Telugu Reviews

Nene Raju Nene Mantri Review: Choppy Political Drama With An Awe-Inspiring Psychotic Rana Daggubati

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Nene Raju Nene Mantri (NRNM) celebrates its malevolent, psychotic male lead with a flourish never before seen in cinema. Its hero, Jogendra (Rana Daggubati) has psychopathic tendencies. He kills people who get in his way without a second thought.

He says he does it for his wife Radha. But we know the pleasure he gets from all that killing and looting.

***

This is the story of a man who exploits the political system to get what he wants. He never claims to do anything for the good of the people of his state.

He is selfish – an intemperate man who hoards wealth like it’s going to vanish tomorrow.

This blatant display of desire, this slavish want for power – this is new to our cinema.

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Our directors usually like to cloak such base tendencies a hero under layers of altruistic acts.

Because what would society think.

Thankfully though, neither does lead actor Rana Daggubatti care, nor does director Teja.

And so, it’s always more, more, and more.

***

This is a story where you’d be hard pressed to find differences between the hero and the villain (Ashutosh Rana). The two are reflections of one another, each attempting to wound the other in a bid to gain more power. There are several casualties along the way.

And no one seems to mind.

***

All this doesn’t necessarily make for a good film. In fact, NRNM is hard to like. It’s choppy in bits and tiring to watch. Rana’s demeanour lends itself well to the role of a hero who needs to be locked up.

But that’s it.

Kajal plays the quintessential Telugu wife. The one who cries when her beloved kamakshi amman lamp dies out – an indication (apparently) that her man is up to no good. The director then decides to spell out what’s happening.

So we get a car-rocking scene, with Rana and a skimpily clad Catherine Tresa inside said car.

***

If the plan is to wake people up to political realities, this film is perhaps not ideal. Rana has too much fun hoarding money and killing people. And has it too easy when it comes to climbing up the greasy ladder of politics. It doesn’t really look like a warning.

Still, like the people who root for Jogendra till the end, the theatre I was in was in awe of Rana.

He was so bad it was good.

The movie though, doesn’t get off so easily. It’s bad yes. But not so bad it gets good.

*****

The Nene Raju Nene Mantri review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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