cinematography is excellent. The art directors have brought in believable sets of bygone era. The trams, Mount Road in Madras have been recreated well. However, some sets look gaudy.Cinematography is top class. The Hollywood cinematographer Dani has used black & white, technicolor and color tones to tell various periods perfectly well.Mickey J Meyer’s music is a huge plus point. Though some songs are dull, his background score has elevated the mood and brought out the right emotions. Two duets on Keerthy and Dulquer are lilting and shot brilliantly. Editing is neat, but the pace is slow. Dialogues are melodramatic.

Final verdict of the film is Mahanati is a fitting tribute to the legendary actress Savitri. The rise and downfall of Telugu cinema’s most famous actress have been shown in a very effective manner. Keerty Suresh leads from the front and pours life into the character of Savitri making things quite interesting.