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NTR Kathanayakudu Review
Movie: NTR Kathanayakudu
Release date : January 09, 2019
Rating : 2.75/5
Cast : Balakrishna, Vidya Balan,Kalyan Ram, Sumanth, Rana Daggubati
Director: Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi
Producers: Balakrishna, Sai Korrapati
Music Director: M.M Keeravani
Cinematographer: Gnana Shekar V.S
The biopic on legendary actor NTR is one of the eagerly awaited films this year. NTR’s son and actor Balakrishna is portraying the lead role and an array of prominent stars are playing crucial roles in this biopic which is made in two parts. The first part, titled as NTR Kathanayakudu, will trace the inspiring journey of NTR as the actor and the second part will highlight his political success.
Director Krish is the man behind this prestigious project. Based on the life of legendary NTR, the first part has hit the screens today amidst huge pre-release buzz. Let’s see whether the film lives up to all expectations or not.
NTR Kathanayakudu explores the unknown angle of NTR’s family and his wife Basavatarakam. The story runs from her perspective. As she is being treated for Cancer, she goes through the family album reminding the celebrated life of NTR. How NTR came into films? Coming from a normal farmer family, How he became a Superstar? The film ends with NTR announcing Telugu Desam Party.
Balakrishna as NTR has performed well especially as older NTR i.e. 60s age NTR. In a few emotional scenes, he did good. Entire second half, NBK very much resembles NTR in body language. However, due to age factor, as young NTR of the 20s, Balakrishna doesn’t appear good. Vidya Balan as NTR’s wife is pretty decent, did justice to her role. Rana, Sumanth, and Kalyanram as CBN, ANR, and Harikrishna are good choices as well. There are many other heroines, character artists’ casting. Prakash Raj, Brahmanandam, Kaikala, Nitya Menen, Rakul Preet Singh, Hansika, Krish, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore, and many others acted in short roles.
NTR Kathanayakudu is Technically Strong and the major credit should go to Krish. He ensured that there is everything in the movie which fans expect. He also tried to embed some unknown things about NTR’s life. MM Keeravani’s songs are good and the background score is exemplary. Gnanasekhar’s camera work is excellent. Sai Madhav Burra’s dialogues are the biggest assets of the film. The editor could have concentrated on decreasing the lag of the film. Production Values of the film are excellent.
On the whole, NTR Kathanayakudu is an honest portrayal of the Legendary actor (Nandamuri Tarak Rama Rao) NTR’s life. It will work wonders at the box-office and work in both, multiplexes as well as single-screen cinemas.
Krish’s direction is superb. In the first half of NTR Kathanayakudu, Nandamuri Balakrishna looks odd as 20s age NTR but he looks good as 60 age NTR in the second half of the film. Vidya Balan’s wig looks so bad in this biopic. We can see her wig stitches. The second half of NTR Kathanayakudu shows how NTR is influenced towards the public and their struggles.
Rayalaseema drought relief fundraising effort scenes came out very well. NTR’s first-time portrayal of Lord Sri Krishna character in Mayabazaar scene drags the attention of viewers. Several scenes like NTR ANR help to Diviseema cyclone victims and fund collections came out well.
Balakrishna and Vidya Balan’s performance, Lord Sri Krishna scene, clap worthy/whistle worthy dialogues, outstanding background score, Cinematography are the major highlights of NTR Kathanayakudu. Nandamuri Balakrishna deserves the highest praise for his portrayal of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.
Speaking of the supporting characters, especially Vidya Balan as Basava Tarakam is mostly taken for granted. It begins well, the director has tried to show NTR’s love for his wife in a scene where he has her play the harmonium in front of an entire set, but gradually she pales in significance. When NTR grows in stature, all Tarakam does is get pregnant and give birth to babies. The lack of chemistry between the two - who are otherwise known to be the perfect embodiment of love -- again shows how the biopic doesn’t delve deeper but is happy to play with surface imagery.
Did NTR not face hurdles when he set out to become an actor? Of course, he did. However, even this struggle cinematically signifies where NTR is headed in life - to become a politician who cares for people. The stress on how good a man he was, and how caring a politician he was, makes the film hard to believe.
Biopics are usually a genre that allows the audience to get to know real-life characters and their flaws but that is something that NTR Kathanayakudu lacks. The film is only the first half of NTR’s life. What happens after he embarks on his political journey remains to be seen. Rana Daggubati as Chandrababu Naidu may end up stealing the spotlight in NTR Mahanayakudu if his appearance in the first part is anything to go by. The question still remains - will the director treat NTR as a larger than life politician with no flaws in the second part of the biopic or will it speak of how his family ousted him from the party and his relationship with Lakshmi Parvathi?
Especially if one was an NTR fan, this would be a nostalgic film and Balakrishna has done a good job of playing his father. Even the portrayal of NTR and A Nageswar Rao’s friendship in the film is interesting, but this biopic could have been much more.
It could have delved deeper into the dichotomy of the relationship between NTR and his wife, which was portrayed in one single scene. Here, Tarakam doesn’t look happy about NTR dancing in the fields with a female actor, Jayapradha (Portrayed by Hansika Motwani), as old as his daughter; but she likes how NTR and Sridevi look onscreen together after a particular song-dance sequence in rain. There is so much that could have been done here, but yet again, it is all on the surface only.
NTR Kathanayukudu is more NTR’s life in flashes of highlights and hence doesn’t necessarily draw you in and hook you to its lead character.
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