NTR Kathanayakudu / Mahanayakudu

During 1993, I had an opportunity to see NTR at Hyderabad. Being from Bombay, Bollywood capital, we used to see celebrities often, but the scenario unraveling in front of me was something surreal. People from all walks of life were prostrating themselves before him.

In a very nonchalance manner, I asked someone is he that big a star to which i got the reply that he is god for those people and then told me to shut up or risk being beaten up by them. That was the charisma of NTR, a man who played Krishna, Rama and Shiva in multiple movies.

His son, actor and producer, breathes life in the role of NTR, a performance of a lifetime. Just watch his don the make up of Krishna and walk through the studio to meet the producer who was hesitant to cast him as god. When he stands in front of the producer with folded hands, the overwhelmed producer holds his hands and says, God should never fold hands in front of mortals. The scene gives you goosebumps. But alas, the movie turns out to be tribute by a son to a father and cannot be termed as biography of the NTR the leader.

While the first part is enjoyable, focusing on NTR rise from a clerk to a film star, the second one focuses on a few incidents in the political life of the leader, especially the one where he was pitted against Indira Gandhi.

The director, Krish [Manikarnika] probably did not get the freedom to humanize the leader and that is exactly what you feel at the end of the movie. But yet it is worth a watch for Nandamuri Balakrishna’s performance as NTR.

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