Srikanth Addala’s Narappa is reminiscent of the Tamil film Asuran in terms of its message but very different in terms of execution. Asuran didn’t leave much scope for a remake, but Narappa plays to its strengths and moves in more ways than one.
Narappa- A Remake of Conviction Tugging at your Sensibility
The story of Narappa has a solid plot, and the structure is executed well. It covers many issues often seen in Indian society, such as caste and class conflicts. The story is set in the backdrop of a village where land demarcates and unites as well. It creates an identity for the villagers, often seen as ostracized and suffering from the despicable evils rooted deep in society.
The pre-intermission attack is well choreographed with lots of raw composition and the characters appearing like animals instead of humans in the convoluted scenes. The background score by Mani Sharma deserves all the appreciation that it can garner.
Both the movie and Narappa’s literature have such a captivating storyline that it tugs at your sensibility. Narappa movie, as a remake of the film Asuran, had immense responsibility of passing such a strong storyline and meaningful story to the audience.
But with his criminal past catching up with him, Narappa has to make a tough decision lest he loses everything that matters the most. Narappa is a father who faces many dilemmas during his life without losing the grace in his demeanour. Venkatesh Daggubati plays his role brilliantly and nails it again after giving some stellar performances in his legendary career.
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Narappa’s Adaptation stays Faithful throughout and Elevates the Momentum
Movie-makers are getting better at distilling a story from different languages to deliver it appealingly. Narappa stays faithful in its storytelling, with the protagonist- Venkatesh portraying the character with no over-the-top moments. Sundaramma has an intriguing sense of perception; Munikanna, the older son, seems more of a naive optimist. Their characters get intertwined in an inevitable clash between strong ideology and beliefs.
Priyamani does a great job as Sundaramma in carrying out her dialogue delivery with ease. She is an astounding performer, someone who we have seen slowly emerge to the firebrand performer that she is now.
Ostensibly, Narappa is not about caste annihilation or a take on how it’s destroying the agricultural sector in India. But make no mistake, as the film unspools itself, these become some of the dominant themes that Narappa dwells on. At the outset, Narappa seems like a telltale of revenge.
I love the way Narappa is adapted for its different tone and perspective. Srikanth Addala has helmed this remake with a lot of sincerity but stays faithful to the original in every way. Narappa is nothing short of brilliance.
Narappa is a film that portrays the current land struggle as it is and does not project any heroic characters. It is a realistic portrayal of a time where goons and police harassed people—many factors in the film steer from our belief that there can be only one hero. The film takes us to where it asks us what we would have done in different situations in the movie – whether it is one of the protagonists or the antagonists.
A seemingly likely story of a group of people from a backward community fighting for their rights against the upper-caste oppressor, Narappa offers some hope that caste conflicts won’t always negatively impact. But the film takes a more complex standpoint on the role of women in such incidents and their contribution in pushing things to that limit.
Narappa isn’t your Usual Narrative with a Standalone Tagline
Narappa is not a film based on caste politics. It is a film about how landowners exploit the landless poor for their gains. It is a film where deserving community members are deprived of their right to land and wealth. But, caste politics is so much rooted in our society that it will always come up when you talk about land, especially if it has to do with the marginalized.
The film highlights the plight of those who can’t assert their identity because of the caste they belong to in any village. The story looks into how they become dependent on those who identify themselves with a tagline like politics.
Narappa is an intriguing movie pertaining to the stark realities of caste and class conflicts in India. It derives its power from the director’s well-crafted roots-oriented screenplay. It is interesting to note how any act of rebellion against the powerful was deemed unpardonable in the past. It was also the time when caste and community identity was strictly followed.
The plot deals with a conflict between different castes that is deeply ingrained in the Indian psyche. The movie relies on a flashback technique to narrate the story of Narappa’s life, where we see how his decisions forever alter his destiny.
Stream It or Skip It?
It’s a real movie that touches the very core of society and exposes its fault lines. It has a strong message for all — the privileged and underprivileged alike. It will make every single person take a moment to think about their arrogance, prejudices and bigotry, in different forms.
How often does an Indian movie make a clear cut statement on caste and class-based discrimination? Even when they do, the message is usually so unclear that it’s lost upon most viewers.