Finally, I have an Indian thriller series to review after a long time, especially from Netflix. Rana Naidu has many interesting details to it.
First, it is a Hindi language show having most of the lead actors from the Telugu film industry. I think it was primarily done to attract a mass audience.
Second, the series is adapted from the American show Ray Donovan, which has seven seasons. It is to be seen whether Rana Naidu can be continued for that long. Such a stretch has not yet been seen in the Indian context.
Third, this is Rana Daggubati and Venkatesh Daggubati’s first full-fledged web series in a primary role.
The first season of Rana Naidu has ten episodes with a total duration of approximately seven and a half hours. Also, the Netflix description of the series tells me that it is suspenseful and gritty. Is it so?
Before answering the question, let me quickly wrap up some basic details about the Netflix series.
What is the story of Rana Naidu?
Rana Naidu is the savior of wealthy people. One call and he gets things sorted in an instant using his cheeky ways. Though he has the world under control, Rana’s personal life descends into a mess when his father is released from jail after fifteen years.
Directed by Karan Anshuman, Rana Naidu stars Venkatesh Daggubati (Naga Naidu), Rana Daggubati (Rana Naidu), Surveen Chawla (Naina), Sushant Singh (Tej), and Abhishek Banerjee (Jaffa) in pivotal roles.
What are the positive points about Rana Naidu?
The show has been transformed into the Indian context with a likable storyline. Rana Naidu pulls out the family drama angle and uses it to craft an intricate tale.
I haven’t watched Ray Donovan. So, my first impression of Rana Naidu was of a suspenseful thriller, like the usual ones. But over the course of time, I discovered it was equally, if not more, about family issues.
You will remain hooked to the screen without a doubt, specifically after the first episode. There is a pile of emotions, suspense, and thrill throughout the show.
The pace of narration makes Rana Naidu more intriguing to witness. Not many fight sequences make their way to the series. Still, the gap is filled by sensible drama.
From relationships to power tussles and crime scenes, the show makes up for a complete package of entertainment.
In hindsight, I don’t think the twists in Rana Naidu are high in number but they are subtle and impromptu.
Moreover, the screenplay is brisk. Mostly, it will keep you on the edge with visuals that seem genuine. There are no fake stunts or artificial action shots.
Furthermore, the dialogue writing is raw and crisp. It sometimes gets wild. I don’t think many in the audience would expect such a display from the two Daggubatis, Rana and Venkatesh.
Abuses and rough intimate scenes make Rana Naidu a crazy ride. The touch of Hyderabadi conversations pushes the pleasure further. You’d want it more while drooling over the authentic surroundings.
The language subtleties in the series are stupefying. I am glad the makers chose to go with Hindi because that makes Rana Naidu more natural and closer to the audience.
For example, if we had seen it dubbed in Hindi, maybe the rawness would have been lost.
How are the performances?
Rana Daggubati is as restrained as he is loud in the titular role. His silence is also fierce. And when the actor displays his sharp stare, you know the kind of form he is in.
In fact, it was needed for Rana to hone his already sharp skillset because of his character’s significance. The towering personality he is able to create on the screen gives you a lot to admire.
Venkatesh Daggubati as Naga leaves no stone unturned in making Rana Naidu bewildering. His accent, vocal intonations, and ardent expressions infuse brilliance into the series.
Additionally, Venkatesh also brings along cheeky sarcasm to the table. But what stands out is his accent in Rana Naidu. For someone so big to take a rough role and then lavish it with staggering zealousness is my takeaway.
Surveen Chawla plays Naina in the show. She is sweet, crafty, and delicate to some extent. I saw her after a long time on the screen. Her last Hindi film was probably Hate Story 2.
In Rana Naidu, Surveen gives you more reasons to praise her, mainly due to her artistic expression. The only expectation I have from the second season of Rana Naidu is the elevation of Chawla’s character.
Sushant Singh as Tej is superb in the series. I mostly don’t watch trailers to allow myself to be surprised so I didn’t know about Singh being part of the show.
The actor phenomenally breathes life into Tej. A little constrained, hard, with a tinge of manly strength, make him startling to witness.
Abhishek Banerjee portrays a trauma-ridden Jaffa. It was the first time I like him wholly. Usually, he leaves a few gaps, experiments with expressions, and overdoes certain aspects.
However, in Rana Naidu, Abhishek is exceptional.
Everyone else has done an astounding job. I would stop here to continue to the next part of my Rana Naidu review.
What doesn’t work for the series?
The middle phase of Rana Naidu blanks out for a while, making the story stagnant. Established characters take a backseat and family takes precedence over other issues.
Suddenly, you would find the plot getting stuck at a point. This happens around the sixth-seventh episode mark. Thankfully, Rana Naidu makes a decent comeback in the last three episodes.
Maybe, the makers could have handled the ending better. Ray Donovan had come years ago. So, the textbook ending should have been avoided, in my opinion.
The following section contains spoilers.
Rana Naidu Ending Explained.
Thankfully, Rana’s family is safe. From his father and brothers to his wife and kids, everybody’s out of harm. Naga Naidu leaves after taking money from his son. However, Rana feels he would be back.
Surya is killed by Rana and handed over to the CBI officer as a gift. Jaffa realizes he needs to trust Rana more than Naga. So, he tells the latter to leave.
Tej’s girlfriend is ready to divorce her husband and live with him but she has a condition. She wants him to report the murder of Maharaj to the police. However, Tej refuses to go against his family.
His decision might change at some point in the second season. On the other hand, Naina’s affection for Rana increases after she discovers the truth about his past.
So, you can expect their love life to stabilize a bit but do take it with a pinch of salt.
I think the second season of the show would pit Tej against Rana and it would be interesting to see how Rana copes once the political support over his head begins to recede.
Also, the murder of Maharaj will eventually come to the fore. There will be new enemies waiting to hunt Rana Naidu.
Will there be Rana Naidu season 2?
Definitely! The show will have another outing. But the dates are not out yet.
What is the original language of Rana Naidu?
The series has been made in Hindi.
Can Rana Naidu be watched with family? (Rana Naidu Parents Guide)
No. It has several love-making scenes. Also, the show has abusive language in almost every dialogue. It’s better to watch it alone with headphones plugged in or with friends.