OTT Film: Narappa
Narappa Cast: Venkatesh, Priyamani, Nassar, Rao Ramesh, Karthik Rathnam, Rajeev Kanakala, Aadukalam Naren
Narappa Director: Srikanth Addala
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Remakes are always a tricky affair. While it's risky to swerve too far off from the essence of the original lest you dilute the impact and leave fans of the original disgruntled, those same fans also expect something different to add to their viewing experience. Plus, if you're catering to whole set of a different, new audience, then you also need to take their tastes into consideration. Honestly, in all of Indian cinema only
Farhan Akhtar's Don comes to mind as a remake that kept the essence of its predecessor intact while also creating its own identity. Thankfully, it didn't need to cater to a different audience, just like Amazon Prime's Narappa, with the core Telugu viewer-base not being too different from the Tamil audience, which saw and loved the original film, Asuran.
So, does Narappa succeed in both retainng the original's essence while also standing out on its own? Well, the answers are yes to the first part o the question, and no to the second, leaving it up to
Venkatesh and in no small extent to Priyamani and the rest of the cast, too, to hold the interest of those who've already seen Asuran.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Narappa is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Narappa review... What's it about
After his younger son kills the head, Panduswamy, (Aadukalam Naren), of a powerful upper caste community from the neighbouring village, who in turn had got his elder son, Munikanna (Karthik Rathnam), murdered for protesting against them for wanting to usurp his land, Narappa (Venkatesh) flees with the former, his wife, Sundaramma (Priyamani), and his brother-in-law, Basavaiah (Rajeev Kanakala), to seek refuge elsewhere, till he realises the only way to keep the rest of his family safe is to face their oppressors.
Watch the Narappa trailer below:
Truth be told, it's only the performances that hold interest for those who've seen Asuran. Venkatesh brings in all his years of experience to define his character, and somehow, someway, make it stand apart from
Dhanush's National Award-winning act. Priyamani is fabulous as his tough-as-nails-wife and the supporting players such as Nassar, Rao Ramesh, Karthik Rathnam, Rajeev Kanakala, Aadukalam Naren more than pull their weight. Other than that, the movie will prove to be an excellent watch for those who've not seen Asuran, with everything from the intense drama and the brutal yet necessary violence to the rural setting, caste-based politics, Narappa's unexpected backstory and the jaw-dropping action in the climax, leaving them rooted to their seats. What's not
Everything mentioned above that proves appealing to those who've not seen Asuran, will prove repetitive for thos who have. I know it's virtually impossible to top a masterpiece, but
Srikanth Addala doesn't even make half an attempt to make Narappa his own film. Even the shots, lighting , cuts and production design are a mirror image of Vetrimaaran's classic. In that aspect, Narappa had to be a good movie, right? It's just not its movie, and that has nothing to do with it being a remake. A true test of a competent filmmaker comes out in such times, and we've had the likes of Farhan Akhtar and Martin Scorsese proving in which new horizons they can take their remakes with Don and The Departed all while ensuring they don't tarnish the originals. BL Verdict
Venkatesh and Director Srikanth Addala's Telugu remake, Narappa, is a terrific watch for those who haven't seen Dhanush and Director Vetrimaaran's original Tamil masterpiece, Asuran. For those who have, it's like swapping the faces and rewatching the same film. I'm going with 3 out of 5 stars.
3 out of 5
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