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Times of India
Nene Raju Nene MantriStory:
Nene Raju Nene Mantri is the story of Radha Jogendra (Rana) and the love of his life, Radha (Kajal). His whole world revolves around her and he can go to any lengths to make her happy. But what happens when such profound love takes the shape of cavernous ambition?
Nene Raju Nene MantriReview
: Jogendra (Rana) is a cunning moneylender, who has an innocence that’s rare to find these days. His wife, Radha (Kajal) has a heart of gold and it’s easy to see why the protagonist is heads-over-heels in love with her. It is established right in the beginning that there is no Jogendra without his Radha. He even calls himself Radha Jogendra to emphasise the fact.
The day his beloved Radha is insulted by the Sarpanch’s wife and the couple loses something precious to them, he just snaps. This moment is like the calm before the metaphorical faeces hit the fan. Born in Jogendra now is a political ambition that sees no end until it secures the Chief Minister’s seat, destroying everything that comes in its way.
Filmmaker Teja has done a beautiful job of sketching out the characters of Jogendra and Radha. The decay of innocence in Jogendra and the rise of something powerful yet ruthless in its place is an experience equivalent to a slow burn. Radha is so blindly in love that she doesn’t realise his downfall until it’s too late. When she does realise that and warns him about it, he’s in no position to listen to her.
The whole political angle of the story, with numerous characters coming together to plot his ruin, seems like a pesky annoyance in an otherwise beautiful movie. The first half has everything right, until Jogendra does something so out of character that everything begins to fall apart from there. What begins as a stylish film, especially catering to Rana’s fans, gets a little tiring in the second half.
Catherine Tresa’s character as journalist Devika Rani seems to be conveniently added just to move the plot whenever needed and fill the glamour quotient. Her character is messy and there seems no thought put into it at all. The movie could have been considerably shortened; the climax could have done without the unrealistic plot points where social media activism saves the day and Catherine’s character could have done without objectification. Sadly, we get all that and more.
Watch the movie if you love the mush because Jogendra and Radha remain the core of this film. But if you’re expecting an out-and-out political thriller, prepare to be disappointed.