- Producer : Aswini Dutt, Priyanka Dutt And Swapna Dutt
- Staring : Keerthy Suresh, Samantha, Dulquer Salman, Vijay Devarakonda, etc
- Director : Nag Ashwin
- Music Director : Mikcey J Meyer
When attempting a biopic of most acclaimed actress Savitri garu- not only willingness but also honesty, guts to stick to the theme are important. And this is what the team of ‘Mahanati‘ delivers to the audience.
Savitri garu’s reel life needs no introduction, but real-life certainly does. Many of us know her real life outline – she earned fame and lot of money, was a generous donor, but died in miserable conditions due to financial mismanagement and personal issues. Few youngsters may not be even aware of this outline. It doesn’t matter how familiar you’re, this film covers almost all phases – from childhood until death of Mahanati Savitri.
Enacting scenes of Savitri garu’s films is different ball game altogether when compared to another actress. Her films like Mayabazaar, Gundamma Katha are cult classics. Her signature characterstics is familiar to all generations and any mistake enacting her on screen or offscreen personality would backfire. Even under that pressure, Keerthy Suresh walked away with award winning performance as Mahanati Savitri. Samantha Akkineni who played a journalist Madhura Vani got into the skin of the character. Her performance while talking to coma ridden Mahanati in climax is outstanding.
Vijay Deverakonda as Anthony is good, except diction. Dulquer Salmaan as Gemini Ganeshan is remarkable. Naga Chaitanya enacted his grandfather’s reel life and is super cool as ANR (No off-screen scenes of ANR). Great actor Mohanbabu portrayed SVR’s role, Prakash raj as Chakrapani, Avasarala Srinivas as LV Prasad, Director Krishh as Director KV Reddy so on. Nata Kireeti Rajendra Prasad potrayed the role of Savitri garu’s Pedananna ole. Bhanupriya, Naresh, Tanikella Bharani, Shalini Pandey and Malavika Nair played smaller roles. Makers should thank all these great actors for supporting Savitri garu’s biopic.
Any biopic to work needs good amount of research, sticking to true history, highlighting the drama in the life of the person aided good production values. All these aspects worked out for Mahanati. Most of the times biopic films lack commerciality and runs merely on the popularity of the person on whom it was made. Especially if the film is based on the life of a celebrity whose half of the life was in hardship, then the film may endup with slow narration.
Likewise, in Mahanati, the documentary style slowness is inevitable at few times, but the overall experience is good. To narrate Mahanati Savitri life on screen, director intelligently picked multiple sources. For each small character, a renowned personality has been picked and audience will enjoy the star cast. The way Gemini Ganeshan drives Savitri even after he was married twice, her prime time life, her downfall and saddest ending, all are nicely captured.
Savitri’s first scene as heroine came out well, her love life with Gemini Ganeshan is colorful. ‘Mooga Manasuloo ‘, ‘Mahanati’, ‘Aaduko balyamaa‘ songs are splendid on screen. In climax, the decision not to show Savitri garu’s dead body is very touchingly justified by Madhuravani’s character. Vyjayanthi movies’ young team – Dutt Sisters Swapna and Priyanka and director Nag Ashwin (Husband of Priyanka Dutt) dreamt big about Savitri’s life and their dream comes true moment based on Mahanati’s outcome.
Production design by Shivam Rao is good in initial parts. Art work by Avinash is superb, with huge number of retro sets which he excelled at. Mickey J. Mayor background score, songs are soothing. Especially that ‘Mahaanatiii…’ signature music is haunting.
Cinematography by Dani for entire Madhuravani, Anthony thread is terrible. Cinematography for remaining parts is very good. For some reason majority of second half has blurry backdrop (intentional production cost cut or some technical glitch). To make it look 80’s they might have chosen easy path, deliberately made those scenes with grainy look and out focussed setup. A poor production on this aspect. Kotagiri editing is adequate though it appears too lengthy at times due to the fact that it is a biopic.1980s, 60s, 40s setup has been done with great effort and kudos to the team.
Mahanati Savitri took birth as Keerthy Suresh is an understatement because such was the grace with which Keerthy carried herself as Savitri. Re-rendition of iconic scenes from Savitri garu’s hit films are pleasant retro experience. First half of this film is very good. In second half, due to pathos in the legendary actor’s life, the narration slows down but emotions work out. Throughout the movie the director keeps you connected with the proceedings. With huge starcast, stellar performances and honest team work MAHANATI is a must watch and a true tribute to great actress Savitri Garu.