Nene Raju Nene Mantri Review
'NRNM' hits the screens this Friday. Clashing with 'LIE' and 'Jaya Janaki Nayaka', the Teja directorial seems to be an explosive pot. Here we review the Box Office's favourite entrant.
In the little world of the small-time loaner Jogendra (Rana Daggubati), his wife Radha (Kajal Aggarwal) has the highest place. The whole village may be up against her on some odd day, but Jogendra is ever there to save her. A clash with power (represented by Pradeep Rawat's character of a sarpanch) results in the death of Radha's unborn fetus. At this, Jogendra metamorphoses into a cunning, blood-curdling phenomenon up against the sarpanch and his position.
His political journey begins, all for the sake of avenging his darling wife's unspeakable tragedy. He becomes a sarpanch, an MLA, a Minister and, take a deep breath, aims to be the Chief Minister.
Will Jogendra be able to extricate himself out of his beastly self? To what extent can he go to fulfill his goals? How does all of this affect the relationship with his wife, who defines his life's meaning for him? All these form the crux of the story.
Teja makes a return with a story that is fortunately not uni-dimensional. There are subtexts and layers to look out for. Jogendra's characterization was always supposed to be the raison d'etre and it doesn't disappoint.
The moral challenges, the emotional roller-coaster, the hiccups in the husband-wife relationship - they all make for a decent watch. Rana's dialogues (Lakshmi Bhupal) hold even when the screenplay gets simplistic and too cinematic to a fault.
Posani Krishna Murali and Prabhas Sreenu aside, the characters played by Catherine Tresa (as a cunning media baron called Devika Rani) and Navdeep (as Jogendra's confidante, Shiva) entertain.
Having watched such largely realistic political films as 'Dharma Yogi' and 'Saithan', watching the political machinations of Jogendra (not that 'NRNM' is a political drama) makes for a superficial watch.
There are creative liberties. Then there are creative eccentricities. If Jogendra were an activist, he would have gone to the town wearing his placard around his neck which (dishonestly) said this much: #InTheNameOfMyWife, or better still, #NotInMyName.
He performs a lot of unspeakable crimes in his quest for power, but he is absolved in the court of our 'conscientious' public. Don't do an ROFL when you know you are watching a film from an industry that has dished out a certain perverted story called 'Businessman'.
It would have made a whole lot of sense had the rise and rise of Jogendra been cast in a credible mold. If the idea was to showcase Jogendra's monumental love for his wife and to what lengths he can go for her, the same could have been achieved without the husband having to be too ambitious and his rivals, too stupid.
The morally decadent Jogendra can evoke enough disgust for the story's sake without him having to be shown to do certain horrible things. But then our films are not generally given to subtlety.
Anup Rubens' music is bombastic and lovely, as the case may be. The cinematography and other technical departments do a fine job.
This is Rana's biggest attempt at shining in a mass-oriented, solo hero's performance. And he comes out with flying colours. His diction, his baritone, his swagger, his attitude - everything works. Kajal is a treat to watch as a doting wife who goes through an emotional, agonized journey of her own. The rest of the cast are convincing.
Complete with monstrously huge cinematic liberties, 'NRNM' has its share of hits and misses. The story-telling in the first half is tight. Good dialolgue-writing, nice performances, and the political canvas lend it an air of freshness.