Narthanasala is one of the greatest ever films made in Indian Cinema and it is one of the best representatives of the greatness of Telugu filmmakers in the similar vein to Mayabazaar. While Mayabazaar was a representation of the Telugu culture at the grassroots level, Narthanasala which is mostly based on Andhra Mahabharathamu is the depiction of the greatness of Telugu language and the ability of Telugu artists.
In that era, N. T. Rama Rao who played the dual role of Brihannala and Arjuna displayed an acting tour de force of the highest quality and the film is known for its Santha Rasa and Veera Rasa. Especially the way Brihannala role was aesthetically portrayed by N. T. R. and designed by the filmmaker and makeup team is an example for cinema as high quality art work. Great songs and the brilliant poems (padyas) written by Thikkana centuries ago and Ghantasala’s soulful rendering all make the climactic battle an exhilarating ride.
It is no wonder, Nata Simha Balakrishna chose that film for his directorial debut in 2004. The unfortunate death of Soundarya who was set to play Draupadi in an accident made it got shelved. Balakrishna said many times he couldn’t find another actress than Soundarya to play a role immortalised by the legendary Mahanati Savitri. But the time has now come.
Balayya is already 60. As energetic as he is now, age was showing in NTR: Kathanayakudu. So, he better start considering making Narthanasala again. Now Keerthy Suresh who portrayed Savitri in Mahanati could pull off the role. Or if mature actresses are needed, though she might not have done a decade ago but Nayanathara can be roped in for the role. She has grown in her acting prowess and stature. Balakrishna is still irreplaceable for Pouranick roles with his impeccable dialogue delivery and the knowledge of Indian Itihasas.
NBK108 can well be a possibility if the industry grapevine (in hush hush voices) turns out true. Let’s hope so.