Released as the sequel to the film NTR Kathanayakudu that failed miserably on the commercial front, NTR Mahanayakudu is being released with comparatively less hype. To the misfortune of this series, it is being released in two parts and it has been a difficult task for the NTR Mahanayakudu team after the first part Kathanayakudu tanked at the box office. Though Kathanayakudu failed at the commercial front, it impressed the movie buffs as a well-made film about the rise of the Telugu Cinema's first superstar. Mahanayakudu focuses on the second phase of NTR's life, politics.
After the denial of a seat from the central government, NTR announced his politics entry and party name. Ramarao decides to cover every village in Andhra Pradesh as a part of the election campaign. Despite the Central Government's tactics Ramarao sweeps the elections and becomes the Chief Minister. Nadendla Bhaskara Rao who has been the backbone of Ramarao in his political strategies throughout the campaign takes an opportunity to bring down NTR. Bhaskara Rao lobbies against Ramarao and becomes Chief Minister with the help of the then Governor Ramlal. With Chandrababu Naidu as his main support and determinant party workers, Ramarao gets back to power again.
Carrying the charm of his father, Balakrishna has lived up the character of Ramarao. In the first part, he struggled a bit to get the younger version of NTR right, due to age factor, but in Mahanayakudu, the veteran is terrific with the portrayal of Ramarao's character who appeared to be the spitting image. It is obvious that the actor focused only on getting the emotions right instead of imitating his father. His performance in the assembly scenes in the climax sequences in Assembly is terrific. In the second half, a scene where MLAs round up NTR is probably the best scene to speak. Balakrishna at his best. Doing full justice to fathers role, putting his 200% effort.
Bollywood actress Vidya Balan played a crucial role in this part who did justice to her character. She has lived the character of Tarakam who showed immense admiration towards her husband just through expressions. Rana Daggubati performance as Chandra Babu Naidu is good. His appearance, diction and the screen presence made his performance a standout one in Mahanayakudu. His character got more screen presence after Balakrishna’s and Rana completely made use of it. Sachin Khedekar is already proved to be a fine actor who justified his character as an antagonist. Supriya Vinod who played Indira Gandhi is authentic.
Krish who helmed the series did a decent job on a whole. But his work in the first part seemed more authentic than the second part. The way he framed the scenes between NTR and his wife are of topnotch. He succeeded in establishing the bond between NTR and his wife, but the key scenes that focus on the political drama aren't too convincing. Most of the drama looked staged and convenient in the political set up. Also, he didn't have the liberty to show the entire life of NTR for obvious reasons. It is hard to keep the narrative engaging as the life of the living legend is an open book.
Keeravani's background score elevated certain scenes of the movie, but cannot be ranked among his best works. The cinematography is impressive. Production values are commendable and Sai Madhav Burra did a decent job as a dialogue writer.
Chemistry between Balakrishna and Vidya Balan
Poor second half
Only pro-NTR agenda
The life story the person who became Chief Minister for three times, that to a life of a celebrated superstar and one of the most legendary politicals ever can be elevated to a mammoth extent, but rather the film went on narrating only parts of one term of his reign. NTR is one of the most visionary leaders who brought commendable changes in AP’s governance which are not shown in the movie. The filmmaker hasn't tried to elevate the greatness of NTR as a leader but instead focused only on certain episodes in his life. The political scenario shown in the film is also not credible as it seems obvious that the screenplay and certain characters are scripted.
NTR Mahanayakudu is satisfying and dissatisfying in equal parts.
Satisfying because of Krish, Keeravani, acting n racy pace.
Dissatisfying because of being only pro-NTR movie. A biography is not complete unless you show some flaws too. Overall a below average output, Krish might need a part 3 to justify NTR’s story says our review.