Bharat Ane Nenu Review: A celebratory film that marks Mahesh Babu's return to form
This political drama about an idealistic youngster, who takes the reins of the state, is worth watching if only for the lead actor's sensitive portrayal
Set in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, Bharat Ane Nenu is a political drama about an idealistic, enterprising modern-day youngster, who takes the reins of the state when his father, the Chief Minister, dies. The neatly-written fictitious story showcases a handsome foreign-bred Bharat Ram, who despite having five masters degrees, has the humility to say 'I don’t know.' He is someone who believes in accountability and not breaking a promise. The film is about hope and redemption.
Direction: Koratala Siva
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Kiara Advani, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh
Mahesh Babu brings sensitivity to his character. He is someone who has no fear and proves to be a fast learner. There is a sense of earnestness about the character and a fierce passion for good governance without resorting to stereotypical morality. At the same time, Bharat is also a generous and amiable youngster trying to make his way through a somewhat lonely life, and understand the complexities of the responsibilities thrust on him.
What is hard to believe is how someone with no political experience is the right one for the most important job in the state. But if you enjoyed films like Shankar’s Oke Okkadu (1999) and the Rana Daggubati-starrer Leader (2014), where the protagonists administer the oath as the chief ministers for some hours/days and try to bring in reforms with their idealistic schemes, then this film, too, could work for you.
After assuming the office, Bharat finds a way to crack the whip on traffic violators by drastically increasing penalties. The film also touches upon several contemporary issues like dynasty politics, regulation of school fees, providing medical aid to villagers, bureaucracy, corruption and vigilance. It also stresses on the point that there's no need to get hysterical or sensationalise if a Chief Minister loves a girl, and it makes us believe that change is possible with the right leader in office. The scenes involving Brahmaji and Mahesh appear funny, and the village episodes speak volumes about the outrageous reality of our system.
On the flip side, the film tends to lose steam after Bharat's press meet episode. Unlike Koratala’s earlier movies, this film doesn’t tackle the depth of human emotions. Much of the narration is predictable and hackneyed, and the climax is protracted and over-dramatised. In Srimanthudu, Harsha, who isn't keen on taking over the reigns of his father's business empire, enrols for rural development course. In Bharat Ane Nenu, the protagonist, though, he initially refuses to be the CM, due to his awareness of how life is structured in London, becomes the political heir of his party. Koratala, therefore, takes the trouble to present Mahesh as a well-mannered English-speaking youngster belonging to a high-profile family. But, hey... both Harsha and Bharat can fight like a typical Telugu commercial hero.
Debutante Kiara Advani as Bharat's girlfriend plays her role with grace. The scene where she tries to find out if the caller is, in fact, CM Bharat will leave you in splits. Mahesh Babu shines with his understated performance and brings in a lot of maturity to his character. After Rangasthalam, Prakash Raj once again exhibits sheer brilliance with his subtle act.
Devi Sri Prasad’s music and Ravi K Chandran and Tirru’s cinematography perfectly complement each other, and the narrative.
Mahesh Babu, after a couple of box office failures, has at last delivered a celebratory film that should have better luck. Bharat Ane Nenu may well be his ticket to success.