The Telegu cinema has seen many remakes and many have become super hits like Pedarayudu, Seethakoka Chiluka, Tagore, Gharshana, Dhruva and many more. Suresh Productions too had many remakes to its credit which they have done quite successfully under the visionary producer late D. Ramanaidu and Narappa is one such remake of Tamil hit film Asuran which is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video digital platform.
Munikanna (Karthik Rathnam) and Sinnabba (Rakhi) are the sons of Narappa (Venkatesh) and Sundaramma (Priayamani) who had a land dispute with the affluent landlord Panduswamy (Naren) in the village.
Munikanna being hot-blooded young man induces the wrath of the landlord and gets killed while Sinnabba blames Narappa for being timid and helpless due to which Munikanna was killed.
Sinnabba who wants to avenge the death of his brother turns violent and kills the landlord Panduswamy who is responsible for the killing of Munikanna. The Narappa family flees away from the village with the fear of retaliation from the men of Panduswamy.
How Narappa saves his son from law and the henchmen of Panduswamy who are after his blood and how Narappa regains the confidence of his younger son is the remaining story of the film.
A vintage Venkatesh harnesses all his energies and talent to portray a difficult character that had two distinct shades. He is at his best once again bringing back to the mind the intense characters he has done in Chanti, Dharma Kshetram, and Ganesh. As older Narappa, he scores more marks than the younger version.
As Venkatesh and Dhanush are poles apart in age and performance styles, it’s not fair enough to compare the both as far as performances are concerned. Venkatesh, keeping in mind the limitations he had, has given a stupendous performance and this cannot be contradicted.
Priyamani shines in a deglamourized role that had more scope to showcase her talent and she played the character of Sundaramma with great subtlety and affirmation.
Karhtik Rathnam in a brief role impresses whereas Rakhi around whom the major portion of the story revolves and who was present from the first frame to the last frame all through the film has given a praiseworthy performance.
Rajeev Kanakala too excels in his role as Basavaiah and it’s good to see him in a meaty character after a long time.
Ramaraju, Naren, Deepak Shetty, Sritej, Brahmaji, Nassar, Rao Ramesh, Vasishta Simha as Seena, and Ammu Abhirami as Kannamma have done their best adding the required feel to the film.
Behind the scenes
The original writer Vetrimaaran gets the full credit for the subject and story which effectively depicts the oppression and exploitation of the rich against the poor. The director Sreekanth Addala has succeeded in replicating the original frame by frame and amalgamating it with the regional flavour effectively. Though there were some extended episodes in flashback, Narappa was successful in presenting the emotional quotient and intensity in its fullest form.
Mani Sharma who is known for his background score has made his mark with some amazing score especially the BGM he has composed for some scenes like the one where Narappa and Sundaramma reunite in a temple stand out as highlight along with that signature tune ‘Narakara’ propels the action scenes to the next level.
Sam K Naidu’s cinematography also requires special mention and the colour gradient he used all through the film gave the rustic look it needed which was excellent.
Among the action scenes, the sand fight was the highlight and it was composed well by the action director Peter Hein.
Actually it’s very difficult to match an original super hit film by a remake but Narappa has remarkably carried the original heart, soul, and feel all through the film without any defragmentation. The intensity and heartrending emotions are the hallmarks of Narappa that make it a distinct film that deserves to be watched with an open mind and the invincible performance of Venkatesh gives it the extra edge.