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Movie Review : Narappa
Cast: Venkatesh, Priyamani, Karthik Ratnam, Rajeev Kanakala, Rakhi, Naren, Sritej, Ammu Abhirami, Brahmaji, Rao Ramesh, Nasser, Vasistha, Simha and others.
Music: Mani Sharma
Cinematography: Shyam K Naidu
Producers: Suresh Babu, Kalaipuli S Thanu
Story & Screenplay: Vetri Maaran
Dialogues & Direction: Sreekanth Addala
Victory Venkatesh's 'Narappa' is the first star hero film in Tollywood to skip a theatrical release and come out directly in the OTT space. Last year, Amazon Prime came up with films like 'V' and 'Nishabdham' which failed badly but they are hoping to score their first big hit in Telugu with 'Narappa' now. This rural drama is a remake of blockbuster Tamil film 'Asuran' and Sreekanth Addala directed the Telugu version. Let us dive into the review and find more about the movie.
Narappa (Venkatesh) is a regular village who looks after his three acres of agricultural land in Ananthapuram district. Paduswamy's family who belongs to an upper cast try to take Narappa's land in order to build a cement factory. Narappa doesn't agree to it and a small tug of war between the two families blows out of proportion which leads to Panduswamy's people killing Narappa's elder son Munikanna (Karthik Ratnam). Seeking revenge, Narappa's younger son Sinabba (Rakhi) goes does the unexpected. To protect his son, Narappa takes him away from the village and what happens next forms the rest of the story.
When filmmakers remake movies that turned out to be blockbusters in other languages, they do not take risks by making any changes. Most of them tend to follow the original as it is despite earning the tag of being a xerox copy. Anyone who watched 'Asuran' will feel that nothing should be changed in the remake. The film has strong story, emotions, twists and finally a good message. The main task of this remake is to keep these elements intact and strike the right chord with the audience. 'Narappa' can be termed partly successful as it failed to create the same impact as the original.
Despite being a frame-to-frame remake which is back by a solid performance from Victory Venkatesh, 'Narappa' managed to deliver only in the first half. The flashback portions ended up as its biggest drawback which made the film stand far behind its original. At times, even minor things create a huge difference. The flashback scenes in 'Narappa' stand as a big example for it. In these portions, an upper-caste man uses the hero for all his works. Since the hero is a poor man, he does everything his boss asks to do but the latter destroys the entire family of the hero. People who read this can estimate that hero and his family are very poor and suffer a lot. But what we see on screen is very different as Venkatesh appears in colorful shirts, ironed dhoti and perfectly styled hair.
Things like this make you feel disconnected from the huge problem in our society that the makers are discussing. The emotions fail to touch you during these episodes and the romantic thread between Venkatesh and Ammu Abhirami looks a bit odd considering the age gap which was pretty eminent on the screen. These flashback portions were considered a bit dull even in the original film but they turned out to be huge bane for 'Narappa'.
The first half is the biggest strength of 'Narappa'. The key twists in the film happen in the initial half and scenes involving Karthik Naren leave a strong impact on the audience. The way his character ended remains with you for a long time. We sympathize with the hero's family in the first 40 minutes and makes us curious about what happens next. The action sequence where Narappa's younger son knows about his dad's fierce side is the major highlight of this movie. Venkatesh who showcased his emotional side till then suddenly switches onto his aggressive and ferocious side which amazes the viewers. With the role of a father suiting Venky's age, he performed it with ease and did a stellar job in the emotional scenes. With all turns, emotions and top-notch performances in full display, the first half ends on a high note and makes us raise the expectations on the second half.
The second half is where 'Narappa' goes off track. He looked out of place in the role of a youngster and the director failed to take the necessary precautions to pull off these scenes convincingly. The intensity in the original went missing in the second half and the emotions failed to carry. Since 'Asuran' is based on true events that happened in Tamil Nadu, people may feel connected but taking the backdrop of Rayalaseema and showcasing such cruel incidents looks inconsistent.
On the whole, 'Narappa' can be watched for its well-executed first half and terrific performance by Venkatesh who excelling in both emotional and action scenes. But the disappointing second half plays the spoilsport in what could've been a perfect remake.
Everyone knows that Venkatesh can move the audience with his emotional act. He proved it many times and did it once again with 'Narappa'. He was very convincing as the father of two youngsters and the look was perfect for his age. People get emotionally invested in his character and feel every bit of what he is going through which is mainly because of Venkatesh's brilliance. He carried the entire film ably but it is his action in flashback portions that appeared over the top.
Rakhi who played Venky's younger son impressed with his natural acting. He has a long way to go and Priyamani as Sundaramma was wonderful. She owned the character and did a perfect job. Karthik Ratnam left his mark in his brief role and rest of the cast which includes Rajeev Kanakala, Rao Ramesh, Nasser, Sri Tej, Jhansi, Brahmaji and others did a decent job. Ammu Abhirami was okay.
'Narappa' was backed by a good technical team. The theme music and emotional BGM's worked big time. But both of them were taken from the original and the two songs were passable. Mani Sharma failed to leave his own stamp on 'Narappa'. Shyam K Naidu's cinematography was exceptional. Though some of the frames remind us of 'Asuran', he did a good job in giving suitable visuals for the serious and intense subject. The production values are top-notch.
Coming to Sreekanth Addala, he followed the original to a tee and did not risk changing anything. Despite that, he failed to bring the necessary intensity and emotion in some parts. He failed in the second half and especially in the flashback portions. He handled the first half well and managed to bring good output from his actors and technicians.
Verdict: Narappa – Impact Goes Missing!
Disclaimer : This Review is An Opinion of One Person. Please Do Not Judge The Movie Based On This Review And Watch Movie in Theatre