Review: Nene Raju Nene Mantri
Rana Daggubati, Kajal Agarwal, Catherine, Navadeep, Asutosh Rana, Tanikella Bharani and others
Director - Teja
Producer - Suresh, Kiran Reddy, Bharath C
Banner - Blue Planet Entertainments
Music - Anup Rubens
Rana's brilliant show makes this silly political drama a watchable fare. Teja who seemed like getting back on track for a moment, left the movie in shatters with poor writing.
What is it about?
Jogendra (Rana) is a money lender in a village. He loves his wife Radha (Kajal) so much. One incident pushes Jogendra to enter politics and once he enters the field he doesn't stop anywhere as he dreams of achieving big as a politician. He keeps morals aside and takes the corrupt path to fulfill his dreams. A disaster strikes and eventually leads to the downfall of Jogendra.
Rana is simply superb as a cunning, opportunist politician. He has portrayed the emotions of the character in a superb way that we cannot help but fall in love with Jogendra in spite of his villainous ways. He is so convincing as the dynamic and cunning young politician that we cannot imagine anyone else but Rana as Jogendra. Kajal is beautiful and complements Rana well. Catherine is apt as the foreign journo. Navadeep is effective as Rana's aide. Asutosh Rana is stereotypical. Posani provides a few laughs in his own style.
Despite a few logical errors, Teja's direction in first half is impressive. It appeared like the ace director is back to form, but he messed it up totally in the second half. A clever political game is what the story asks for but the ridiculous take of Teja on current politics makes a mockery of it.
Anup's songs are okay. Jogendra theme and Sukheebhava songs are good. Background score is not up to the mark though. Cinematography is very ordinary. Lack of production values and technical finesse makes it look like a television drama at times.
One cannot take cinematic liberty when dealing with realistic themes like politics. Teja almost makes it look like a mockumentary at times with his silly take on the serious subject. There is lot of potential in the subject but the script is so half baked that even Rana's charismatic show couldn't save it after a point.
Initial scenes are breezy though they defy logic. Teja doesn't waste much time to start the political game. Jogendra's seamless rise to power is interesting albeit illogical. However, it loses steam as the protagonist doesn't face any challenge in his way. Convenient setup and escapist theories doesn't excite the viewers. Only impactful moment in Jogendra's journey is killing his close aide without checking the facts.
We expect many such moments in the second half but all Teja could come up is with some laughable scenes that even powerful Jogendra looks weak and helpless. Catherine's character obsession towards Jogendra is not explained properly. "I can make babies unlike your wife" is the best reason she could pitch for seeking Jogendra's hand. The bad guys simply sit around a table and cook up silly ideas to eliminate Jogi.
None of the murder attempts against Jogendra are thrilling enough. Also the superman hero always comes out unscathed no matter how big the accident is. Factual errors and stupid election scenes towards the end reduces Nene Raju Nene Mantri to a below average fare.
Barring Rana's flawless performance and a few moments during Jogendra's rise to power, NRNM disappoints. Aggressive promotions and pre release buzz will ensure good opening, but it may not take much time for this pointless film to fizzle out.
Verdict: Only for Rana.