Rating: 7/10 (Bharat's Dandayaatra)
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Kiara Advani, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, P Ravi Shankar, Rahul Ramakrishna, Devaraj, Brahmaji, Sarath Kumar, Devadas Kanakala, Posani Murali Krishna, Yashpal Sharma, Shatru, Jeeva, Devadas Kanakala, Mahadevan, Suriya,
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Koratala Siva
Producer: DVV Danayya
Banner: DVV Entertainments
After unbearable disasters in the form of Bhramotsavam and Spyder, Superstar Mahesh Babu is back after 7 months with his latest film Bharat Ane Nenu. Directed by Koratala Siva, the film sees Mahesh touch a subject he never deals with in politics and will see him in the role of a Chief Minister for the first time. Can the film live upto the expectations and give Mahesh his much needed blockbuster? Let's find out in this week's review.
Plot: An Oxford graduate named Bharat Ram (Mahesh Babu) returns to India and is coincidentally appointed the new Chief Minister of Andhra. What problems he faces as the new CM and the issues he tries to tackle is what Bharat Ane Nenu is all about.
Performances: After two massive disasters, Superstar Mahesh Babu makes a thumping return. He is simply outstanding as Bharat. The role is so well written that it features the scope for subtle and intense acting. Mahesh Babu passes with flying colors and delivers a performance one will remember for the ages. His intensity in the assembly scene, the interval, and the Durgal Mahal sequence is a testament to his talent. But it's the press meet scene when he truly shines. Mahesh Babu is world class in the press meet scene and it's arguably the best scene he's ever performed in his career. The way he says I AM DONE YET! makes you feel scared if you were actually in the room. Overall, after a gap of 2.5 years, Mahesh Babu is back with a bang and delivers a thumping performance that will be a feast for his fans.
Kiara Advani is extremely attractive and does well as Vasumathi. It's a treat to watch a mainstream Telugu heroine not play the dumb fiddle for once and actually have some meaning. She makes the most of her screen time and sets the screen on fire in Oh Vasumathi.
After a long gap, it's a delight to see Prakash Raj back in a role with solid screen time. Mahesh Babu-Prakash Raj combination films never disappoint and Bharat Ane Nenu is a another film where these two powerhouse actors go at it head to head. He is superb as Varadharaju, a politician in higher authority.
Brahmaji as the personal assistant is hilarious in the first half but goes completely missing in the 2nd half.
Posani is too loud, as is Prudhvi in a negative role for once.
Devaraj, Yashpal Sharma, Jeeva and dubbing artist P Ravi Shankar round out the villains group but they don't make much of an impact. Out of all them though, Ravi Shankar gets a nice role especially in the 2nd half.
Rao Ramesh is adequate.
Rahul Ramakrishna shines in a role that takes the movie to the next level. One feels Sharath Kumar is wasted and any actor could have done the role of Mahesh's father.
Direction: Koratala Siva is man who has climbed up the Tollywood ladder much quicker than his contemporaries. Boasting a blockbuster record only matched by SS Rajamouli, the writer-director has quickly emerged as one of Telugu cinemas star directors. Having only worked with stars till now, he reunites with Mahesh Babu and the combo that delivers Srimanthudu is back. So the question would be does he give Mahesh a comeback when he was under pressure again? And the answer is yes and maybe an even better film than Srimanthudu. While Srimanthudu dealt with the adoption and development of villages, Bharat Ane Nenu goes a step further and talks about the government actually doing it's job. Politics is a risky theme because in India, if you insult a politician, their party, or their work, they have the tolerance of a 5 year old to take any comments against them, especially if they're doing something wrong. And that's precisely the core of Bharat Ane Nenu. In real life, most politicians are corrupt and they say they're going to do one thing but never do it. CM Bharat Ram on the other hand, does what he says and delivers. He can do no wrong and wants to put people in their place, especially if they're doing something wrong. And that's the difference between a good politician and a corrupt one. The issues Koratala presents in the film are excellent and definitely issues the Indian government should address. Koratala Siva's knack for combining social issues into solid content is a reason why he's emerged a star director in no time. While albeit in a completely fictional world, Bharat Ane Nenu truly showcases what a politician can do for his people and his state, provided that he keeps his word and actually does what he says. In fact, the theme of Bharat Ane Nenu is so universal that it applies to every country including the United States of America in the reign of Donald Trump. While the first 20 minutes are slow, the rest of the first half is excellent. The 2nd half is even better. Koratala Siva delivers once again and creates a superb political entertainer that is meaningful and engaging from start to finish. He extracts a brilliant performance from Mahesh Babu and with a superstar leading the front in film with so much meaning, sky is the limit. Overall, Koratala Siva hits the jackpot and continues his 100% success rate in Telugu cinema.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Devi Sri Prasad are excellent. DSP has been giving quality background scores of late and Bharat ANe Nenu is another film where his work shines. One feels the theme song could have a more riveting score though. Cinematography by Ravi K Chandran and Thiru is fabulous. The visuals and camerawork are truly amazing especially in the Durga Mahal fight sequence and the Vachadayyo Saami song. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is fine. Big budget Telugu films of late have been on the longer side nowadays with 165 mins run-time or more but the content seems to be engaging enough to last the entire time. Fights by Ram-Lakshman are good. The Durga Mahal fight sequence is incredible but Mahesh stepping over the guy like a puddle is too much and gravity defying to the max. Production Design by Sundar Selavarajan is magnificent. The assembly set that they created is so good that you'd think it's an actually location in Andhra. The look, feel, and design of the set gives you the feel of an actually assembly building. Fantastic work from him. Dialogues by Koratala Siva deserve special mention. Koratala's dialogues are always very simple yet they contain so much meaning. Perhaps, the dialogues will be one of the thing that you'll take home after watching the film. Production Values by DVV Danayya are monumental. The visuals and overall look and feel of the film is so rich and grand that you can truly see how much money they spent on the film. Also special thanks to him for having a superb pre-release campaign of promotions and updates that poor production houses like NVR Cinemas and PVP Cinemas failed to do in the past.
