'NTR Kathanayakudu' movie review: A middling biopic of a demigod

It feels scenes and anecdotes from various movies in NTRs life are just loosely stitched together according to what comes after what.

Published: 12th January 2019 10:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2019 11:13 AM   |  A+A-

'NTR Kathanayakudu'

Balakrishna and Vidya Balan in 'NTR Kathanayakudu'.

Express News Service

Cast: Balakrishna, Vidya Balan 

Director: Krish Jagarlamudi

Rating: 2.5 stars

NTR Kathanayakudu often brings up the superstar’s intention of being close to the people, and being one of them. However, the biopic itself ironically takes the people’s hero and puts him on a pedestal where a common man can only worship him but never feel close to. NTR cannot do or say anything wrong. He is above all. He is an unquestionable hero. As much as I admit that that emotion works perfectly for a star called NTR, it doesn’t for the person called NTR.  

Narrated from the point of view of Basavatarakam (Vidya Balan) Rama Rao’s journey is long winding and almost conflict-less. His initial struggle, his discipline in the work he set out to do, are built up effectively, although gets repetitive as the movie progresses. 

While the film is chronologically arranged, you lose track of the timeline as none of it is seamlessly integrated into the screenplay. It feels scenes and anecdotes from various movies in NTRs life are just loosely stitched together according to what comes after what. Even the names of the movies, his costars and colleagues drop in and out of the movie as special appearances while his best works are merely named out of context.

However, it was quite an experience to get to watch some classics play out on the big screen, whose glory we only heard from our grandmothers. To see what went into the making the pathbreaking camera trick in Bhookailash; To have the pleasure of watching the iconic dialogue from Daana Veera Soora Karna was inimitable. Some of the recreations though, didn’t impress – for instance, the song Chitram Bhalare... couldn’t hold a candle to the original. 

There are certain sequences in the film that stay with you. Balakrishna was at his prime in the scenes which evoked the most emotion. When NTR loses his eldest son to small pox, when the Diviseema floods take hundreds of lives, and when he shows his influence release his movie during the Emergency, Balakrishna channelled his father in the true sense.       

The film disappointed for the sole reason of its poor story telling. If the director had focussed half of the energy he had put in elevating an already magnanimous figure, into writing his life and the drama in it effectively, the film could have struck all chords. NTR is undeniably a demigod in Telugu cinema history. It would have been wonderful to watch the human in him rather than watch three hours of reiterating what we all already know and agree upon. 

The first part of this biopic gives you a tiny taste of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao’s political temperament which is a lot more realistic than the rest of the film. And it has you invested. Do watch NTR Kathanayakudu because you are going to want to watch NTR Mahanayakudu.

NTR Kathanayakudu

Cast: Balakrishna, Vidya Balan 

Director: Krish Jagarlamudi

Rating: 2.5 stars

 


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  • chandraiah naidu

    "NTR's action deserves couple of "ASKAR AWARDS"
    2 years ago reply
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