The first part of the NTR biopic titled NTR Kathanayakudu has released today and there’s a lot riding on this ambitious project in Tollywood this year. It’s always a debate about how authentic biopics are, many feel the true success is when it is closer to reality. And in this case, we all may not be completely aware of how Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao entered cinema, grew to an unmatchable stature and then shifted his path to politics. But what most of us rely on is what our previous generations tell us and what the internet has to offer. NTR Kathanayakudu portrays the entry of N.T. Rama Rao into films, his grit to stick to doing the right thing always which helps him become a demi-god in Telugu cinema and how some incidents in his life make him think about moving towards politics in order to serve people. Nandamuri Balakrishna as NTR shines like a diamond and gets everything right about his father in his portrayal. Vidya Balan as Basavatarakam, NTR’s wife, steals the show all throughout and makes a majestic debut in Telugu.
Balakrishna and Vidya Balan shine bright and leave you awestruck with their performances. At every juncture, the actress leaves you stunned with her intense, connecting and dreamlike portrayal of Basavatarakam. While Balakrishna needs no testimony to describe how energetic he is while on screen, the veteran actor puts up a show which doesn’t let you take your eyes off the screen.
Dialogues by writer Sai Madhav Burra join the party and the eminent writer delivers lines which sound simple yet have great meaning. The writer leaves a silent message here – simplicity is the glory of expression. The visuals by Gnanasekhar VS set the tone for a great cinematic experience and take you back in time to make you feel the visual essence of the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s. Music composer MM Keeravani brings all his experience to the table and packs in a punch with his marvellous background scores. Cameos by Rakul Preet, Hansika Motwani, Pranitha Subhas, director Krish himself, Nandamuri Kalyanram, Sumanth and Rana Daggubati are worthy moments in the biopic.
While there are many things that makes NTR Kathanayakudu a good cinematic experience, it’s the slowness of the script which makes it a tedious watch. Director Krish Jagarlamudi may have given it his all to keep it crisp, but it’s the moments that lead to the ending of the first part of the biopic that may hamper your overall experience. While it may be too harsh to say NTR Kathanayakudu tests your patience, the film pauses at several junctures which either makes you check out your phone or the time.
But all said and done, we are happy to give a 3 star rating to NTR Kathanayakudu.Rating: out of 5
Reviewed by Gautham Pattikonda
**** Very good