- 2 hr 57 min
Mahanati is a 2018 Indian Telugu language biographical film written and directed by Nag Ashwin. Starring Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and Vijay Deverakonda, the film charts the life of South Indian actress Savitri, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1950s and 60s. The film opens with Madhuravani (Samantha Ruth Prabhu), a journalist for a leading newspaper, who is tasked with writing an obituary for Savitri (Keerthy Suresh), who has just passed away. As Madhuravani begins to research Savitri's life, the film takes us back to her childhood, where we watch her dream of becoming an actress. Despite opposition from her strict uncle, Savitri perseveres and manages to catch the eye of legendary director C. Pullaiah (Rajendra Prasad). From there, Savitri's career takes off, and she becomes one of the most sought-after actresses in the Telugu and Tamil film industries. Along the way, she falls in love with and marries fellow actor Gemini Ganesan (Dulquer Salmaan), but their relationship is far from smooth sailing. The film explores the complexities of their marriage and the toll it takes on Savitri's personal and professional life. Mahanati also delves into the gender politics of the film industry in the 50s and 60s, as Savitri navigates a male-dominated industry and fights for fair pay and better treatment for women. Her relationship with her mother (played by Bhanupriya) is also explored, as she struggles with her mother's disapproval of her career and her own feelings of guilt at not being able to spend more time with her family. Throughout the film, Keerthy Suresh gives a mesmerizing performance as Savitri, perfectly capturing the actress's beauty, charm, and vulnerability. Dulquer Salmaan is also excellent as Gemini Ganesan, bringing depth and nuance to his character, who is both charming and flawed. Samantha Ruth Prabhu delivers a solid performance as Madhuravani, who serves as both the narrator of the story and a character in her own right. The film's cinematography is stunning, with cinematographer Dani Sanchez-Lopez capturing the glamour and grandeur of 50s and 60s South India. The production design, costumes, and music also help transport the audience back to that era. Mahanati is a fitting tribute to Savitri, who was not only a talented actress but also a pioneering figure in the film industry. The film manages to capture both the highs and lows of her life, from her meteoric rise to her tragic downfall. It is an emotional journey that will leave audiences feeling both moved and entertained. In conclusion, Mahanati is a well-crafted biopic that is worth watching not just for its outstanding performances and technical brilliance but also for its portrayal of a woman who made history in the film industry. It is a must-watch for fans of biopics, Telugu cinema, and Indian cinema in general.