Mahanati Movie Analysis – Love, Ethics and Cinema

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Mahanati is the biopic of legendary actress and the superstar of yesteryear, Savitri. The movie has an ensemble cast of Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salmaan, Samantha Akkineni and Vijay Devarakonda in prominent roles. Rajendra Prasad, Bhanu Priya, Prakash Raj, Tanikella Bharani, Mohan Babu, Naresh, Naga Chaitanya, Shalini Pandey etc. played other important roles. Ashwini Dutt, Swapna Dutt, and Priyanka Dutt produced the film and Nag Ashwin directed it. Please read Mahanati movie review to know more about the film.

Mahanati Story

A struggling investigative journalist Madhuravani (Samantha Akkineni) is given the job to write an article about the popular actress Savitri (Keerthy Suresh). Although initially reluctant to take up the job, Madhuravani is impressed by the personal life of Savitri and decides to take it as a challenge. Consequently, the character of Savitri starts to influence her nature. The rest of the story is about what she found out about Savitri and how does it influence her own life.

Mahanati Story & Character Analysis

Mahanati story starts with an interesting premise as an investigative journalist tries to write an article about actress Savitri. It shuffles between the story of Madhuravani, the personal life of Savitri, and her professional life. The documentary-style narration is gripping at the beginning but soon loses its charm. Although some scenes featuring Madhuravani are great, many seem to be unnecessary. The roles of many prominent personalities of Telugu cinema are restricted to a handful of scenes. However, we couldn’t demand more as the movie is more about Savitri.

The love story and marital life of Savitri have been the central theme of the movie. It is not easy to portray the controversial relationship of Savitri and Gemini Ganesan on-screen and convince the audience. The movie does a fantastic job of presenting the conflict without villainizing any character. The character development and execution are extremely natural and authoritative.

The scenes featuring Madhuravani and Anthony, particularly in the second half of the movie come as breaks in the otherwise engaging story of Savitri. The dialogue modulation of Vijay Deverakonda spoils the 70s environment of the movie. Also, the chemistry between Samantha and Vijay Deverakonda appears to be fabricated. Although the third-person perspective of storytelling is subjective, it takes away the immersive experience of watching a biopic. The thread featuring the life of Savitri couldn’t be any better as her life is vast and it’s practically impossible to portray everything on screen.

Mahanati Performances

Keerthy Suresh

Keerthy Suresh has given the finest performance in recent times, and she deserves every award this year. The portrayal of the greatest Telugu actress itself is a challenge of a lifetime. She has lived the role as a teenager, adult, and middle-aged woman, by convincingly changing the body language without overacting. Apart from the performance, she looks very much like Savitri. Overall, it’s the best role any actress could ask for in the current generation, and Keerthy Suresh gave her best.

Samantha and Dulquer Salmaan

Samantha does another challenging role of a stammering investigative journalist who has to get over her fears. Her character develops over time and she has done a very good job in portraying it. Her acting, particularly during the climax is commendable. Dulquer Salmaan looks natural in the role of Gemini Ganesan. A role where the character should never feel guilty of his actions and a bit philosophical. In other words, his character is a free soul devoid o This is probably the most interesting character in the movie as it has multiple shades, and Dulquer performs to perfection.

Vijay Deverakonda and Others

Vijay Devarakonda appears no different than his previous films. Although his costumes and dialogues give a feel of the 70s, he just pops out of the role with his acting and dialogue modulation. His mannerisms could have been better if they have followed that of Shoban Babu or Krishna, but his character was designed with a lot of current generation attitudes which didn’t fit into the environment. Mohan Babu plays the role of SV Ranga Rao which could have been better. Naga Chaitanya delivers a good performance in the role of ANR, but his regular body language is prominent in some scenes. Rajendra Prasad impresses with his performance. Tanikella Bharani and Prakash Raj justify their roles as usual. Most other characters are minor or limited and they did justice to their part.

Mahanati Technical Analysis

The script work is good and has a lot of research and devotion behind it. Dialogues are an asset to the movie. The background music by Mickey J Meyer elevates the film to the next level. The makeup and costumes are good and perfectly sync with the timeline of the film. Art direction is realistic. Editing is good. The cinematography deserves special mention. The lighting and the color palette are outstanding. You can read more about Mahanati Cinematography in a special article. The scenes shot in low lighting conditions are notable. The production values are great and the Direction is excellent. Nag Ashwin will become one of the greatest directors of this generation for sure.


Mahanati is one of a few movies of this generation that are made for the love of cinema. The movie features the rise and fall of the legendary actress Savitri beautifully presented through rich visuals and soulful music. Overall, it is going to remain a classic for decades to come.


Director: Nag Ashwin

Date Created: 2018-05-09 11:00

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Pavan Teja
Pavan Teja is a content writer with experience in various topics such as films, politics, health, fitness, beauty, religion, science & technology, make money online, english to telugu translation, etc. He previously worked as Telugu film analyst and is currently working as an assistant director.

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