Rana Naidu is the official remake of the American crime drama Ray Donovan. It stars Rana Daggubati as the titular character, alongside his uncle Venkatesh Daggubati as Naga Naidu, Rana’s father. The 10-episode Netflix series also stars Surveen Chawla, Suchitra Pillai, Sushant Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Ashish Vidyarthi, and more. Rana Naidu is not your typical feel-good detective shows. It’s dark, foul, and performance-driven.
Grim, crass, and kinda boring
Rana Naidu (Rana Daggubati) is the go-to fixer for celebrities and the rich creme de la creme of Mumbai. Cricketer, builder, superstar, no matter who is in trouble, the first call goes to Rana Naidu. Rana lives with his wife Naina (Surveen Chawla) and his two kids Ani and Nitya. His job often causes trouble in his personal life with all the secrecy. He has a somewhat close yet distant relationship with his brothers Jaffa (Abhishek Banerjee) and Tej (Sushant Singh). To add to his troubles, his father Naga Naidu is released from prison, five years before he is due.
In a manner of speaking, Rana Naidu is a family drama with some sensational crimes thrown into the mix. The series is filled with sex, nudity, and foul language which acts as the top layer. You need to peel it off and peek beneath for some substance. In a lot of instances, the crass language and the nudity seem to be there just because they could add it, and for no other reason.
Rana Naidu has some high points, which are mainly the face-off between the father and son. But overall, especially in the first few episodes, the series fails to hold your complete attention. The dialogue and the story itself get a bit repetitive and boring.
Performances that steal the show
Rana Daggubati and Venkatesh Daggubati are undoubtedly the stars of this series. For those who are regular watchers of Telugu films know Venkatesh as a goody-two-shoes, family man kinda character. With Naga Naidu, Venkatesh takes a ride on the wild side and he does a damn good job of it. His character is one of the most colourful ones in the show with the slang he uses and the way he speaks. Naga tries hard to get his family back together, but the man is so unaware of the trauma he has caused his kids.
Rana Daggubati as the titular character has proven he is a damn good actor. Naidu is a darker, more intense, grey character and Rana fits the role like a glove. He is a stoic man who keeps a composed, unmoving face while he is on the job. But Rana also gets to show his vulnerabilities when he is with his family or when he has to talk about his past. All three brothers, Rana, Tej, and Jaffa are traumatised due to their childhood incidents and Rana Daggubati, Sushant Singh, and Abhishek Banerjee have portrayed their respective characters brilliantly.
Rana Naidu is far from perfect, and it can be better in so many ways. But one thing the show delivers is amazing performances, especially by the leads, and that makes it worth the watch.
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