OVERVIEW: Varun (Vijay Deverakonda) is son of Vasudev (Nasser), chief minister of the state. The youngster is a jolly person and parties and is clueless about politics. Vasudev steps down as CM as an enquiry is ordered due to corruption charges. He asks his son Varun to be “dummy CM” for a few days. But as things turn out, Varun ends up being a CM for a long time. What changes does this ‘Rowdy’ CM bring forms the crux of the story.
REVIEW: 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.
Anand Shankar might have inspired from real incidents in Tamilnadu politics after Jayalalitha passed away. NOTA is loosely based upon that interesting scenario but couldn’t click because of a lackluster script. Taut screenplay is required to make such political thrillers work. Director seems to have run out of ideas after the beginning that he just goes with the flow without any aim or direction. Â
Background score is fine but the songs are very bad. Bad editing and poor production design works against the film. Cinematography is impressive and production values are strictly okay.
Final verdict of the film is NOTA is a routine political drama which the Telugu audience have seen many a time. Vijay Devarakonda leads from the front but the story and proceedings are predictable and do not support him much. However, this film will be a good launch pad for Vijay in Tamil and will be liked by the audience there as the flavor, sensibilities and satires are quite relatable.