Last year, Ram Gopal Varma suffered a big setback when Officer opened to a poor response at the box office and proved to be a disaster. It also failed to impress critics and this made it an even bigger embarrassment for all concerned. In fact, Officer was such a disappointment that even Nagarjuna's biggest fans virtually disowned it. With the Officer debacle behind him, RGV is back with Lakshmi's NTR which released today (March 29, 2019). The film revolving around the relationship between 'Anna Garu' and his second wife Lakshmi Parvathi, is one of the most controversial films of the year.
So, did Lakshmi's NTR live up to expectations?
Lakshmi's NTR deals with the events that took place in Andhra Pradesh politics after the Bobbili Puli star married Lakshmi Parvathi. Needless to say, NTR's 'real biopic' highlights how the mass leader's family opposed his decision to marry Lakshmi Parvathi and ultimately 'turned' against him. It also touches upon the controversial 'Viceroy House' incident, projecting Chandrababu Naidu in a negative light.
Theatre artiste P Vijay Kumar, who plays NTR, has done a fairly good job of imitating the former Andhra Pradesh CM's legendary mannerisms. He underwent some rigorous training to do justice to the role which has paid off big time. Kannada actress Yagna Shetty is strictly okay and delivers a sincere performance. Sritej, who plays CBN, is the scene stealer in Lakshmi's NTR. His menacing expressions and cold body language are the biggest highlights of his performance. The supporting actors do their jobs reasonably well.
Screenplay And Direction
The first half of Lakshmi's NTR does a good job of establishing NTR as a mass leader while highlighting his personal life. The scenes highlighting the 'character assassination' of Lakshmi Parvathi have come out well and are quite caustic.
The romantic scenes have been shot well and are reasonably heart-warming. The second half too is quite compelling and ends on a truly sad note. That said and done, a few scenes drag a bit which might upset a certain section of the audience.
All in all, unlike NTR Kathanayakudu and NTR Mahanayakudu, Lakshmi's NTR is more of a human drama and has a dark/menacing feel to it. The film's impact is enhanced further due to the solid casting which ups the authenticity quotient of the on-screen action.
The 'Rama Rama' background score is fabulous and has a haunting feel to it. Kalyani Malik's tunes have a strong situational appeal. The editing, however, is not all that good; the second half drags a bit. The cinematography has a trademark RGV feel to it. The other technical aspects have been handled well.
RGV In Top Form
Screenplay becomes a bit slow at times
A few dramatic scenes are a bit OTT
Lakshmi's NTR comes across a decent tribute to the final years of NTR's life.