Oh what an underwhelming weekend it has been so far! I cannot remember the last time that there have been so many mediocre releases all in a single weekend! It started with Nakaab and has ended with Annabelle Sethupathi so far, and they aren’t just average films/series, they are sounding disasters! And with a hope that I got better content, I moved on to the next release of the weekend. And I have finished watching the new Telugu Film Maestro on Hotstar which is the official Telugu remake of the Bollywood film Andhadhun. Bollywood is often guilty of remaking films generally from down south and so it was interesting for me to witness a bit of a role reversal here. So is Maestro on par or better than Andhadhun, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
Maestro is probably a frame to frame copy of Andhudhun with a little changes here and there. I won’t go into the story details as we all may have seen Andhadhun and for those who haven’t can enter this film with a blank slate. Of course, the story is a winner, there were many fan theories made which is a rarity with Hindi films. The screenplay is a carbon copy of the original here, so the bad news is that I knew exactly how the film was going to unfold. But since it is a frame to frame remake, I didn’t seem to mind it much. But what was missing really was the delicious dark humour which was inherent in the original. Simply the mood of the drama was deliciously dark, something that catered to your tastebuds instantly. Also the ending here has been given a bit of an explanation as opposed to the open end in the original which takes away a little shine off the remake. But then is it a borefest? Absolutely not! The screenplay here does enough to ensure that you are not bored here. It manages to engage you and at times indulge you in the drama too. Yes, it is not as polished as the original, yet this is still watchable. All in all.a decently penned screenplay that manages to engage you in most parts!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are alright, some of them ripped from the original. But somehow I felt it needed slightly better written lines. The music is decent but if I compare it with the memorable soundtrack of Amit Trivedi from the original then it falls short, way short! The BGM is alright. Director Merlapaka Gandhi lacks the finesse of Sriram Raghavan but still manages to do a decent job. I won’t say his direction is brilliant but it is still not bad either.
The performances are alright. Naresh as Mohan is average but he fails to extract the humour unlike in the original. Ananya Nagalla as Pavithra has done a pretty good job in a limited role. Jisshu Sengupta as Bobby is decent but yet again fails to be intimidating or even at times funny as Manav Vij. Nabha Natesh as Sophie looks pretty and does a fine job here. Tamannaah Bhatia had a task getting into an iconic role essayed by one of the best actors ever Tabu who was mesmerisingly wicked in the original. As Simran, she does a fairly good job but the aura of a wicked lady with that dash of oomph is missing here. Some of her reactions seem a bit put on and plastic which goes to show how many shades Tabu was able to bring to her character. Likewise with Nithiin who is pretty good but lacked the charm and ease with which Ayushmann Khurana had pulled off his role in the original. Comparisons are bound to be made but if I just look at this bunch solely then they still have done a good enough job.
Maestro is a decent remake of Andhadhun although it fails to regenerate that deliciously dark humour. If you have watched the original then this can be skipped, if not then this can be watched once. Available on Hotstar.