Narappa movie review: Narappa is a faithful remake of the super-hit Dhanush starrer Asuran. Director Sreekanth Addala ensures that the Telugu version stays true to the original Tamil milieu created by Vetrimaaran, with no attempt to customize it for the Telugu audience.
The core conflict of Narappa revolves around land acquisition by the mighty and how it escalates into a series of problems. In this process, the divide between rich and poor and their class conflicts are well established.
Narappa (Venkatesh) lives with his wife, brother-in-law, two sons, and daughter in a small village in Ananthapur. Pandusamy, the village head, is eying Narappa’s farmland to build a factory. The two families are at loggerheads, and the situation goes out of control. Narappa’s family runs in different directions to save themselves and a cat-and-mouse game ensues. How Narappa handles the situation forms the rest of the story.
In Narappa, Venkatesh has showcased his acting prowess once again. The way he pulls off different variations in different timelines is laudable. Venky’s body language and expressive eyes are the highlights of his performance.
He is ably supported by other principal cast members, including Priyamani, Rajeev Kanakala, Karthik Rathnam and Rao Ramesh, who get meaty portions in the film. However, a few characters remain borderline caricatures in the second half, with their blink-and-miss appearances.
After a string of failures, Sreekanth Addala has delivered something praiseworthy. The dialect, the terrain, the rustic nature of the surroundings, and the whole setting exude reality in this ‘revenge breeds revenge’ tale.
As the film gets underway, you get to thinking about the timeline in which the events are unfolding. When Chiranjeevi’s dance moves in Sangarshana are praised by a character, you realize that it is set in the 80s. Then the director cleverly uses movie posters and references to juggle between the 60s and 80s.
The storyline is predictable, especially in the flashback portions. The pace slackens in the second half, and it inches towards a predictable climax. There are ample typical hero elevations to produce commercial elements.
All in all, Narappa works in parts as a dark and gripping drama. The storyline is old and predictable, but the performances and emotional trail make it a decent watch.