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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Mahanati Movie Analysis - Love, Ethics and Cinema

The latest Telugu movie ‘Mahanati’ is the biopic of legendary actress and the super star of yester year, Savitri. The movie has an ensemble cast of Keerthy Suresh (Keerthi Suresh), Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha, Vijay Devarakonda, Rajendra Prasad, Bhanu Priya, Prakash Raj, Tanikella Bharani, Mohan Babu, Naresh, Naga Chaitanya, Shalini Pandey etc. Produced by Ashwini Dutt Swapna Dutt and Priyanka Dutt, and Directed by Nag Ashwin.

Mahanati movie review and analysis

A struggling investigative journalist Madhuravani (Samantha) is given the job to write an article about the popular actress Savitri (Keerthi Suresh). Although initially reluctant to take up the job, Madhuravani is impressed by the personal life of Savitri and decides to take it as a challenge. The rest of the story is what she found out about Savitri and how does it influence her own life.

Keerthy Suresh photos

Story & Character Analysis:
The story starts with an interesting premise as an investigative journalist tries to write an article about actress Savitri. It shuffles between the story of Madhravani, personal life of Savitri and her professional life. The documentary style narration is gripping at the beginning, but soon loses its charm. Some scenes of Madhuravani are great, but many seem to be unnecessary. The roles of many prominent personalities of Telugu cinema are restricted to a handful of scenes, but we couldn’t demand for more as the movie is more about Savitri.

Samantha Akkineni photos in Mahanati 2018 Telugu movie

The love story and marital life of Savitri has been the central theme of the movie. It is not easy to portray the controversial relationship of Savitri and Gemini Ganesan on screen and convince the audience. The movie does a fantastic job of presenting the conflict without villainising any character. The character development and execution are extremely natural and authoritative.

Mahanati full movie download

The scenes featuring Madhuravani and Anthony, particularly in second half of the movie come as breaks in otherwise engaging story of Savitri. The dialogue modulation of Vijay Devarakonda spoils the 70s environment of the movie. The chemistry between Samantha and Vijay Devarakonda too appears to be fabricated. Although the Third person perspective of story telling is subjective, it takes away the immersive experience of watching a biopic. The thread featuring the life of Savitri couldn’t be any better as her life is vast and it’s practically impossible to portray everything on screen.

Keerthi Suresh has given the finest performance in recent times, and she deserves every award this year. The portrayal of greatest Telugu actress itself is a challenge of a lifetime. She has lived the role as a teenager, adult and middle-aged woman, by convincingly changing the body language without overacting. Apart from the performance, she looks very much like Savitri. Overall, it’s the best role any actress could ask for in current generation, and Keerthi Suresh gave her best.

Mahanati Telugu movie biopic of Savitri

Samantha does another challenging role of a stammering investigative journalist who has to get over her fears. Her character develops over time and she has done a very good job in portraying it. Her acting, particularly during climax is commendable. Dulquer Salmaan looks natural in the role of Gemini Ganesan. A role where the character should never feel guilty of his actions and a bit philosophical. This is probably the most interesting character in the movie as it has multiple shades, and Dulquer performs to perfection.

Keerthi Suresh images

Vijay Devarakonda appears no different than his previous films. Although his costumes and dialogues give a feel of 70s, he just pops out of role with his acting and dialogue modulation. His mannersims could have been better if they have followed that of Shobhan Babu or Krishna, but his character was designed with a lot of current generation attitude which didn’t fit into the environment. Mohan Babu plays the role of SV Ranga Rao which could have been better. Naga Chaitanya delivers good performance in the role of ANR, but his regular body language is prominent in some scenes. Rajendra Prasad impresses with his performance. Tanikella Bharani and Prakash Raj justify their roles as usual. Most other characters are minor or limited and they did justice to their part.

Technical Analysis:
The script work is good and has been done with a lot of research and devotion. Dialogues are an asset to the movie. The background music by Mickey J Meyer elevates the film to next level. Makeup and costumes are good and perfectly sync to the timeline of the film. Art direction is realistic. Editing is good. The cinematography deserves special mention. The lighting used in the movie, and the colour schemes followed are outstanding. The scenes shot in low lighting conditions are notable. The production values are great and the Direction is excellent. Nag Ashwin will become one of the greatest Directors of this generation for sure.

Mahanati is one of a few movies of this generation that are made for the love of cinema. The movie features the rise and fall of the legendary actress Savitri beautifully presented through rich visuals and soulful music. This is going to remain as a classic for decades to come.

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