NOTA Review & Rating|
NOTA Review: None of the Expected
What to expect from a film when a sensational young talent from other language makes his debut in Tamil with a serious political drama? In all common sense, we generally think the film acts as a good platform for the young man. NOTA was expected to be one such film with a boy wonder from Tollywood, Vijay Devarakonda is said to have played the role of a Chief Minister in this serious political thriller. With a stellar support cast made of seasoned actors like Sathyaraj and Nasser played crucial roles, a lot is riding on this film for the director Anand Shankar who has yet to set the box office ablaze with his films.
NOTA is the story of a youngster who accidentally becomes the Chief Minister of the state and is caught up between various corrupt parties. He is a regular youngster who parties at nights and tries to make most of his youth like all of us. Vijay Devarakonda has built his career with a couple of new age films in Telugu and handled the image those films brought him with a devil-May-care attitude and a couple of wise choices. Rather than continuing on the path set by Arjun Reddy, how he handled his next film Geetha Govindan talks volumes about his choices. Let’s see how he handled his Kollywood debut through this bilingual with NOTA review.
The accidental CM
Varun is the son of the Chief Minister of the state. He is like other guys of his age and takes life like most of them. When a political scenario happens, his father thrusts him into the coveted seat of the state, the crown of Chief Minister. When he’s seen with girls and drugs, he’s quickly dismissed as a worthless CM by the opposition. But none with self-respect, especially the present day youth, doesn’t leave things run for themselves when things are going astray. Varun slowly builds up his style and try to establish order among the mess.
The Rowdy CM
But like any other politicians, his rivals and enemies keep scheming against him. When his father is seriously injured in a terrorist attack, Varun vows to become the Rowdy CM, a reference to Vijay Devarakonda‘ real-life catchphrase/description of himself. There are some good scenes like how the accidental CM tackle the serious flood issue with help of the city youth. Priyadarshi’s brilliant act as hero’s friend and his investigation of black money issue and a reference to Panama haven. Mehreen Pirzada is wasted in a smaller role that of a young idealistic journalist. Do We Need Sathyaraj’s Love Story in a film like this? It doesn’t add anything worthy to the narration despite the senior actor’s reliable performance.
May off-put the Telugu audience
The political talk and schemes are seen in numerous movies already and they do nothing to help separate the movie from other such entries. The Tamil native flavour may off-put some of Vijay’s fans in the Telugu version. The camp politics though handled in an intriguing manner by the director, we get a feeling of déjà vu. The film which started as a satire on politics took itself way too seriously for its own good in the second half. It mired in self-indulgence by the time the climax rolls out. Actors like Rajendran did what’s expected of them. But the film turned out to be a less than a satisfactory affair with the chaotic mess in certain areas which if handled well could have made the film a memorable launch for the hero in Tamil Cinema.
Music, except for the theme, didn’t live up to the expectations. The songs are not good and are just used to introduce the hero and like breathing space. The background score is decent in many scenes. The cinematography by Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran, the son of noted cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran, did a fine job. But there are no sparks visible. The production values give a feeling that the film is made on a tight budget. Not bad. But not that good too. Editing should have been crisp. Art and production departments did a commendable job. Especially, the scenes where floods are shown are conceived quite well.
All in all, NOTA is a film that banked on the stardom of its young star and not on a proper narration. The screenplay has its ups and downs. The narration comes across as a relative mess. Certain scenes feel half-baked. Other than the performances, there is no spark in the film. You can watch it in your leisure or if you have no other options. Other than that, NOTA is like the NOTA Option on the Electronic Voting Machine. You get the point!
It may be wrong not to talk about the performance of the hero in this film. Vijay Devarakonda as Varun/Chief Minister did a fine job. But the film has no suitable role for him.
NOTA Critic Reviews
NOTA User Reviews
NOTA is one of the highly talked about and awaited films of the season what with the Kollywood debut of the young sensation of Tollywood, Vijay Devarakonda. Touted as a political with a relevant subject matter for the present-day scenario in Tamil politics, NOTA arrives today amidst huge expectations. The movie is said to be highlighting some of the important political happenings in Tamil Nadu. Vijay Devarakonda owned the Rowdy CM role. The politics and the related satire, drama portrayed in the film are definitely more relevant and topical to Tamil Nadu.
