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Maestro Review: Neither Roaring Nor Boring

Maestro Review: Neither Roaring Nor Boring

Movie: Maestro
Rating: 2.5/5
Banner:
Sresht Movies
Cast: Nithiin, Tamannah Bhatia, Nabha Natesh, Jissu Sen Gupta, Naresh, Harshavardhan, Mangli, Racha Ravi, and others
Cinematography: Yuvraj
Music: Sagar Mahati
Editor: S.R.Sekhar
Producers: Sudhakar Reddy, Nikitha Reddy
Written and direction: Merlapaka Gandhi
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Streaming on: Disney Hotstar

Nithiin had two releases this year. Before the second wave, he released “Check” and “Rang De” in the theaters and now comes up with the third film. His latest film, however, skips the theatrical route and premiered on OTT today.

The film has generated interest with its promotions. Let’s analyze.

Story:
Arun (Nithiin) is a talented pianist in Goa. He performs at a hotel. For some reason, he fakes being blind. 

One day, a former hero Mohan (Naresh) asks him to give a private concert at their home. Mohan wants to surprise his wife Simran(Tamannaah) on their wedding anniversary.

When Arun lands in their apartment, he notices that Mohan is lying in a pool of blood, Simran’s lover (Jishu Sengupta) trying to clear the body. Arun witnesses the murder but keeps silent as he is faking blindness.

As soon as he comes out of the apartment, he heads to the police station to report the murder. Much to his shock, he finds that the inspector is none other than Simran's lover. A series of twists follow.

Artistes’ Performances:
For Nithiin, this is quite a challenging role. He never performed as a blind (fake or real) person before. Nithiin sinks into his character. We should appreciate Nithin for sticking to the soul of the character, not diluting it.

Tamannaah has also never played a negative role in her career before. She has put in the earnest effort, but she lacks the villainous look of Tabu, who had acted in the original. Her performance can be appreciated, but she is miscast for this role.

Jisshu is perfect in the role of an Inspector. Nabha Natesh as Nithiin’s girlfriend is also miscast. She also has makeup issues. 

Singer Mangli in her acting debut is believable. Sreemukhi appears in a cameo. Naresh as a former hero suits well.

Technical Excellence:
Yuvraj's cinematography complements the mood of the theme well. He has given the best work.

Sagar Mahati’s background score is not as riveting as the original but is competent enough. Editing is neat.

Highlights:
Original story
Nithin’s performance
Twists and turns

Drawback:
Tamannaah’s casting
The rushed feel of climax
Not as gripping as the original

Analysis
During his promotional interviews of “Maestro”, Nithiin put his thoughts about remakes perfectly. “When we remake faithfully, people comment that we copied frame to frame. If we alter it, they accuse us of spoiling the original. It needs a delicate balance,” he said. 

“Maestro” is the remake of the Bollywood blockbuster, Andhadhun. While the film remains faithful to the original story, the director also made some changes, especially in the climax. But the changes are minor. 

The beauty in the Hindi movie is its pulpy and racy narrative. The twists and turns shock the audience. The casting was pitch-perfect. We are made to believe that hero is faking blindness, but suddenly he loses eyesight for real. In the beginning, we see the villain getting the upper hand over the hero, then the hero gets the grip, then another twist appears. The climax is another big turn. Such a trippy film "Andhadhun" was. The structure of “Andhadhun” is retained in the “Maestro”.

As said, Merlapaka Gandhi has faithfully followed the template and brings out the same feel for the most part. The first half of "Maestro" is thrilling and gripping and comes close to the Hindi version. It is also racy. Nithin has become a plus point here. 

But the same cannot be said about the latter portions. The hospital scene in the third act is an example. The final sequences are less convincing. While the rest of the film looks rich, the final portions give a feel of a rushed product. Plus, Tamannaah’s casting is not a wise choice. Although she comes up with competent performance, her age factor is a big issue (Tabu played a middle-aged woman in the original). Tabu’s role and her performance are the souls of “Andhadhun”. 

The climax of “Andhadhun” was a sort of an enigma, but here we get a clear-cut answer. 

Another disadvantage “Maestro” has is the original is available on OTT space and many of the Telugu audiences might have seen it during this pandemic. 

If we stop comparing and watch it as a straight Telugu thriller, “Maestro” will engage you as the story has meat. The thriller has many merits. But even if we stop comparing it to Hindi, the second half could have been better. In a nutshell, “Maestro” is a crime drama that gets certain things right, certain things not.

Bottom-line: Engages but doesn't excite

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