Narappa: An Unnecessary Remake

Vetrimaran’s Asuran was a powerful take on the caste system and made you root for the central character’s quest of protecting his family. Narappa on the other hand is not just an unnecessary remake but also doesn’t work as a standalone film. Director Srikant Addala misses the target by miles. It would have been best if Asuran was dubbed in Telugu instead of being remaked.

The film would have probably worked more in theatres for those who couldn’t  see Asuran. But given that it has released on OTT where you have many other options there are very less chances of Narappa being liked.

The plotline of Narappa is the same as Asuran with no changes at all, just the actors change. Venketash replaces Dhanush as the father who has left his violent past behind and is now living a quiet life with his wife and three children. He is satisfied with farming a small part of land and has no major expectations from life. The only thing he wants to see is his eldest son Munikanna getting married. Munikanna is a hot headed youngster who feels that his father is a coward and isn’t happy with the passive attitude of his father. Since Munikanna is  more aggressive he often gets into fights with an upper class family. During one of these conflicts the situation takes an ugly turn and Narappa and his family are forced to run away. While he is on the run Narappa is pushed to revisit his past which he had left many years ago. This is the basic plot for those who haven’t seen Asuran.

The most glaring thing about Narappa is the shifting of the story to Rayalaseema region. By placing the story in that particular region Srikant Addala adds to the streyotypes that have been associated with that place thanks to dozens of Telugu movies.

Narappa could have been easily placed somewhere else too but the director could only think of Rayalaseema of all the places.

It also doesn’t help that the accents of almost all the actors are inconsistent. Only Rao Ramesh gets the slang right, his scenes are the only ones which make some sort of impression even though they are copy pasted.

Coming to the obvious comparisions Venketash is no Dhanush and the reasons for that are very clear from the first frame. Venketash tries his level best but the performance comes across as laboured. He is no way able to bring the rustic presence of Dhanush. It is not just about histrionics but it is also about the physicality. Dhanush physicality also worked well for the original but here Venketesh’s one comes across as a misfit.

To make matters worse the flashback portions are not even half as impactful as Asuran.  The flashback portions in Asuran were important as it made you understand the reasons behind the lead character’s quietness and why he is the way he is. However here it comes across as not so natural. Venketesh is made to look younger in these scenes but it is hard for the audience to buy it.

GV Prakash’s music was a key element in Asuran but here the songs don’t add much to the plot. The background score is impactful but again it is not something new for those who have seen Asuran.

Technically the film is all right as Shyam K Naidu is able to capture the rusticness of the place and the surroundings.

Narappa just like Asuran gives a message which is very important for the society regarding how education can help you in overcoming the caste barrier. Wonder why they could not take an original story from Andhra Telangana regions.

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