Maestro Merlapaka Gandhi is a very safe remake of Ayushman Huranas Andhadhun. Although he didn’t try to make a lasting impression, he was still a pretty good artist. Minor tweaks to suit Telugu sensibilities help the maestro stay faithful to the original, but the audience eats the spoon, too.
Arun (Nitin) is a blind pianist in Goa and lives with his cat.
He makes a piece of living playing music at local restaurants and dreams of going abroad. He wins a chance to play at a restaurant owned by Sophie (Nabha Natesh) and her father Pedro (Balakrishna). Naresh plays an old superstar named Mohan, who loves to watch his old movies again and lives in the memories of his lost fame.
Simran (Tamannaah Bhatia) plays his much younger wife, who wants to become an actress. The film also features Jisshu Sengupta as a corrupt CI named Bobby, while Sreemukhi plays his wife. But it goes crazy when murder connects the fates of all these characters.
What makes Maestro by Telugu cinema standards is that all the characters are grayscale, and it’s tough to pinpoint who is less rooted. This film doesn’t expect its characters to be morally right, and Nithiin enjoys playing such characters. Even Tamannaah could play a negative character, which wasn’t very popular in mass theatres.
The maestro, however, could be better at handling the black humour, which looks worse than the original film. It looks like the remake needs a better scriptwriter to bring more freshness to the dark comedy space.
In terms of performance, Nitiin and Tamana get all the points.
The two complement that each other in the roles we rarely see. And they are stored in a film that is very dependent on the performance of the main actors. Nabha also got a well-deserved role which she played just right. This film could have been a lot more impressive had it not taken the safe route.
The script is really strength lies in the fact that no one but perhaps Sophie, Mohan and their daughter Pavitra (Ananya Nagala) are not as dangerous as they seem. Each of these characters is ready to cross the line when making some characters more dangerous than others.
So let them act out of self-defence takes away the madness of the way they were formed. Given the essence of the film, it seems the tweak tries to buy the characters even if it ends up bringing them back to the first place. In the course of the film, too, there seems to be a lack of black humour.
Nitiin seems to enjoy playing someone who has no moral sense, even if most of the people he meets look worse than him. It fits the character’s skin well, either when they pretend to be something they aren’t or when they have a nightmare at some point. Nabha’s character pulls out the rug from under, and she behaves in a movie where she is always the last to know something.
Tamana is good because a young woman who crosses the line and crosses it in no time is perfect for most. However, their diction in Telugu distracts and takes away the intensity of certain scenes. The other actors also plays their roles well. Mahati Swara Sagar Vennello Aadapilla’s pursuit makes an impression while the songs and other background music are good.
That’s what he said; Maestro may not be the classic Ilairayaaja number he made himself, but it’s still as interesting as the latest hilarious numbers. It’s worth seeing.