Movie: Nene Raju Nene Mantri
Banner: Blue Planet Entertainments
Cast: Rana Daggubati, Kajal Aggarwal, Catherine Tresa,
Navdeep, Ashutosh Rana, Shivaji Raja, Tanikella Bharani and others
Dialogues: Lakshmi Bhupal
Music: Anoop Rubens
Cinematography: Venkat C. Dileep
Editing: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Editing: M R Varma
Producer: Kiran Reddy, Bharath Chowdary
Written and directed by: Teja
Release date: August 11, 2017
Post "Baahubali 2", Rana's popularity has gone to new heights. Naturally, "Nene Raju Nene Mantri" has generated strong buzz as it is coming immediately after "Baahubali 2". Moreover, the trailers are stunning. Despite the fact that Teja has lost form long back, the terrific trailer has created good buzz.
Let's find out whether this Bhallaladeva impresses as Jogendra as well?
Radha Jogendra (Rana) narrates his story to police inspector as to why he is sentenced for hang until death by court.
He begins his journey in a small village in Rayalaseema. He leads life of a guy who lends money to villagers and lives happily with his wife Radha (Kajal). He can’t live without her and also rechristens his name as Radha Jogendra.
When his wife is insulted by local sarpanch and she has a miscarriage as she is pushed away by the sarpanch’s wife, Jogendra goes on a mission to become big political leader. He soon becomes the sarpanch, then MLA and finally a Minister. But his real aim is to become the Chief Minister.
Current Home Minister (Ashutosh Rana) and a journalist Devika Rani (Catherine) play spoilsport to his plan. What happens Then? Why does the court give him such punishment
Rana has scored well in the role of Jogendra and has shown variations as meek financier, power-hungry politician and a husband who loves his wife immensely. His dialogue delivery is also nice. It is his show all the way.
Kajal as an anchor to Jogendra’s life has given her best performance. She also looks quite beautiful. In the scene with confrontation with Rana, her maturity in acting is visible.
Despite dated characterisation, Catherine as cigarette-smoking journalist makes an impression.
Ashutosh Rana impresses once again as a villain. Navadeep in a brief role and Tanikella as CM are good. Bittiri Satti makes some laughs.
Posani and Prabhas Seenu act in typical Teja’s style.
The movie doesn't boast much technical values. Though some aerial shots of Rayalaseema terrain are quite beautiful, the overall cinematography is just functional.
Graphics are cheap. Editing in the first half is neat but goes topsy-turvy post-interval. Two songs composed by Anup are quite good. Dialogues are effective.
Messy second half
Silly political sequences
Diretor Teja who once ruled Tollywood industry with series of hits has lost his form off late. People have stopped started taking his movies seriously but he surprises us with the initial sequences of the movie.
Few minutes into the story, one gets overjoyed with his terrific narration and unusual style of movie making.
The story of a Jogendra who first becomes sarpanch to take revenge on the person who insulted his wife and then turns into an obsessive power seeker is narrated beautifully in the first half. The moment you think that he has come into the form, all goes bunkum.
Teja has narrated the first one hour drama so interestingly. Rana duping sarpanch, an inspector, local MLA and minister... the sequences are unveiled engagingly. Then what? He repeats same tricks later. So Teja’s power of narration runs out gas from the pre-interval episodes.
Despite such engaging first half, the film turns into boring affair due to messy sequences towards the end.
In the beginning it seems as a political thriller, in the middle portion it turns into husband, wife and his lover drama, and finally turns into a TV serial like political drama. Precisely this is the problem with the movie.
As a character study of Jogendra, this is fine but for a riveting drama, you need more “dhum”. While the first half gives impression of a new Teja movie, from the interval point it turns into a typical Teja movie.
The political scenes are totally out of sync with the reality. Sample: Rana picks up candidates at every village (yes villages, not assembly constituencies) randomly to win on the sympathy vote.
There is also no proper explanation why the journalist Devika Rani falls for Rana. There is scene that suggests that she fell for him when he threatens to rape her! And her obsession for Rana is not all justified. Her serious characterization gets dumb with this.
Acting CMs and Home Ministers behave more like gully leader. Such lame political sequences in the second half has undone the initial interesting setup.
To be fair, both Rana and Kajal have come up with fine performances. In particularly, Rana kills it with his acting in many scenes. Some good locations in Rural Rayalaseema have also lent freshness.
Overall, the political thriller doesn’t work much despite fairly good start and turns into a boring affair.
Bottom-line: Hero – Villain!