The unanimous verdict about the film is Vijay Devarakonda's performance and his charisma. Most of the early watchers say that it is tough to take the eyes off Vijay. Such is his screen presence. The political thriller is sure to strike a chord with the youth as it has many currently relevant elements. One of the highlights of the film is the tackling of the flood sequence. But there are few negative comments here and there like the presentation is amateur in nature. Lots of promising actors not utilised properly. Not at all engaging though gist is appreciable.
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What is NOTA about?
NOTA is mostly about Vijay Devarakonda and then a bit more. He is the latest sensation in the neighboring Tollywood. Known for his aggressive outlook and devil-may-care attitude, he stole the hearts of millions of youngsters. He is known to Tamil audience through the films like Arjun Reddy and Geetha Govindam whose Telugu versions are released in Tamil Nadu.
Now, saying that to say his thanks to the love showered upon him by the Tamilians, Vijay Devarakonda is coming up with a direct Tamil film albeit through a bilingual. With two of the Tamil Cinema stalwarts in the form of Sathyaraj and Nasser in strong support roles which are polar opposite in characters, NOTA is expected to be a perfect launch for the young star.
The usual padding like the romantic angle is covered through the heroine Mehreen Kaur Pirzada who appears to play a journalist, Rajendran in another supporting role with his usual antics, and the dependable Priyadarshi (another talented Telugu actor) wrap up the cast in this Anand Shankar film.
What to expect from NOTA
An intense political drama
NOTA or None of the Above is one of the much talked about things in the Indian elections though it doesn't have much significance in the wider political game as even when a candidate gets a single vote in a constituency of 1,00,000 voters and all the votes polled, if the others fail to gain a single vote, he will become the legislator from the constituency. Similarly, a nobody is elevated to the top throne in a state, that of the Chief Minister, everyone expected that he is just a dummy for the party leader who really expects to wield the power.
But as a young man, the hero wants to keep the things in order and do good to the people who actually elected the leaders. None of the seniors accept this as they don't want the corrupt system to change, that too because of a novice. The villain played by Nasser proclaims to that extent saying a leader who is twenty years in the public life doesn't let a rookie run the show. So, it is the fight of an aggressive youngster with a proper attitude with the seasoned politicians who treat him like the NOTA in the wider Indian electoral system.
A Vijay Devarakonda Show
Vijay Devarakonda raked up bucks like no other younger actors of his age did in a long time. Such was his stardom that he is already earmarked to reach the upper echelons of the stardom. With a proper film, he is now being introduced to the Tamil audience. He is sure to grab the chance with both hands. Expect a power-packed performance from him. Given a success, he is no stranger to it, he will become a viable and saleable star in Tamil Cinema and a true face for South Indian Cinema.
Anand Shankar and his team
With films like Arima Nambi and Irumugan, Anand Shankar proved himself to be a director of talent who can conjure up high concepts and different narrative styles. The young filmmaker has his task cut out as the expectations on NOTA reached the sky-high. And he assembled not just some of the biggest acting talents but also a team worthy of such hype like music director Sam CS., cinematographers like Santhana Krishnan and Ravichandran.
The music will surely play an important role in upping the tempo in this political thriller and the cinematography gives it an atmosphere. From what is evidenced by the trailer, both these departments play an important role in the visual narration of this film. Studio Green is no stranger for producing films and NOTA s going to be another high-quality production from them.
Both Nasser and Sathyaraj are known to Telugu audience by playing some prominent roles in Telugu films and many Tamil dubbed films. These veterans alongside some of the young talents will add the required padding in the acting department. With a senior and legend like Nasser opposing him on the screen, Vijay Devarakonda's final triumph will taste even sweeter.
Watch this space for NOTA review, rating, and complete analysis. Be right back!