Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Venkatesh, Priyamani, Karthik Rathnam, Rajeev Kanakala, Rakhi, Rao Ramesh, Ammu Abhirami
Director: Srikanth Addala
Streaming on: Amazon Prime
Story: Narappa (Venkatesh) and his family are leading a peaceful life and trying their best to save their land from the eyes of the landlords of the neighbouring village. Certain incidents lead Narappa’s son Munikanna (Karthik Rathnam) to get into a clash with the landlord and his men. What unforeseen events took place after this and how did Narappa save his family forms the rest of the story.
Performances: Venkatesh is absolutely terrific. He is a proven actor and a master in emotional scenes but it’s been a long time since he delivered a heartbreaking intense and emotional performance. With this film, he has made up for it and delivered one of his best performances. There are some scenes which an actor of his age and experience would think twice before doing but he has gone ahead and done them. It shows his commitment towards his work. Priyamani is good but her dialogue delivery felt artificial at times. Karthik Rathnam is excellent and he delivers the required impact that he is supposed to create within a short time. Rakhi as Narappa’s younger son, Rajeev Kanakala, Rao Ramesh, Ammu Abhirami and Brahmaji have all done their parts well.
Technicalities: Shyam K Naidu’s camerawork is outstanding and will definitely be a fresh experience for Telugu audience. Manisharma’s music is effective. He has reused most of the background score from the Tamil version and it works because such is the intensity of the score from GV Prakash Kumar. The songs and the rest of the original background score also are effective enough. However, the background score is not used in a full-fledged manner in a couple of fight scenes, which reduced the impact a bit. Action choreography is powerful. Production design and artwork have managed to neatly recreate the mood and feel of the original version. Dialogues are in Rayalaseema dialect and written well but some of the actors were not completely natural with it and it shows clearly at times.
Analysis: Narappa is the official remake of Asuran, which was both a commercial success and a critically much-acclaimed natonal award winning film. Recreating the same magic and intensity is not an easy job, that too when the director is someone who has only made rom-coms and family dramas so far. Srikanth Addala surprises in this aspect and proves that he can handle intense action dramas too. He has understood the magic and intensity in Asuran and managed to bring out the best possible output from the main artists and the technical team. Comparison to Asuran is inevitable. There are some areas where this film falls slightly short of the mark in comparison. The nativity and lifestyle of the people are not captured in a completely convincing way. This feeling arises due to the casting of certain actors and the slightly artificial feel of Rayalaseema language at times. Asuran had perfection in casting and nativity establishment, which was the main reason in being able to identify and connect with the characters as belonging to a particular geographical location and situation. The emotional scenes and action episodes are excellent but fall a few inches behind the impact created by Asuran. First-time watchers may not feel this way and may love these portions. The action episodes and emotional scenes would have done wonders with a theatrical experience. Overall, Narappa is intense enough and emotional enough to be called a good remake.
On a whole: Narappa is a honest remake with Venkatesh in incredible form. Bound to be a good watch for first-time viewers and a satisfying watch for re-watchers.