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Maestro review: Telugu remake of Andhadhun works despite playing it safe

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Maestro Movie Review: Nithiin plays the blind pianist in this remake of Sriram Raghavan’s Bollywood hit.

By Haricharan Pudipeddi

POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 1:56 PM IST

Merlapaka Gandhi’s Maestro is an extremely safe remake of Ayushmann Khurrana’s Andhadhun. While he makes no effort to leave a lasting impression, he still functions as a fairly good entertainer. Minor adjustments tailored to Telugu sensitivities help Maestro stay true to the original to a large extent, but audiences are also spoon fed a lot.

Arun (Nithiin) is a blind pianist in Goa, living with his cat. He makes a living playing music in local restaurants and dreams of going abroad. He gets the opportunity to play in a restaurant owned by Sophie (Nabha Natesh) and her father Pedro (Balakrishna). Naresh plays an aging superstar called Mohan, who enjoys revisiting his old movies and living in the memories of a lost celebrity. Simran (Tamannaah Bhatia) plays his much younger wife who aspires to be an actress. The film also features Jisshu Sengupta as a corrupt IC called Bobby while Sreemukhi plays his wife. But things get crazy when a murder ties the fates of all these characters together.

What’s refreshing about Maestro by Telugu cinema standards is that all of his characters are gray, and it’s extremely difficult to know who is less worthy of cheering for. It’s not a movie that doesn’t expect its hero to be morally fair, and Nithiin had fun playing such a character. Even Tamannaah plays a negative character and that’s something she’s not very popular for in mainstream cinema.

However, Maestro could have done better in the way he handled the dark humor, which seems less up to standard compared to the original film. It’s like the remake needs a better writer to bring out more freshness in the dark comedy space.

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In terms of performance, Nithiin and Tamannaah score all the points. The two complement each other in roles we rarely see them in, and they hold up in a movie that relies heavily on the performances of the lead actors. Nabha, too, gets a decent role, for which she is well chosen. The film could have been a lot more impactful if it hadn’t taken the safer route.

Maestro
Director: Merlapaka Gandhi
To throw: Nithiin, Nabha Natesh, Tamannaah Bhatia and Naresh

tt: 10

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