Maestro review: A crisp thriller with subtle changes

Movie: Maestro
Rating: 2.75/5
Cast: Nithiin, Tamannah, Nabha Natesh, Jisshu Sen Gupta, Naresh
Director: Merlapaka Gandhi
Produced By: Sudhakar Reddy and Nikitha Reddy under Shresht Movies
Release Date: 17th September 2021

After a series of flops such as Check and Rang De, Nithiin is hoping to get the elusive success out of his dark comedy crime thriller – Maestro. It is a remake of 2018 Ayushman Khurana starter Andhadhun. Andhadhun was a massive success in Hindi and won 3 National awards. The film won the best film and screenplay while Ayushman received the Best Actor that year. Let’s find out if Nithiin is able to replicate the success and if third time’s a charm for him in 2021.

Story: Maestro is the story of a blind pianist who unintentionally gets caught in a series of murders. Adding to this is an organic trafficking angle that adds great value and turns to the story. Maestro has some engaging moments where the story takes some interesting movements. The makers have stayed true to the original and haven’t made many changes in the crime angle which is the core part of the plot.

Performance: Nithiin has done a decent job as Arun- the blind pianist. However, comparisons are bound to crop up in a remake and his performance isn’t as convincing in some parts. He has done a good job in terms of expressing vulnerability due to his handicap but the conniving and wicked angle that Ayushman displayed brilliantly in Andhadhun is missing here. Tamannah has got a lot of screen time and does a great job with a grey character. She has got a terrific screen presence in the film and is quite convincing as a cold-hearted and cunning woman. The supporting actors such as Jisshu Sen Gupta, Mangli and Harsha Vardhan add great value to the film. Nabha Natesh has got nothing much to do as the film progresses and is just limited to few scenes here and there.

Analysis: Maestro is a faithful remake and stays true to the core concept of the original. While the casting and writing are on point, there are a couple of oddities that might concern the viewer. The film for some reason is set in Goa where all the characters fluently speak Telugu. This change of location makes no value addition to the plot and it could have been as well set in the Telugu states to provide authenticity. The makers have also chosen to dumb down certain portions in order to spoon-feed to the audience. This might be an eyesore for some as thrillers are meant to involve the audience and help them build their own narrative. The writing is crisp and technically the movie is quite strong. Mahati Swara Sagar’s BGM is one of the highlights of the film.

Plus Points:

Runtime

BGM

Crisp Screenplay

Minus Points:

Unnecessary changes and additions

Tamannah’s own dubbing

Initial lag in the first half

Verdict: Maestro is an interesting watch for the weekend, especially if you haven’t watched the original. While the movie after initial lag of 15-20 minutes gets into the gripping zone, the film towards the end would leave you with some questions and not for good reasons. You end up thinking why is it set in Goa? Why Nithiin acts holier than thou especially in a crime-laden world?. These are some of the gaping holes in an otherwise decent dark comedy thriller. The movie picks up well towards the second half and provides solid thrills. Maestro is definitely Nithiin’s best of the year.


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