+ Mahesh Babu
+ Social Issues
+ Durga Mahal Fight
- First 20 mins
- Climax Twist
Final Analysis and Verdict: Mahesh Babu is one of India's best actors. He is a superstar in every sense. He is extremely handsome, acts well, can pull off any role, and do anything an actor should be able to do. The only thing he can't do is dance. For some reason, he is constantly trolled by Nandamuri and Mega family fans and the films that were Bhramotsavam and Spyder only added to the pain and frustration of being a Mahesh Babu fan.
I personally am a massive Mahesh Babu fan. Call me hardcore even. I've liked him since Okkadu and became a devotee after Khaleja. The man's movies may have sucked but he never disappointed with his performances and always did his best despite some films being badly made or experiments gone wrong.
He has also never faced 3 consecutive disaster's in his career. With a superstar under pressure and a director who bailed him out in the past, could Mahesh and Koratala do the impossible once again and deliver another record breaking hit. Well history does seem to repeat itself and Bharat Ane Nenu shows what Mahesh Babu can do with a good film and take's it to the next level with his performance. Bharat Ane Nenu is Mahesh Babu's grand comeback after a gap of 2.5 years.
The film starts off slow after a sluggish first 20 mins but as soon as Mahesh becomes the CM, the film just takes off and you never feel bored. The issues presented and tackled by Koratala in the film are actually very true and need to addressed in India as soon as possible. While the proceedings and story may seem routine, it's really the issues that are highlighted and presented that makes the difference.
Mahesh in the assembly scenes is truly a treat to watch and his dialogue delivery is simply flawless. The interval bang gives a high and the background score is superb here. The 1st half post the opening minutes is so engaging that Koratala manages to give a riveting experience with no action sequences.
The romantic track is also well written and gels into the narrative well and it's a good thing Koratala didn't deviate from the core premise of the film by giving it too much importance in the grand scheme of things.
The 2nd half starts off well and from the much talked about Durga Mahal sequence to Vachadayyo Saami, the film just moves to another level. The film does dip a little bit post these sequences but the film makes a stunning return and gives a huge adrenaline rush with the press meet scene. This will remain one of the best scenes in Telugu cinema history. Oka Baahubali 2 interval, Oka Chatrapathi interval, oka Pokiri climax twist, Oka Bharat Ane Nenu press meet scene. Rasukondi. The scene definitely has that range of an impact. Mahesh Babu's acting is simply otherworldly in the scene. It is equally as good because of all the nonsense going on right now with Telugu media and TRP ratings and the Sri Reddy issue. A big slap in the face to the media and an incredible scene crafted by Koratala.
The film has a good climax but one feels it's too prolonged. The climax twist is extremely predictable and it's high-time filmmakers find innovative and creative climaxes rather than one's we can see from miles away.
The other negative would be that the film is extremely unrealistic and superficial. There is no way in hell that a random person from London would come back and be elected the CM. If you're looking for realism, then don't. Bharat Ane Nenu is a political thriller laced with commercial elements that sans realism.
Despite these flaws, the film works in so many other instances due to Mahesh Babu's performance and the direction. Mahesh Babu is back with a vengeance and delivers a solid entertainer after 2.5 years.
Overall, Bharat Ane Nenu is Bharat's Dandayaatra on Andhra Pradesh. This story of a true and honest politician who keeps his word and promises is an amazing entertainer from start to finish. If you're a Mahesh Babu fan, this film is a festival for you after the torture you've endured for the last 2.5 years. For common fans, it's worth a watch to see the Superstar at his best after a long gap. Go and witness Bharat's dandaayatra on the big screen.