Nene Raju Nene Mantri - Movie Review

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 07:45
Nene Raju Nene Mantri (2017)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Nene Raju Nene Mantri
Rana Daggubati, Kajal Aggarwal, Catherine Tresa, Navdeep, Ashutosh Rana, Shivaji Raja, Tanikella Bharani, Ajay, Josh Ravi, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Pradeep Rawat, Posani Krishna Murali, Satya Prakash, Raghu Karumanchi, Bithiri Sathi
Dilaogues: Parachuri Brothers, Lakshmi Bhupal
Music: Anoop Rubens
Cinematography: Venkat C. Dileep
Editing: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Banner: Suresh Productions & Blue Planet Entertainments
Producers: Kiran Reddy, Bharath Chowdary
Story, screenplay and directed by: Teja
Release date: 11 August 2017
Runtime: 153 minutes
CBFC Rating: UA

What's it about!
For Radha Jogendra (Rana), a financier in Uravakonda in Rayalaseema, his wife Radha (Kajal Agarwal) is everything, he would go to any length for her. When the wife of village’s president pushes away Jogendra’s pregnant wife as she is trying to light a diya in the temple, her baby gets killed in womb. Jogendra now contests the sarpanch elections and defeats the village president. Then his hunger for more power increases. As he turns from sarpanch to MLA to Minister, his original good-natured character decays. He also gets involved romantically with a journalist Devika Rani (Catherine). His aim is to become Chief Minister. But in the path of political game of snakes and ladders, he faces many obstacles, he slips down. When the actual time comes, he takes a stunning decision. What is that?
Scene 1: Rana goes to village president’s house and tells him that he is fielding against the president just to impress his wife and he seeks blessings from the president. Thinking that Rana won’t get much votes, he blesses Rana. But eventually, Rana wins, thanks to the latter’s clever game.
Scene 2: Rana becomes MLA and now wants to become a minister. He tells a solution to the Chief Minister regarding a burning issue and in return expects a ministerial berth in cabinet. When CM doesn’t accept of giving ministerial post, Rana meets Home Minister and tells him he can become Chief Minister if he follows his plan. To this Home Minister agrees and also promises to make Rana a minister. But Rana springs a sudden surprise at both the CM and Home Minister.
Scene 3: When Rana’s wife Kajal exposes him that he is slipping down morally as he his hungry for power, he suddenly realizes that he indeed has done too many bad things and decides to be just a normal guy leaving politics completely.
These three scenes reflect the potential of “Nene Raju Nene Mantri”. Without taking much time to establishing the drama, director Teja immediately draws us into the political game with many interesting episodes. The beginning of the movie is focused how a small-time financier hikes up the ladder in political game with tricks. This is quite riveting indeed. The tricks, the cunningness, Rana’s genuine intentions…make us root for him in the beginning.
It is like we are watching a reinvented Teja’s movie. The beginning sequences are enjoyable.
Like the hero who slips morally after achieving few wins, the movie also falters. All the interesting sequences peter away as the movie progresses towards the interval. As long as Rana is trying to become a minister, the political game sustains interest, once he becomes obsessive about ‘kurchi’, the drama turns tedious and also quite predictable. Also logic goes for a toss.
Even though the story happens in the current day Uravakonda in Andhra Pradesh, Rana keeps talking about 250 seats to become a CM when the assembly has mere 175 seats. Then the character of Catherine’s love for Rana is quite cinematic. A well-educated, studied in foreign journalist demands Rana to marry her because his wife can’t have children for him. How silly! Such statements  comes from her. Hero takes the van of a dead body to nearby villages to get sympathy. As the van moves from one village to the other, the home minister gets a running commentary of hero picking up MLA candidates on the spot and fielding them in the coming elections seems straight out of a stage play!
Final sequences have completely turned illogical with full of laughable situations. Post-interval, the movie comes back into the groove here and there but mostly it plods whimsically and ends on a sillier note further. Capital punishment sequence in penultimate scenes is dealt in beaten-to-death manner though the final scene is thankfully anti-climax.
As far as performances is concerned, Rana has come up with stunning act. He has given his best. He is very intense when he performs tricks. His chemistry with Kajal Agarwal, who looks at her best and his endearing performance, is perfect. Catherine too shines in her role. Ashutosh Rana, Tanikella, Prabhas Seenu and Shivaji Raja are good.
The film has decent technical values. Cinematography is neat. Music is plus point. Dialogues written by Lakshmi Bhupal are another asset. As writer and director Teja has shown that he still can make interesting movies coming out from his regular zone as far as first half is concerned but he loses grip post-interval.
Bottom-line: ‘Nene Raju Nene Mantri’ starts off well but fritters away from the interval point. Despite fine performance from Rana and beautiful Kajal, the movie fails to hold interest in the crucial final scenes. It could have been a good political thriller but misses the chance.

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