Movie Review: Mahanati
Cast: Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Devarakonda, Rajendra Prasad, Shalini Pandey, Malavika Nair, Tanikella Bharani, Bhanupriya, Divya Vani, Thulasi.
Cameos: Mohan Babu, Prakash Raj, Naga Chaitanya, Krish, Naresh, Srinivas Avasarala and Tharun Bhaskar.
Music: Mickey J Meyer
Cinematography: Dani Sanchez - Lopez
Dialogues: Burra Sai Madhav
Producers: Ashwini Dutt - Swapna Dutt - Priyanka Dutt
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Nag Ashwin
Release Date: 9th of May 2018
Nobody dared to make Savitri biopic until a Young Filmmaker, Nag Ashwin, accepted the challenge. Star Cast, Posters, Promos & Promotions generated tremendous buzz around this movie. Today, 'Mahanati' hit the screens to make people realize how Savitri lived her life.
Madhura Vani (Samantha), a journalist in erstwhile Madras, puts efforts to know about the personal life of Savitri after the Actress slips into coma. That's when she gets to know about many untold facts about Savitri. 'Mahanati' is about the journey of a great actress from her childhood till she breathed her last.
Keerthy Suresh mesmerizes as Savitri with career defining performance. Watching her on the screen is more like going back to the golden era of Savitri. One can't be Savitri by just attaining similar look but by behaving and exhibiting emotions just alike Mahanati. Expressions of Keerthy Suresh while recreating the classics acted by Savitri are marvelous. The only flaw would be the mismatch of voice. Savitri is known for her dignity. In 'Mahanati', We get to see her naughty side. It could be refreshing for audience and also make them feel uneasy at the same time.
Dulquer Salmaan lived the life of Savitri's Husband Gemini Ganesan. Though the physical appearance is no way close to the late Actor, This Handsome Hero did a brilliant job while playing the role with different variations. You could see the honesty in his performance.
Rajendra Prasad as Savitri's Uncle is outstanding. Samantha gave an arresting performance as Journalist. She makes viewers emotional with her performance in Climax. Special Mention for putting the extra effort to dub for her role.
Though he did a fine job, Vijay Devarakonda's Voice appeared to be a complete mismatch for the role essayed by him. Mohan Babu as SV Ranga Rao, Prakash Raj as Chakrapani, Krish as KV Reddy, Naga Chaitanya as ANR and Srinivas Avasarala as LV Prasad make their presence felt. Malavika Nair, Bhanupriya, Shalini Pandey, Mahesh, Divya Vani and Tanikella Bharani have done justice to their roles.
Keerthy Suresh as Savitri
Slow Paced Second Half
Technically, 'Mahanati' is a film made on very high standards. Mickey J Meyer's Music is so pleasing. Both Songs & Background Score stood as assets to the movie. Cinematography by Dani Sanchez - Lopez is a major attraction. You could see the brilliance and hardwork of Cameraman in every frame while presenting the journey of Savitri. Whereas, Samantha's track could have been better. Art Direction is mind-blowing. Dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra are too good. Production Values are lavish and there is no question of compromise. This project became a classic because of the commitment of Producers. If there is one person who deserves the sole credit for 'Mahanati', It should be none other than Director Nag Ashwin. You could see how much effort he has put in this biopic in every scene. He succeeded in presenting the story of Savitri in the most gripping manner possible with terrific screenplay.
To narrate a story which is an open secret in a gripping manner is never going to be easy. Not only did Nag Ashwin accepted the challenge, but also came out with flying colors. Who would have expected a one-film-old Director to make Savitri biopic & make it a classic?
People knew that Savitri became a top actress at a very young age, Married Gemini Ganesan secretly, Faced Financial Crisis and Serious Health Issues at the fag end of her life. Everyone is aware of her great acting abilities and even the younger generation admires her a lot. Though public knew almost everything about Savitri, Team Mahanati succeeded in making them connect with all the emotions so well. This movie could be loved by not only those who knew about Savitri but also those who aren't aware of her.
Ups and Downs in Savitri's life have been presented extremely well. This flick sets the new benchmark when it comes to how a biopic of a Film Star should be like. It's as honest as 'Yevade Subramaniam' which marked the debut of Nag Ashwin. Not only did he show the greatness of Savitri but also presented her downfall so close to reality.
The way life of a normal Andhra Girl who made Legendary Actors/Filmmaker spellbound with her acting prowess after landing in Madras and managed to reach peaks in Film Career is being presented in an interesting manner. Atmosphere maintained in popular Film Studios in those days was depicted perfectly. Scenes featuring present Actors in the roles of Legends such as SVR, ANR, KV Reddy, Chakrapani, LV Prasad and Vedantham Raghavayya raises the curiosity of viewers.
Drama in the Love Story of Savitri & Gemini Ganesan stood as a backbone for 'Mahanati'. Brilliance of Nag Ashwin could be noticed if analyzed the manner in which the iconic films of Savitri are placed in the biopic. He made sure the flow wasn't disrupted throughout the first half with the magical screenplay.
Second Half is a bit slow paced and heavy at times, even the setbacks faced by Savitri could be the reason behind it. Scenes depicting the downfall in the film career and financial crisis makes viewers wait for the film to end early. Climax of the movie is so heart-touching and this is where Nag Ashwin shows his speciality once again. Overall, 'Mahanati' is a biopic you shouldn't miss watching!
Bottom Line: Mahanati - A Tribute To Savitri!