Mahanati Review

Bashpa Vijayan
  • 3.5/5
[contains spoilers]

A movie that speaks about the life of the legendary actress Savitri, is an emotional and a visual treat to the audience. Be it the visuals, costumes, or the nostalgia, the movie has won everyone’s hearts. It takes back an old school person to the time where cinema was evolving rapidly, the 50s and 60s. The struggle each actor has to go through to earn name and fame in the industry is not depicted but is understood from this movie. The movie begins with Savitri’s poverty-stricken childhood and the discovery of the inborn talent that brings her to the stage and later, to the big screen. Although she faces several backlogs during the course, she climbs back up boldly to establish herself in the industry. The real-life situations when her talent left the crew spellbound were also a part of the movie. But the movie mainly revolves around her love life with the famous actor Gemini Ganesan, who helps her enter the industry with a simple photoshoot. He later leaves his wife to marry Savitri but goes on further to cheat on her and thereby, leaving Savitri in pieces. Things go downhill from there and all her property and fame goes down with it. She is left to suffer but she still holds her values dear and helps the needy despite her condition. Her alcohol addiction soon puts her to deathbed and later, kills her. This movie also involves two reporters who discover her true story and brings her immaculate personality to spotlight. They also fall in love by the end of the movie which is said to be inspired by the love life of the personality they covered the story for. Although the movie has done their best as a biopic, the presence of a few fictional characters and scenes made it purely into a commercial piece. Not sticking to the facts also created tension among the families of the stars. This movie shows the legendary actor Ganesan as a man who spends most of his time around Savitri while a majority of the population are aware of the busy lifestyle of a popular actor. Overall, the movie was a visual treat but with better relevance to reality, it could have been a magnum opus.