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Tiger Nageswara Rao Review: Tiger That Doesn't Roar

Tiger Nageswara Rao Review: Tiger That Doesn't Roar

Movie: Tiger Nageswara Rao
Rating: 2/5
Abhishek Agarwal Arts
Cast: Ravi Teja, Anupam Kher, Gayatri Bharadwaj, Nupur Sanon, Renu Desai, Nassar, Murali Sharma, Jisshu Ssengupta, Sudev Nair, Harish Peradi & others.
Dialogues: Srikanth Vissa
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
DOP: Madhie
Action: Ram Lakshman, Peter Hein, Joshuva, Venkat, Rahul
Editor: Kotagari Venkateshwara Rao
Production Designer: Avinash Kolla
Produced by: Abhishek Agarwal
Written and Directed by: Vamsee
Release Date: Oct 20, 2023

For the first time in his career, Ravi Teja has set his sights on the Hindi theatrical market. By joining the Pan-India release trend with "Tiger Nageswara Rao," he aims to capture the North Indian market.

Let's see if his dream becomes a reality.

India's Intelligence Bureau chief (Anupam Kher) summons a Guntur police officer (Murali Sharma) to Delhi and requests further information about Tiger Nageswara Rao (Ravi Teja), a feared thief who wrote a letter to India's Prime Minister threatening to break the PM's security. So the police officer begins describing the story of Nageswara Rao's childhood, how he became a criminal, how many thefts he committed and in what daring manner, how many murders he committed and for what purpose.

In the second half of the story, the IB chief travels to Stuartpuram and learns firsthand about Nageswara Rao, realizing that the thief sacrificed everything for his town and the well-being of the inhabitants who had been stigmatized as thieves for years.

Along the process, we learn of his love story with Sara (Nupur) and marriage to Mani (Gayatri Bharadwaj).

Artistes’ Performances:
Ravi Tej has the looks and agility to play the dreaded thief and pull off the daring acts. Ravi Teja also plays a younger version of himself, which is partly unconvincing. But he does a good job as an actor.

Not only is Nupur Sanon's story implausible, but the debutante doesn’t impress much. Gayatri Bharadwaj is given a more prominent part than Nupur.

Harish Peradi plays Yalamanda, the evil MLA, in his trademark way. Murali Sharma and Anupam Kher's presence adds nothing to the plot.

Jisshu Sengupta works well as an evil police officer. Nasser gets an unimportant role. Renu Desai appears briefly in the final part.

Technical Excellence:
The film is mounted on a big scale, but beyond dark tones and good artwork (production design), it doesn't offer anything interesting. Perhaps this is the first time that cinematographer Madhie's work has received little praise.

GV Prakash Kumar falls short on both the songs and the background score. The editing is another drawback, and the film is so long that it does little to keep us interested.

Dialogues are not at all effective. Sometimes the actors speak in Rayalaseema slang in a film that is set near Bapatla.

Grand production values
Ravi Teja’s decent act
First few mins of the film

Less of biopic quality
Regular style of mass action stunts
Unconvincing second half
Attempts to make Nageswara Rao as Robin Hood
No thrilling moments

"Tiger Nageswara Rao" is a biopic centered around Garika Nageswara Rao, a feared thief from Stuartpuram, near Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh, during the 1970s and 1980s. Stuartpuram, originally a reformatory colony established during British rule, serves as the backdrop. Films like "Bandit Queen" have authentically depicted the story of a feared bandit, Poolan Devi, and captured her struggles before turning to a life of crime.

"Tiger Nageswara Rao" follows a similar theme of a feared thief but adopts the stylistic approach of "KGF," with individuals discussing the thief's story at a table. Director Vamsee has taken inspiration from "KGF" to craft a biopic, though the challenge lies in portraying a believable story, especially when it revolves around a thief who doesn't fit the traditional hero mold. This aspect makes it difficult for "Tiger Nageswara Rao" to resonate with the audience.

While the initial hour of the three-hour film is engaging, the narrative loses its grip when the director attempts to glorify Nageswara Rao's 'Robin Hood' deeds while intertwining a love story between Ravi Teja and Nupur Sanon.

The film portrays Nageswara Rao initially as someone driven by insatiable sexual desires, frequenting places known for prostitution. His romantic interest in Sara, a college girl, seems forced and unconvincing. 

The story reveals that Nageswara Rao started his life of crime at the age of eight and even killed his father during a failed robbery attempt.

In the second half, the director attempts to portray Nageswara Rao as a complex character who had reasons for his criminal actions. However, this approach seems formulaic for a typical action film, not fitting for a biopic.

Despite some daring heists, the film fails to present compelling incidents from Nageswara Rao's life. An episode where he enters the Prime Minister's office and an improbable subplot involving an Intelligence Bureau Chief Officer further weaken the narrative.

The film's attempts at depicting Nageswara Rao's reform and the involvement of Renu Desai are ineffective. The subplot involving an Intelligence Bureau Chief Officer's investigation in Stuartpuram feels illogical and culminates in an oddly positive portrayal of Nageswara Rao.

Despite its grand setting and engaging initial hour, "Tiger Nageswara Rao" struggles to maintain audience interest. The excessive three-hour runtime only amplifies the film's shortcomings. It lacks the depth expected of a biographical film and leans more towards a conventional commercial movie, becoming tedious and uninspiring as the story unfolds.

Bottom line: Tedious Watch


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