A recent biopic, Nadigaiyar Thilagam is an Indian bilingual that released in theatres, May 2018 in Telugu and Tamil. Based on the story of the late actress Savitri, the movie is an emotional whirlwind of a celebration of the great human being Savitri was.
The plot follows Madhuravani, a reporter as she gets assigned a story on the actress in a coma as she chances upon a historical life story hidden behind the elegant superstar.
I refuse to recite the story of the actress or the movie here but instead, urge you to go watch and find out. That is how brilliantly the movie has been written, directed, shot and edited.
For instance, as I sat watching the movie, the first scene was all it took for me to fall in love. The brilliant cinematography in every single shot, flawless editing that makes it seem like an authentic period film from the time and an inspiring direction. All that from just the first scene that gave me goosebumps as I sat there watching.
Rather than just tell the audience the story of the late actress, the movie stands almost as a judge of the human being she was and her character.
While it didn’t seem to be box office hits, the music by Mickey J Meyer blends subtly with the film, taking it to a whole new level.
What truly stands out about the film, however, is the attention to every minute detail. Right from the coloring to represent the period, the costumes, the props, the sets and even the makeup, it is very clear how much attention was given to each detail in the film. Especially when pictures from the movie and real life are shown together in the credits, the resemblance is almost uncanny. (Minute details like getting Naga Chaitanya to play his granddad Nageshwara Rao stand out and showcase the brilliant direction by Nag Ashwin). Even the changes in her body that were an important part of the actresses real life are represented subtly and rendered flawlessly.
Cinematography by Dani Sanchez-Lopez and editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao stand out brilliantly, encapsulating the audience into the film itself.
And of course, it would be a huge overlook to not mention the outstanding acting by everyone in the crew, especially Keerthy Suresh as the late actress Savitri and Dulquer Salmaan as the late actor Gemini Ganesan. Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Devarkonda, Rajendra Prasad, Bhanupriya, Prakash Rah, Naga Chaitanya and everyone part of the film delivers flawless performances.
What was maybe a bit of a let down in the film was how the direction took the story away from the life of the late actress Savitri to Madhuravani putting the story together. With a smoother flow, it could have been a more emotional event.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this one. I give it a 4.5/5.