Review: Lakshmi's NTR
P.Vijay Kumar, Yagna Shetty, Sri Tej and others
Director - RGV, Agastya Manju
Producer - Rakesh Reddy, Balagiri
Banner - RGV Gun Shot Films
Music - Kalyani Malik
The last phase of NTR's life has been omitted from the biopic made by Balakrishna and Krish for obvious reasons. So Ram Gopal Varma jumped into cash in on the sensational and most controversial phase of NTR's life in Lakshmi's NTR.
What is it about?
Rama Rao (Vijay Kumar) is dejected after the defeat in 1989 polls and then enters Lakshmi Parvathi (Yagna Shetty) into his life in the name of writing his biography. They develop a bonding and decide to marry that doesn't go well with Rama Rao's children and son in law Babu (Sri Tej). Rest of the film is about how Babu plots a conspiracy to grab the 'Mana Desam' party from Rama Rao that eventually leads to the demise of the actor cum politician.
Vijay Kumar appears like a stage artist and couldn't do justice to the NTR character. He appears pale and dull in long shots that the directors purposefully shot close ups to make him appear like Rama Rao. Actor Sri Tej is very impressive as Babu and Yagna Shetty is overly dramatic portraying Lakshmi Parvathy's role.
Ram Gopal Varma's mark is present in the scenes showing the power of NTR. He also did well in portraying the negative shades of Babu just by camera angles. However, too much focus on the so called love story of Rama Rao and Lakshmi turns out to be a big headache for viewers. Ram Gopal Varma blatantly made this film with one-sided view point showing Lakshmi Parvathi as the true admirer of NTR and victim of a political conspiracy.
Production values are pretty ordinary. Camera angles are innovative in few scenes but the music is pretty loud. There are many songs that are absolutely needless. None of the songs are catchy too. Editing is not up to the mark with many scenes dragging for no real purpose.
Few scenes showcasing the conspiracy behind NTR's fall
One sided take on NTR's last phase
Ram Gopal Varma has been stressing that Lakshmi's NTR is a truthful take on the late legendary leader's life and his second marriage. However, anyone could say that he has inclined fully towards Lakshmi Parvathy to showcase NTR's family members and especially Chandra Babu as the villain. Ram Gopal Varma deliberately tried to showcase that the love between Rama Rao and Lakshmi Parvathy is eternal and pure.
There is not a single scene where Lakshmi Parvathy appears to be cashing in on the image of NTR's wife. She remains 'Sathi Savitri' from the beginning to the end. RGV went on to create sympathy on her by focusing camera on her after NTR's death. She is seen pushed away by everyone and is left behind the crowd when her 'husband' dies. RGV shows that it was NTR who proposed to marry her and he was the one who asked her to join him for the canvassing.
Chandra Babu is shown like a cold blooded villain who had plotted everything to snatch the party and CM post from his father in law. There are a few unintentionally funny scenes that depicts the romance of Rama Rao and Lakshmi. RGV does a fine job in choosing the actors for key roles. He did well in filming the scenes that lead to the Viceroy incident and after. However, the drama towards the end highlighting the plight of Lakshmi Parvathi has gone overboard.
Hardcore haters of Chandra Babu may enjoy the film for obvious reasons. But as a film it is yet another mediocre effort from Ram Gopal Varma who just focused on making it a propaganda film rather sticking to the facts and without taking sides. The story is about Lakshmi's NTR, but it turned out to be Ram Gopal Varma's glorification of Lakshmi Parvathy.
Verdict: RGV's Lakshmi!