Making a biopic of Savitri, with contemporary cast, is easier said than done. In fact, this is the first-ever biopic in South. Biopics are like a double-edged sword. They come up with huge expectations and at the same time, they're often compared. When they work, biopics make an indelible impact and will go down the memory lane. If not, they would remain as bad experience.
So, certainly, one should have guts to take up such a film at the very early of the directorial career. After Yevade Subramanyam, Nag Ashwin attempts Mahanati, the biopic of Savitri. Did he strike a chord? Yes, he did. Read on to know what really worked.
What is it about?
Savitri (Keerthy Suresh) is raised by her paternal uncle KV Chowdary (Rajendra Prasad) who gets her trained in classical dance. Though she had no interest in dance initially, she excels in it later when she was told she couldn't do it. She is rigid, determined in some issues - career, love, husband. Yet she is very child-like and has a large-heart who helps people without thinking for a second. She is a Good Samaritan.
After succeeding as actress, the second-phase of her life is her love life. Savitri loves Gemini Ganesan (Dulquer Salmaan) and marries him despite knowing that he is already married and has two daughters. This drastically affects her personal life as her own family distances from her. She is strong, brave and faces all odds. Breaking norms, Savitri shines in her career post-marriage too. But differences surface between Gemini and Savitri.
What is her life? How her characteristics lead her life? What are the problems she faces?
Nag Ashwin had surprised with his debut directorial Yevade Subramanyam. Be it his writing or his direction, he had scored brownie points. Yet, there was little apprehension how would he handle a film like Mahanati. Proving all those apprehensions wrong, Ashwin wins hearts with a neat writing and brilliant direction. His attention to minute details could be seen on the screen.
Besides roping in best cast, costumes, make-up, jewelry, music, art-direction all the departments have done a great job delivering a masterpiece.
Keerthy Suresh has stunned with her acting prowess as Savitri. Keerthy got under the skin of Savitri's role so well that it is very hard to find difference between Keerthy Suresh and Savitri. She does magic with her eyes. And so rest of the cast. Dulquer is another asset for the film. He is impressive as Gemini Ganesan. Rajendra Prasad, Krish, KV Reddy, Shalini Pandey have all done justice to their parts.
Dulquer Salmaan (Gemini Ganesan), Rajendra Prasad (Savitri's uncle KV Chowdary), Naga Chaitanya (Akkineni Nageswara Rao), Vijay Deverakonda (photo journalist Antony), Samantha (journalist Madhuravani), Krish (KV Reddy) Mohan Babu (SV Ranga Rao), Srinivas Avasarala (LV Prasad), Prakash Raj (Chakrapani) all are apt and bring the times of Savitri alive. Kudos to director Nag Ashwin for recruiting the best cast. The film offers one of the finest performances.
Recreating Era of Savitri
Lag at portions
Rarely we come across a film, an epic, like Mahanati. Start to end, the film has its moments. Director Nag Ashwin carefully shaped up the film. The film strikes chords emotionally. The chemistry between Savitri and Gemini Ganesan has worked very well. Especially, post-interval, the film makes us teary-eyed. The lull-phase of Savitri has been dealt aesthetically.
Barring lag at small portions, Mahanati has nothing to complain about. The film brings us back the golden memories of Savitri. It is a befitting tribute to the legendary actress. Yes, this biopic makes an indelible impact. Go for it.
Rating - 3.75