Review: Nadigayar Thilagam-  Raw & real

By Santhosh Mathevan Published on May 11, 2018 05:08 PM IST

Nadigaiyar Thilagam, a bio-pic on veteran actress Savithri is like taking a travel in a time machine to get engaged and entertained. Anger, agony, disappointment, sacrifice, rise and fall of Savithri are well-documented by filmmaker Nag Ashwin.

Keerthy Suresh plays Savithri, while Dulquer Salman essays Gemini Ganeshan. Becoming Savithri for an actor of this era is intensely labourious. You have to transform into the person who was playing the role of a luminary onscreen, as well, a true luminary off the screen. Three cheers to Keerthy suresh for pulling it off well.

Dulquer's body language as Gemini can fetch him the title 21st century's Kadhal Mannan. Nag Ashwin should be appreciated for an apt casting  casting. The movie also has Samantha, Vijay Deverakonda, Prakash Raj and Naga Chaitanya in pivotal roles. But, the lead pair captures the presence throughout.

For director Nag Ashwin, whose Mahanati/Nadigaiyar Thilagam being just his second feature film, is a bold attempt in his career that would stretch for next few decades. One cannot simply show how rude and egoistic was a superstar like Gemini Ganesan, in his real life. He has even taken a giant step to portray an iconic filmmaker like L V Prasad making a wrong decision as a director and apologising (in a subtle fashion) for the same.

For this parallel narrations, you get to experience the frequent transformation of colour tones in three different formats. The 1980's track of the story has an Eastman-coloured frame relating to that time period. While the film-shooting frames are in grayscale and, the  biopic track is on a magical scale - a real visual illusion. It is a collaborative workmanship of cinematographer Dani Sanchez-Lopez, editor Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao and the DI colourist, that you behold.

Nadigaiyar Thilagam has a narrative that is offbeat. You can witness an Uthama-Villainisque narration where the screenplay toggles between two parallel stories and there is a philosophical connection between the two. This is where, Nag sells the movie, that takes a lifetime to make.