Savitri is deemed as the Greatest Actress of All-time in Telugu Cinema and has been a Gold Standard for the actresses. But then, the celebrated actress has met a pitiable end to her life as she became alcoholic and suffered extreme poverty after her love with Gemini Ganeshan. Mahanati is the Biopic of Savitri's Reel and Real Lives revealed by Madhuravani (Samantha) a journalist working for Prajavani Newspaper.
Keerthy Suresh has delivered a solid performance in the role of the Legendary Actress. She breathes life into the character of the Legendary actress as she gets everything right - Expressions, acting, gait, and emptions. Dulquer Salman is terrific as Gemini Ganeshan. Samantha as Madhuravani, Vijay Deverakonda as her love, Rajendra Prasad as Savitri's uncle, Divyavani as Savitri's mother, Shalini Pandey as Savitri's friend are impressive. Naga Chaitanya as ANR, Mohan Babu as SVR, Prakash Raj as Chakrapani, and others are okay.
Mahanati is more about the unknown facets of Savitri's Real Life. Director Nag Ashwin did extensive research into her life and also tried to be true as much as possible. Slow pace disrupts the film here and there but the audience will connect to her character. The movie stirs emotions after Savitri fails due to Alcoholism and loses every thing due to cheating by her own people and financial mismanagement.
The artwork is appealing with several interesting sets while the songs by Mickey J Meyer are soothing and blends perfectly into the story. The background score suits the mood of the film. Camera work by Dani is very good especially the retro look in the Second half. Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao's Editing is good while the length is a concern, nothing could be done due to the script demand.
Finally, Mahanati is a fitting tribute to the Legendary Actress. The director should be appreciated for introducing the unknown facts about Savitri to the current generation. He got an epic biopic as he got everything right from the research to the cast and the narration. The only issue if any will be the slow pace here and there.