Verdict: A nostalgic bow to the master of hard work, inspiration, and revolution.

This Sankranti season, NTR Kathanayakudu releases which features the biopic of a gem from the Telugu film industry. The expectations are enormous around the biopic of the legendary actor-turned-politician Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, which is being made in two parts – Kathanayakudu and Mahanayakudu. While NTR’s last movie released way back in 1993, watching him come alive on screen played by his son Balakrishna is irrefutably a feast for all the cinephiles. Balakrishna has veered off his regular path of commercial films with this biopic. The extensive cast portrays prominent film personalities from the yesteryear and the fans have waited with bated breath for this. Judging by the trailers and promotional teasers, it looks like Krish has created magic. Let’s see if the team is in for an outstanding reception from the audience.

What’s NTR Kathanayakudu About:

Movie begins with Basavatarakam (Vidya Balan) undergoing treatment for cancer at a hospital in Madras (now Chennai) in 1984. She reminisces the life of her husband Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, fondly known as NTR (Balakrishna). NTR starts his career as a sub-registrar in Bezawada and resigns from his job due to unforeseen circumstances. He decides to move to Madras and pursue acting, as he gets a letter from director L. V. Prasad. Basavatarakam stands as a pillar of support for NTR in all his decisions. After the initial struggle, NTR forays into stardom because of sheer talent, dedication and hard work. There is no looking back in his acting career. However, his personal life takes an unexpected turn due to untimely death of his elder son Rama Krishna. His resolve to serve the people upsurges after a severe cyclone strikes Diviseema, a remote place in Rayalaseema region. He joins hands with ANR (Sumanth) and raises funds, which is eventually more than what the government could contribute. The first part ends with NTR’s historic speech announcing the launch of Telugu Desam Party.

What Works:

Balakrishna as NTR evokes emotions even with his subtlest expression. The artistic makeup and remarkable acting depicting the various shades of NTR is splendid. Every character in the movie is wonderfully portrayed. The pick of the brilliant lot is Vidya Balan as Basavatarakam. She mesmerizes in her role and the chemistry between them is certainly something to look forward to. Kalyan Ram as Hari Krishna fits in role flawlessly, as does Sumanth as ANR. Rana Daggubati is apt in a brief role as Chandrababu Naidu. Krish‘s deft style of storytelling is brilliance. One can’t miss the huge sets and fantastic costumes that will make you reminisce the nostalgic moments of films and studios from the past. Sai Madhav Burra’s captivating writing and M. M. Keeravani’s adroit music have played wonders for this flick. The cinematography by V. S. Gnanasekhar is pitch perfect. It is truly miraculous how the team could complete a movie of this scale (2 parts with close to 6-hour run-time) in flat 90 days!

What Could’ve Been Better:

You can’t get better than this!

Why You Should Watch:

You really don’t need reasons to watch this; you should just book immediately. NTR Kathanayakudu is an honest tribute to the legendary actor of Telugu cinemascape. NTR fans of all ages will have guaranteed moments of nostalgia while watching this biopic. Now to wait for the NTR Mahanayakudu, which releases on the 7th of February this year!