Maestro review: Telugu remake of Andhadhun works despite playing it safe
Maestro movie review: Nithiin plays the blind pianist in this remake of Sriram Raghavan's Bollywood hit.
Merlapaka Gandhi’s Maestro is an extremely safe remake of Ayushmann Khurrana’s Andhadhun. Despite not making any effort to leave a lasting impression, it still works as a good-enough entertainer. The minor tweaks to suit Telugu sensibilities, helps Maestro stay true to the original to a large extent but the audience is spoon-fed a lot too.
Arun (Nithiin) is a blind pianist in Goa, living with his cat. He earns his livelihood by playing music at local restaurants and dreams of going abroad. He earns the opportunity to play at a restaurant owned by Sophie (Nabha Natesh) and her father Pedro (Balakrishna). Naresh plays an ageing superstar called Mohan, who loves re-watching his old films and living in the memories of lost stardom. Simran (Tamannaah Bhatia) plays his much-younger wife who yearns to become an actress. The film also features Jisshu Sengupta as a corrupt CI called Bobby while Sreemukhi plays his wife. But things get crazy when a murder binds fates of all these characters together.
What’s refreshing about Maestro by Telugu cinema standards is that all its characters are grey and it’s extremely difficult to find out who is less worthy of rooting for. It’s not a film that doesn’t expect its hero to be morally righteous, and Nithiin has had fun playing such a character. Even Tamannaah gets to play a negative character and it’s something she’s not quite popular for in mainstream cinema.
However, Maestro could have done better in the way it handled dark humour, which looks more substandard when compared to the original movie. It’s as though the remake needed a better writer to bring out more freshness in the dark comedy space.
Also read: Annabelle Sethupathi review: Taapsee, Vijay Sethupathi bring a quirky horror comedy to life
In terms of performances, Nithiin and Tamannaah score all the points. Both of them complement each other in roles we rarely see them in, and they hold their own in a movie that heavily relies on the performances of the lead actors. Nabha, too, gets a decent part, for which she is aptly cast. The film could’ve been a lot more impactful had it not taken the safe route.
Director: Merlapaka Gandhi
Cast: Nithiin, Nabha Natesh, Tamannaah Bhatia and Naresh