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Movie Review: Mahanati on Prime Video


Movie Mehanati
Genre Biographical Period Drama
Languages Telugu, Tamil & Malayalam
TNS Score 86.66
Release 2018
Cast Keerthi Suresh, Samantha Akkineni, Dulquer Salman
Director Nag Ashwin


The story is set in a parallel construct between a modern-day journalist, Madhuravani, and a renowned actress, Savitri Ganesan. The film narrates the story of South India’s first female superstar. Her life story is considered one of the most heart-rending romantic tragedies of our times. The film focuses on her journey to become the greatest star, rising from a humble background.


The plot revolves around the life of the Mahanati, measuring her life through a detailed lens. The parallel story that runs along, compliments the narrative as it helps in joining the strings and weave them together, in one whole. True events out of Savitri Ganesan’s life, have been portrayed in a brilliant and heart-rending sequence.

The writer has been able to capture the flavor closest to the true essence of her life. The work certainly deserves its critical acclamation, even though it’s dramatized, the plot has been able to render accurate justice to the inspiring character of Savitri Ganesan. The narrative, when brought together with flawless direction and commendable performance, has come out to be framed in a very well manner.


The perspective rendered by the director, to the script, has an ability to either make or break the entire film. In this case, the director couldn’t have done a better job. The film is given a beautiful perspective with every stage of Savitri Ganesan’s life being told within the authenticity of its true essence.

Right from the beginning, when we see Mahanati’s childhood, the director lays a wonderfully carved foundation for what is to follow. It is said that ‘describing a human being is difficult but understanding the description is much more difficult.’ In this case, the director has done a commendable job in fitting an entire lifetime of a superstar into a movie of 3 hours, without losing its essence. ‘The cinematography complements the narrative by the virtue of its direction,’ and no film other than this one can justify this statement, so aptly.


Keerthy Suresh has done brilliant work in depicting the beauty of the great actress, Savitri Ganesan. She features her life right from adolescence, till the end and it’s amazing to watch the transition through Keerthy’s performance. The naturalism of her performance is so intense that one cannot help but get lost in the age and place, she depicts through her character.

Dulquer Salman has also done a great job, enacting Gemini Ganesan. Furthermore, Samantha Akkineni’s character of Madhuravani who also becomes the binding force of the narrative, rightly gives life to the story, to start with. Other actors including, Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Prakash Raj, etc. have done great work. The child actress, who plays the role of young Savitri, has also done phenomenal work with her character and its required innocence.   


The film was a critical and commercial success, with praise for the performance of Keerthy as Savitri. The film was showcased in the Indian Panorama Mainstream section at the 49th International Film Festival of India and was also screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival. It has also garnered the “Equality in Cinema Award” at the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. At the 66th National Film Awards 2019, the film won three awards, including Best Feature Film in TeluguBest Actress for Keerthy, and Outstanding Costume Design.


This film has absolutely no flaws with an accurate element of drama, romance, tragedy, and subtle comedy. The film will make you go through all the emotions, that life, in general, is made of. It will surely keep you entertained and inspired, right till the end. With amazing direction, milieu, screenplay, writing, and performance, this film can be rightly called a ‘complete package.’ You cannot miss watching the film for multiple reasons and Keerthy Suresh’s work is one of the major reasons. So sit back and get inspired by the life of a Mahanati, Savitri Ganesan.

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