Rana Naidu: A Gripping Father-Son Saga Bolstered By Real-Life Chacha-Nephew Combo

Venkatesh is the icing on the cake!

Rana Naidu (Hindi)

  • Cast: Rana Daggubati, Venkatesh, Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh, Abhishek Benarjee, Gaurav Chopra, and Aditya Menon
  • Directors: Suparn Verma and Karan Anshuman
  • OTT platform: Netflix
  • Number of episodes: 10

Over the years, web shows have not just opened doors for newer stories but also given mainstream actors an opportunity to explore a different facet of their acting skills — something which doesn’t always happen on the big screen.

Rana Naidu directed by Karan Anshuman and Suparn Verma feels a little long with its duration of 10 episodes. The use of swear words and also an overdose of sex scenes get bothersome at times.

But still, there is a lot to enjoy here: particularly, the confrontation scenes between Rana Daggubati and Venkatesh.

I must say, Venkatesh has the guts to play a role that is quite different from his onscreen image.

For those who are not aware, Rana Naidu is based on the English web drama Ray Donavan. Since I have not seen the original, this will be a standalone review.

Synopsis

Rana Daggubati plays a fixer called Rana Naidu whose profession is cleaning up the mess of his high-profile clients. He takes his job seriously and successfully solves the problems of his clients.

But, at home, it is an altogether different story. His relationship with his family — wife and two children — is on tense ground. Adding to his woes is Rana Naidu’s estranged father Naga Naidu (Venkatesh).

Naga Naidu comes out of prison after 15 years for a crime that he did not commit. He has two more sons — played by Abhishek Banerjee and Sushant Singh.

Naga wants to fix his relationship with his sons. This is the story in brief.

A gripping drama

The best part of the Rana Naidu web series is how the undercurrent of the drama is maintained throughout.

As the layers peel off, audiences become more and more excited about what will happen next. There are ample twists and turns that shock you.

Another major highlight of Rana Naidu is the drama generated by the protagonist’s profession.

Gaurav Chopra as the Bollywood superstar may come across as a tad dramatic but the character is deliberately designed in that manner. And it works in the favour of the web series.

The directors also dwell on the different psyches of parents through the characters of Rana Naidu and Naga Naidu. They present some fascinating insights into exploring this aspect.

The confrontation scenes between Rana Dagubbati and Venkatesh, though less in number, still pack a punch.

The face-off between this real-life mama and nephew gives the show some of its best solid moments.

Rana and Venkatesh are top-notch

Rana Daggubati is supremely effective in essaying a protagonist who is torn between his high-profile job and his crumbling family.

He is top notch in not just portraying the menace and the intensity required but also shines in the vulnerable moments — whether it is with his wife and children or with his two brothers.

Venkatesh Dagubbati is equally solid as the wronged father who is at loggerheads with his son. The actor brings a certain warmth to his part beneath all the roughness.

The senior actor also brings much-needed humour to this otherwise serious show.

His Hyderabadi Hindi gives the show some of its most amusing moments. He successfully oscillates between being a chilled-out guy, who is desperate to reunite with his family and someone who is thirsting for vengeance.

Abhishek Banerjee nails it

Although the primary focus is on Rana and Venkatesh, the directors give ample space to others as well. Particular mention must be made of Abhishek Banerjee and Sushant Singh.

Abhishek Benarjee’s Jaffa, a recovering alcoholic, gets abused by a swamiji during his childhood. He is severely affected by those scars.

Sushant Singh’s Tej Naidu is a stuntman with Parkinson’s disease.

Suparn Verma and Karan Anshuman handle the complicated back story of Jaffa with the right amount of sensitivity.

Abhishek Banerjee is someone who is known more for his comic roles. But here, he successfully presents a different facet of himself.

The scenes between the three brothers are filled with a lot of warmth. As audiences, we earnestly want them to come out of their childhood scars.

Surveen Chawla and Ashish Vidyarthi stand out

The supporting cast is equally solid in their parts but the ones who stand out are Surveen Chawla and Ashish Vidyarthi.

As the fierce wife, Surveen Chawla more than holds her own opposite — both Rana and Venkatesh. The refreshing aspect of her character is that she is no pushover at any point.

Ashish Vidyarthi makes a surprise entry towards the end and sends chills down the audience’s spine. The coolness with which he goes about things makes him even scarier.

Too much adult content

The technical department starting from the cinematography and the background score also deserves equal credit for creating the right atmospherics.

What pulls down Rana Naidu is the length of the series. Instead of 10 episodes, the makers should have restrained it to seven. This would have made the web show crisper.

Also, there is an overdose of cuss words and uninhibited sex scenes. This becomes a tad too much to digest.

Final take

In a nutshell, Rana Naidu isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, But, if you are in the mood to watch a twisted family drama, then this one is definitely for you.

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