Cast: Venkatesh, Rana, Surveen Chawla, Abhishek Banerjee & others
Director: Suparn Verma & Karan Anshuman
Producer: Sunder Aaron
Music: John Stewart Eduri
Release Date : 10-03-2023
Streaming On : Netflix
For the first time ever, Venkatesh Daggubati and Rana Daggubati join their forces for a full-length acting collaboration, albeit it is for a web-series. Titled Rana Naidu, the series has been garnering a lot of curiosity. The series is helmed by director duo Suparn Verma and Karan Anshuman. Venky and Rana’s characters and their enmity drew a lot of curiosity on this dark family drama. Let’s check out what it has to offer.
What’s it about?
Naga (Venkatesh) and Rana Naidu (Rana), father and son respectively, are at loggerheads. Rana hates Naga to the core. Naga gets jailed for a crime he hadn’t committed to. After being in prison for 15 years, Naga walks out and meets his family Tej, Jaffa, Arjun. Only Rana doesn’t accept Naga. Naga is on a mission to reunite his family. What are the challenges that come Naga’s way and why Rana is after Naga? Who are Prince Reddy and Surya Rao? How are they part of Rana and Naga’s past and present?
Rana Daggubati has got an author-backed role Rana Naidu. He effortlessly slips into the role that fixes everything for his clients and family members. His towering personality and on-screen persona did help the character to pull off even difficult tasks with ease. Venkatesh Daggubati has portrayed a never-seen-before or never-imagined-before role. Grey-haired Venky uses cuss words eloquently, gulps alcohol, bangs chicks and encourages his grown-up sons too. Surveen Chawla plays a former actress who gives up her career and settles down as Rana’s wife. Surveen does justice. Aditya Menon is alright as Srini, loyalist of Rana. Sushant Singh, Abhishek Banerjee play Rana’s brothers who have physical and mental ailments respectively. Garav Chopra as superstar Prince Reddy has got a decent role. Asish Vidyarthi plays the most-wanted gangster Surya Rao who is connected with Naga’s past. All the actors including the children of Rana delivered flawless performances.
Based on a thin plot, Rana Naidu is dragged – with some wanted and some unwanted sequences. The hype and build-up aren’t supported by its underwriting. However, the production quality is good. Background music is the highlight of this crime drama. Visuals are largely in dark and they make a great impact and work in the favour. Editing isn’t crispy.
Rana & Venkatesh
What’s Not Good?
Style With Little Substance
Rana Naidu has a potential plot that can work well provided it is written well and characters with arc. The characters are flawed with negative shades. There is sex, nudity, alcohol and profanity. Right from the start, the series sticks to these qualities. Naturally these put us off for family audiences. This is in sync with what the lead actors admitted to during the promotions. Venkatesh and Rana asked the viewers to watch this in isolation considering their soft and family-man image in Telugu audiences.
Rana Naidu is based on American TV Series Ray Donovan. Like its original, Rana Naidu is dark crime and family drama. Here it is all about Naidus with Rana at the centrestage. He commands the power to fix all the problems of celebrities. Rana is the trouble-shooter be it any problem Mumbai. But he couldn’t get seats for his children in elite school. Barring this, he is not tasked with enough challenges. He saves Prince Reddy and targets his father Naga. The cause for this isn’t convincing.
The whole series revolves around the father-son conflict. When we get to know the reasons, it sounds silly and absurd. In fact, one wonders if there are any exact reasons for the split between Naga and Rana. What is Naga’s past? How did he lose his wife and daughter Nithya? Naga’s flashback is incomplete. The series leaves us with several such unanswered questions. The logic goes for toss owing to the liberties taken.
Rana Naidu has face-offs between father-son. These raise curiosity levels in the beginning. But as the story unfolds these just vanish. The characters of OB Mahajan, real-estate baron, rapper have no major relevance with the major story. Yes, this could be much better. There is scope for action scenes and fight episodes whereas Rana and Naga rely only on mind-game rather. The series struggles with its flaws that puts off viewers. There is good usage of Hyderabadi urdu slang. The Hyderabadis could relate to these. But on the whole, Telugu audiences are not used to such bold content and foul dialogues that are all over. Surya Rao’s character brings some tension in the latter portions giving a hope of turning around the series. Whereas, the series ends on expected lines.
Overall, Rana Naidu isn’t for all. Aficionados who admire dark and bold content may be convinced with this. But the final episodes are bland. The climax is especially damp squib. The saving grace is the honesty in the lead characters Rana and Naga and their performances. The series offers little and craves for much more.
Verdict: Not A Gripping Drama From Babai & Abbayi