Mahanati Movie Review || Anaganaga Oka Mahanati ||
Anaganaga Oka Mahanati
Would it be over the top if I said I didn't see keerthy Suresh in this movie at all and only realised she was playing Savithri's until the end credits rolled, then I'm fine being called over the top praiser cause boy she acted. As In Samantha's words "idi Katha kadu charithra".
This movie is a summation of two linear storylines one of Madhuravani ( journalist behind the book on the life of Savithri with the same title as the movie) and the other of Savithri Ganesan's. We see the movie through Madhuravani's searching of Savithri's story and witness the innocence, wrath, vulnerablity , forgiveness, responsibility and attribution towards others all in one life. I honestly didn't know leading such a life. Even sensex during recession wouldn't have such a varying graph of a life.
The movie takes us through Savitri's childhood, where she and her widowed mother have no choice but to move in with her uncle and aunt (Rajendra Prasad and Bhanupriya). Her only solace is her best friend Susheela (Shalini Pandey). After finding out that dancers make good money, her uncle pushes her to learn dance, do theatre and later, be a part of films and rest as we say is history
Why you need to watch Mahanati
One of the highlights of Mahanati will be its star cast. The film is built around the south Indian film industry at a time when Savitri was at the peak of her career. Not just Savitri, it will also bring back other legendary actors such as Gemini Ganesan (Dulquer Salmaan), N T Rama Rao (Jr NTR) and other veteran filmmakers to the screen. Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Devarakonda, Shalini Pandey among others play important roles.
The recreation of Iconic scenes
One of the most exciting announcements the filmmakers had made was that a portion of Savitri’s hit film ‘Mayabazar’ would be recreated for the film. They even posted pictures of Keerthy Suresh’s character Savitri dressed as Sasirekha from the song ‘Aaha Naa Pellanta’ and Mohan Babu’s character SV Ranga Rao dressed as Ghatotkacha from the film. The pictures created enough curiosity for many to be excited to see how much and what sequences of ‘Mayabazar’ will be filmed.
While Gaurang Shah designed Keerthy Suresh’s costumes in the film, Naveen and Rajesh Sangli of L Bajrang Pershad Jewellers designed her jewellery. Both the teams had worked hard on getting her look right, putting in their research and thumbing through old jewellery books to recreate jewels from the 50s to 80s era. Such care was put into them that, the costumes took over a 100 artisans over a year to create, while the jewellery was painstakingly handmade by 15 karigars over a span of 6 months. Savitri was well known for her weaves and jewels on-screen, so it would be beautiful to see them recreated.
- The music by Mickey J Meyer weaves into the story beautifully, creating the mood in many scenes.
one almost forgets how heart-breaking the ending will be like. Bursting with life and later fading away to death, this has to be one of Keerthy’s best performances till date. Her performance is ably supported by Dulquer Salmaan playing Gemini Ganeshan, a man whose intentions are never truly known. You fall for his charms and believe him as much as she does when he calls her ‘ammadi’, with your heart breaking probably as much as hers did when he turns the tables on her out of jealously for her thriving career against his failing one. Samantha and Vijay Deverakonda, apart from the rest of the cast, are stupendous in their roles, not for a minute taking the attention away from the character they’re portraying. Samantha acing an emotional scene almost at the end of the film makes one remember the potential she has, the powerhouse of talent she really is. Nag Ashwin needs to take a bow because he has done a stupendous job, even with the little details of the film. The film’s cinematography by Dani Sanchez-Lopez too is truly a beauty, bringing in a sepia toned old-school feel, as if shot on a film camera.
What I felt were the little setbacks in the movie:
- not being able to get to portray NTR, it's a known fact that Savithri shared most of her screenspace of her career with NTR and both delivered massive hits it would've given the movie another dimension.
- not being able to give more scope to characters of singeetham or Shalini pandey's role.
- some artificial set ups to let us know how that era actually looked like.
- And that most of the movie was about her love life
Apart from these the movie doesn't have major setbacks because of one prime reason "research" After directing a gem of a film like ‘Yevade Subramanyam’, Nag Ashwin has previously admitted that he only took on the job of making this film after doing thorough research by reading the star’s interviews, talking to journalists and actors who had previously worked with her. Even in ‘Yevade Subramanyam’, Nag Ashwin had dealt with the themes of depression, greed, friendship, love and more in a beautiful manner. So it’s only natural to expect him to do so in this one too. See I myself am in so much in love with this film that in finding setbacks that I start praising the effort in keeping those setback to the minimum. Cause let's just accept it you can make this great a period drama without any hiccups you're literally rajamouli.
For us millennials, who grew up watching south Indian movies, would have definitely seen at least one or two films of Savitri. The senior members of our households would have heaped praises on the actor describing her as a great artiste. When we watch Savitri’s movies we understand that all the praises she gets were not an exaggeration and that they were well-deserved. But, Mahanati gives an opportunity to understand her off-screen personality, which seems to be bold and daring.Watching ‘Mahanati’ is an experience one won’t forget soon as it will make you walk away with a heavy heart, mourning for a great artiste whose life was wasted and lost. Tears will be shed, claps will be heard, goose bumps will be felt – all in reverence and in tribute to the Mahanati. But the best part about this film is, it will make you smile, because Savitri deserves to be remembered for more than just the tragedy in her life, she deserves to be remembered for the beautiful soul she was.