The last time Mahesh Babu and director Koratala Siva teamed up we got Srimanthudu, the superstar’s highest grossing film. Srimanthudu was a true blue commercial film with a social message thrown in – a formula that worked like magic at the box office. Since then Mahesh Babu’s been down on his luck with two back to back flops –Brahmotsavam and Spyder. In Bharat Ane Nenu, he reunites with Siva, and it looks like they may be able to recreate the Srimanthudu magic.
The trailer already told us that Mahesh plays undivided Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister. Early in the film we see Bharath Ram (Mahesh) return from London to India after his father’s death. Sarath Kumar (in an extended cameo), who plays the father, was also the righteous chief minister of the state. The CM’s chair is now entrusted upon Mahesh by Prakash Raj, a close family friend. He, of course, has his own ulterior motives. The film then follows Bharath as he goes about correcting the deep-rooted issues in the state amid opposition from other politicians and the media.
- Bharat Ane Nenu smartly showcases all of Mahesh Babu’s strengths. In him, we get a stylish, subtle and sophisticated chief minister. In the second half, the two extended stunt sequences, the press meet scene and the ‘Vachadayyo Saami’ song sequence will definitely make all Mahesh Babu fans very happy. In fact, the press meet scene and the numerous digs at media sensationalism will strongly resonate with the masses given the current heated situation in the Telugu states and the raging controversy surrounding Pawan Kalyan and Sri Reddy. The Assembly session and cabinet meeting scenes also work well in the first half.
- In the film, Mahesh is a London-return who is a total stranger to Telugu society. A lot of his dialogues are in English and we don’t often see a CM dressed in well-cut business attire. Mahesh plays a young, new-age politician with great panache and style.
- Director Koratala Siva succeeds in engaging the audience to a large extent despite the 2 hrs 53 mins run-time. He has always been strong in presenting socially relevant themes and writing sharp dialogues. Bharat Ane Nenu is another step in that direction, and the director seems poised for his fourth consecutive success.
- Devi Sri Prasad complements the flow of the film with his background score. The title song and ‘Vachadayyo Saami’ are the film’s best tracks and are also visually appealing.
- The pretty Kiara Advani is a welcome new addition to the South industry. Though her role is mostly restricted to the lover girl, she does well in her limited part.
- Art director Suresh does a great job with recreating the State Assembly. Stunt choreographers Ram – Lakshman know exactly what will please the masses and they deliver. Cinematographer Tirru complements their efforts, particularly in the fight sequence in the theatre (referred as the ‘Durgamahal fight’ by fans on social media). Presenting the hero’s larger-than-life shadow adds to the viewer’s excitement!
- Three of the song sequences – ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘O Vasumathi’ and ‘Ide Kalala Vunnadhe’ – don’t add anything to the film. At best, they serve as loo breaks!
- The runtime of close to 3 hours won’t sit well with all sections of viewers.
- There’s nothing exciting about Prakash Raj’s role – it is somewhat similar to what he got in the recent Rangasthalam.
- There are many other regular known faces in the cast like Rao Ramesh, Posani Krishna Murali, Sithara, Brahmaji, and none of them get anything worth mentioning.
- In terms of story, Bharat Ane Nenu treads the path traversed by some of the other noted films in the political genre.
Rarely do we get to see a big star play the chief minister. In that respect, Bharat Ane Nenu goes beyond the run-of-the-mill star vehicle catered to fanboys. Director Koratala Siva further establishes himself as a sure-shot hit machine. And importantly, it’s a welcome relief for Mahesh Babu and his devoted fans.