Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya on Netflix, with Satyadev Kancharana: ‘Maheshinte Prathikaaram’ gets a sincere, funny, rooted Telugu remake

Posted on July 30, 2020


When filmmakers move from a micro-budget indie like C/o Kancharapalem to something more high-profile, they sometimes lose themselves in trying to gain a bigger audience. That doesn’t happen with director Venkatesh Maha.

Spoilers ahead…

Given that a lot of Malayalam cinema would practically pass for “art cinema” in the bigger, brasher neighbouring industries that speak Tamil and Telugu, how does one tackle Dileesh Pothan’s Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016)? Two years after the Fahadh Faasil starrer came out, Priyadarshan gave us an answer with his Tamil remake, Nimir. He turned a subtle dramedy into one more suited to his loud, slapsticky strengths. There were laughs, sure, but you also winced if you’d seen the original. The film was shot like a blingy commercial, and Priyadarshan’s stagey, nineties’-style direction felt positively archaic when compared to Dileesh Pothan’s lived-in textures. And now, we have the Telugu remake. Venkatesh Maha, the writer-director who made C/o Kancharapalem, fares much better with this material. He “mainstreams” it, too. But he’s got an eye. He’s got a vision. Most importantly, he’s got sincerity.

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