Biopics on film actors is a rarity in the South Indian film industry. When it is a biopic, you need to talk about both the positive and the negative side of them. Nag Ashwin’s boldness to show both the sides in a poignant way is what Nadigaiyar Thilagam’s USP is.
Though the film moves at a leisurely pace, you don’t find it boring. And even when the second-half has a lot of sad scenes, your attention doesn’t divert one bit.
The complexity in the Gemini Ganesan and Savitri relationship is dealt extremely well. Though it might seem a little too dramatic, Nag Ashwin deserves a pat for portraying a complex story in a neat and graceful manner.
There are a few scenes that are over the top and could have been toned down a bit. Few characters like the one who plays Samantha’s father look misfit. And a few heroine glorification scenes in the first-half constantly remind that it is just a film and nothing more than that. But the second-half is where you get emotionally attached to the script and you are most likely to fall in love with Savitri towards the end when there is a recap of her entire life.
Dulquer needs to be appreciated for accepting a bold role as this. It is a biopic on a heroine and his character also has a dash of negative shade to it but he has completely lived the role. Cameos from Naga Chaitanya and other actors have been beautifully twined with the script without overdoing it.
Keerthy enacting Savitri’s Mayabazaar, Missiamma, and other film character roles are likely to be a few stand-out moments. Samantha does have an important character and the climax scene where she talks about Savitri is so heartwarming. Vijay Deverakonda who plays Samantha’s love interest, with his usual charm delivers a neat performance that deserves a special mention.
The film purely belongs to Keerthy Suresh; she might go on to make many more blockbuster movies but this will definitely be an important film in her career. She has literally shown the modern generation who Savitri is and what she is capable of. She has given her heart and soul and has finally found a role that could showcase her talent. From being an innocent child-like 14-year-old to a 45-year-old alcoholic, Keerthy has shown a wide range of emotions with absolute elan and ease.
The set work, costume designing, music, cinematography and make up - all the departments have done their part admirably well and given exactly what the script has demanded.