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Tiger Nageswara Rao (2023)

Ravi Teja, known as the ‘Mass Maharaja’, has unveiled his magnum opus, ‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’, marking a significant milestone in his career. Set against the backdrop of real-life events from 1970s Andhra Pradesh, this film is directed by Vamsee and has hit the screens today. Let’s delve into the narrative.


The tale commences with IB Chief Raghavendra Rajput (played by Anupam Kher) strategizing with officials about the security of the Indian Prime Minister, who faces a threat from the ruthless criminal Tiger Nageswara Rao (portrayed by Ravi Teja). Police officer Vishwanath Sastry (Murali Sharma) sheds light on Rao’s transformation into a criminal. The second act offers a different perspective on the dacoit’s life.


Biopics often tread tricky ground in mainstream cinema. However, the creators of ‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’ astound by delving into the life of this notorious dacoit. The evident effort put into research is commendable, resulting in a detailed period action drama. The film skillfully unravels what led Tiger Nageswara Rao down the path of crime and how he outsmarted the entire police force.

Ravi Teja, a consistent performer, steps into the shoes of Rao with impeccable finesse. His portrayal is nothing short of spectacular, proving his mettle once again. It’s no small feat to embody a character with shades of gray, but the Mass Maharaja does so with unwavering conviction, evident in every frame.

Anupam Kher, Jisshu Sengupta, and Nassar deliver commendable performances. Renu Desai shines in her limited role, while Nupur Sanon and Gayatri Bharadwaj play pivotal parts in advancing the story. The first half grips the audience with engaging sequences, effectively depicting the enmity between Ravi Teja, Jisshu Sengupta, and Harish Peradi.


While the second half offers compelling moments, its extended duration remains a concern. The film’s impact is diluted due to its lengthy runtime, a topic that generated pre-release discussion. Emotional sequences are occasionally overshadowed by exaggerated and over-the-top action sequences. The excessive violence might not resonate well with certain audience segments, prompting a call for a more measured approach.

The narrative encounters inconsistency in the latter half. While the first hour showcases Rao’s criminal activities, the second hour focuses on his redemption arc. The film touches upon Stuartpuram’s label as a perilous locale and the residents’ struggles, offering substantial potential. Unfortunately, the prolonged action sequences outweigh these merits.

Critical Insights:

In the realm of biopics, authenticity can be elusive. To enhance credibility, unnecessary embellishments should be avoided. Some sensitive subjects may elicit strong reactions, such as Rao’s audacious act of robbing the PM’s residence, and the Prime Minister’s perceived support, which may come across as overly dramatized. A more measured approach to such pivotal scenes could have been beneficial.

Technical Aspects:

GV Prakash Kumar’s contribution to the music and background score is noteworthy, though some songs may fall short of expectations. Madhie’s cinematography stands out with its exquisite visuals, yet the VFX work leaves room for improvement. The action sequences, portraying Rao’s criminal endeavors, are well executed, but the deficient visual effects hinder their impact. Editing in the first hour is efficient, but a few redundant scenes in the latter half could have been trimmed.

Director’s Perspective:

Vamsee demonstrates commendable effort in terms of research, particularly in depicting the transition of Stuartpuram’s residents into burglars. The first half maintains a brisk pace and keeps the audience engaged, but the second half could have been handled with more finesse. While it forms the emotional core of the film, the extended runtime and certain clichés dampen the overall experience.


‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’ narrates the tale of an infamous dacoit and his impact on the lives of Stuartpuram’s residents. Ravi Teja delivers a standout performance, carrying the film on his shoulders. The first half is riveting, though the pace slackens in the second. The film’s intent to bring an untold story to light is commendable, but some elements may come across as exaggerated, and the VFX work falls short. If one can endure the extended runtime, ‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’ offers a satisfactory weekend watch.

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