Mahanati 2018 movie reviews


In Bangalore, 1980, a popular yesteryear actress Savitri is found unconscious by her son. She is hospitalised, spending a year in a coma. The incident receives media attention but Savitri’s initial life and whereabouts remain unknown to the public. Madhuravani, a stuttering journalist, and Vijay Anthony, a photographer, are appointed to write an article about her situation. Madhuravani recovers a letter written by Savitri, in which she wishes to take her son to someone called “Shankarayya.” Though she is later relieved from writing the memoir by her editor, Madhuravani continues her research curiously. She sneaks into Savitri’s house and overhears her aunt talk about her childhood.

In Vijayawada, 1942, a widowed Subadrama and her daughter Savitri are taken in by Subadrama’s sister, Durgamba, and her husband, KV Chowdary, much to the latter’s chagrin. Savitri grows up to become an accomplished dancer and earns a profit for Chowdary by acting in plays with her friend Susheela. The increasing popularity of cinema leads to less attendance for plays, and Chowdary incurs huge losses. He tries to have Savitri join the film industry based in Madras but her young age and inability to speak Tamil hinder her prospects. She, however, meets Ramasamy “Gemini” Ganesan, a studio employee who takes her photograph for a casting directory. A year later, Savitri is cast in a film directed by L. V. Prasad but she gets the dialogue wrong and is thrown out. However, she earns a dancing role for a song in the film Pathala Bhairavi. Her performance in that film helps her in getting major roles.

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