Towards the beginning, there’s peculiar shot of an old-woman touching the hands of once a star – that’s her starstruck moment in a dark situation which she holds gently – there’s a golden light behind which marks the rise of an enigmatic emergence…
Perhaps, the most relative aspect of Nag Ashwin’s Mahanati – is its character presentation, the way Nag Ashwin has presented yesteryear Actress Savitri Garu. It’s a truthful and honest befitting tribute to Savitri Garu given the fact, it deploys as a research project which articulates arcs to the researcher. While the researcher scoops Savitri’s life in form of perspectives (mostly one-noted), it enlightens the audience with plenty of information as well as the researcher (Journalist played by Samantha Akkineni) in her reel life. Since, I was assigned a Research Fellowship to document a veteran Editor’s life who worked in Telugu & Tamil Cinema, I’ve had the opportunity to watch a handful of Savitri Garu’s films. Also to be honest, the film works as a documentation rather than a character study. To dumb it down, it may be called a powerful powerpoint presentation.
Mahanati is an episodic film which flows smoothly between fact and fiction, with well-executed anecdotal scenes especially the recreated film sequences like Mayabazaar. Director Nag Ashwin handles the biopic with maturity and finesse, there’s no slight room to ridicule any scene or plot point which has been handled with utmost delicacy. Though, it floats over the surface – a fleeting glance of rise and fall of an Actress, a perfect cinematic compilation packed with flamboyant Cinematography and compelling Performances. But, the film focuses on her journey and less on the essential drama required.
Although never admired or even liked Keerthy Suresh’s acting, her striking resemblance to Savitri Garu adds a closeness while she ably delivers a terrific performance. Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Deverakonda, Rajendra Prasad, Akkineni Naga Chaitanya, Prakash Raj, etc. make a phenomenal ensemble.
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Release: 09 May, 2018
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