Bharat Ane Nenu movie review: Mahesh Babu film doesn’t quite live up to the promisehttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/movie-review/bharat-ane-nenu-movie-review-mahesh-babu-star-rating-5145037/

Bharat Ane Nenu movie review: Mahesh Babu film doesn’t quite live up to the promise

Bharat Ane Nenu review: It's unclear what Koratala Siva wanted to achieve with the Mahesh Babu starrer. What was the story he wanted to tell? Is it about prevailing dynasty politics in the country? Or a good man's fight to clean up a corrupt system?

  • 2.5
Mahesh Babu in Bharat Ane Nenu
Bharat Ane Nenu movie review: Mahesh Babu plays his character Bharat with ease and makes it interesting by adding his own element to it.

Bharat Ane Nenu movie cast: Mahesh Babu, Kiara Advani, Prakash Raj
Bharat Ane Nenu movie director: Koratala Siva
Bharat Ane Nenu movie rating: 2.5 stars

The heroes in director Koratala Siva’s films have always been rich. Siva makes his heroes engage in battles for a greater good as they don’t have to worry about providing for their families, paying bills or finding jobs. Siva can keep them focused on social issues.

He uses the same gimmick to make his Bharat Ane Nenu protagonist Bharat Ram (Mahesh Babu), the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Bharat is a good man from a rich family. He has lived his entire life in London, far away from his politician father (R. Sarathkumar), his uncaring stepmother (Sithara) and the social evils of his motherland. He is forced to return from his self-imposed exile to Andhra Pradesh as his father, who is also the Chief Minister of the state, has passed away. This leaves a power vacuum in the state. Varadarajan (Prakash Raj), a close friend of Sarathkumar, has to devise a plan to keep the party from falling apart due to internal power struggle.

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Eureka. He persuades Bharat to assume the office of Chief Minister.

Bharat is made the Chief Minister not because he’s a well-read guy with five degrees from London universities or he’s morally an upright and a compassionate person. It’s because his father was a Chief Minister. So, when he’s gone, only his son can succeed him.

The party, the Opposition and the people of the state or the media don’t raise an objection to that decision. Dynasty mentality rules.

Koratala Siva uses dynastic politics to escape creating circumstances which would lead to Bharat emerging as an iconic leader. Bharat is a leader chosen by his gene. Not by the people.

With the help of cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran and Tirru (he joined the cast after Ravi quit the project), Siva beautifully frames towering government offices, making them look more imposing than Bharat himself. It just shows Bharat may have benefited from his lineage but he’s not bigger than the law that allows him to govern the state.

In a scene, a character complains to Bharat about the possibility of the son of a corrupt politician taking over his father’s MLA seat in Rayalaseema. It felt so ironic.

Varadarajan wanted Bharat to be a rubber stamp Chief Minister. Instead, he becomes Frankenstein’s monster.

Siva has managed to create several interesting moments in the film. Like in a scene, before the interval, when Bharat first demonstrates his physical strength throwing over a guy and breaking a glass top table into pieces. For a moment his image becomes blurry and he slowly comes into focus. The action jolts the corrupt politicians to wake up to reality and stop looking at him in a wrong way. He’s not like them. He won’t break promises, cheat or loot people.

In the second half, Koratala Siva unapologetically indulges the fans with Mahesh Babu’s heroics. The Chief Minister asks his security detail not to protect him for 10 minutes as he wants to put his fighting skills to test. And the director has included too many slow-motion shots giving space for the audience to break into claps and whistles.

Mahesh Babu plays his character Bharat with ease and makes it interesting by adding his own element to it. Kiara Advani gets to appear in an unrewarding role as Bharat’s love interest’s Vasumathi. And the rest of the characters are hardly given an opportunity to make a mark.

It’s unclear what Siva wanted to achieve with Bharat Ane Nenu. What was the story he wanted to tell? Is it about prevailing dynasty politics in the country? Or a good man’s fight to clean up a corrupt system? A love story? A family drama? A story of a not-so-shocking betrayal? Or all of the above?

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Koratala Siva grapples with multiple sub-plots that muddles the main premise. The director, who has also written the film, always chooses to circumvent challenges thrown at him by the script. This deprives the audience of a surprise in the film.