Telugu filmmaker Nag Ashwin brought the story of South Indian screen legend Savitri’s life to the big screen on May 9. Titled Mahanati in Telugu and Nadigaiyar Thilagam in Tamil, the film stars Keerthy Suresh in the lead and Dulquer Salmaan as Savitri’s on-screen and off-screen partner Gemini Ganesan. Baahubali director SS Rajamouli was mighty impressed by the film. The filmmaker, in two tweets, gave a thumbs-up to the director Nag Ashwin. In addition to that, Rajamouli stated that Keerthy Suresh has brought Savitri back to life with her performance.
He wrote, “@KeerthyOfficial’s potrayal of Savitri garu is one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen. It is not just imitating. She brought the legendry actress back to life. @dulQuer is absolutely fantastic. I am his fan now.”
. @KeerthyOfficial’s potrayal of Savitri garu is one of the finest performances I've ever seen. It is not just imitating. She brought the legendry actress back to life. @dulQuer is absolutely fantastic. I am his fan now.— rajamouli ss (@ssrajamouli) May 9, 2018
He added, “Congratulations Nag Ashwin and Swapna. Your belief, persistence and determination are remarkable. #Mahanati.”
Speaking about casting Keerthy Suresh in the lead role, director Nag Ashwin had said, “I saw it in her eyes. There was a spark and something genuine about her,” and added, “We pointed out some of the obvious traits. Keerthy was also in touch with Savitri’s daughter. From when we began shooting for the film to when we were on the final schedule, there was a transformation. She evolved with the character and we could see it.”
One of the highlights of Mahanati is its star cast. The film is built around the south Indian film industry at a time when Savitri was at the peak of her career. Not just Savitri, it will also bring back other legendary actors such as Gemini Ganesan (Dulquer Salmaan), N T Rama Rao (Jr NTR) and other veteran filmmakers to the screen. Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Devarakonda, Shalini Pandey among others play important roles.