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Review | Rana Naidu – Crime, Family & Politically Inappropriate

Rana Naidu is a crime drama series streaming on Netflix. It features Rana Daggubati, Venkatesh Daggubati, Surveen Chawla and Gaurav Chopra. The series is created and directed by Karan Anshuman and Suparn Verma.

Review Overview

General Rating

Summary

Crime, Family & Politically Inappropriate
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Perhaps the best part of this crime series that’s awash with gutter level abuse and bedroom-bathroom deviations of every combination, is that it so neatly makes a cast from Hyderabad palatably pan-Indian.

Karan Anshuman and Suparn Verma who take turns at direction, have Indianised Netflix’s eponymously titled Ray Donovan by plucking a Naidu family out of Hyderabad and creating a back story that plants them in the crime world of Mumbai. In fact, they’re so ‘Mumbai’ that grandpa Naga (Venkatesh Daggubati), fresh out of a Hyderabad jail, is comically appalled that his grandchildren don’t know a word of Telugu or prefer eggs to dosas for breakfast.

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Like the American original, family man Rana Naidu (Rana Daggubati) is in the thriving business of being a fixer for left-of-the-law celebrities, helping them to keep their nose clean irrespective of how illegal or immoral their activities. He himself sits at a moral high table, undistracted by women who chain and throw themselves at him. 

The family man also has a great bond with his male siblings Tej (Sushant Singh, a sober stunts coordinator), Jaffa (Abhishek Banerjee) who’s been destroyed by sexual abuse in his childhood, and the youngest, Arjun (Tenzin Dalha), a brother from another mother. 

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Who Rana does have a problem with is dad Naga who springs an unwelcome surprise visit after 15 years in jail.

The creators and directors of the show introduce practically all the equations in the first episode to grab your attention. The generous use of ‘m…f..er’, ‘g…nd’, several inappropriate references to women, along with adult-level nudity and sex, are straightaway sprayed all over the technically well-produced show. 

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Nine more episodes follow with more of the same, the bonds close, the aggro between Rana and Naga burgeoning into hatred.

Much blood is spilt, much sniffing of white powder and parties resembling orgies punctuate every sequence. 

What holds the show together is the interesting casting. Rana Daggubati, so serious that even when he makes unconventional love in the bathroom he looks like he’s murdering the woman, pitched opposite real life uncle Venkatesh who is crude but charming and quite comic. Sushant Singh as the strait-laced brother who can land a punch when the chivalrous man in him is occasionally aroused, Abhishek Banerjee as Jaffa who blunders through life, Surveen Chawla as Rana’s wife Naina who gave up her acting career in Hyderabad, Ashish Vidyarthi as Surya, another abusive criminal, Ashwin Mushran as Farzad the builder-turned-film producer and Gaurav Chopra as Prince, a superstar client who requires Rana for clean-up services, lend an assortment of flavours.

However, crime and gore shows with gaalis and sex galore, don’t deviate too much from a template we’ve been used to since Narcos caught the viewer’s fancy. A couple of characters resembling Dembe and Mr Kaplan from Netflix’s Blacklist, are also slipped in as Rana’s team members. 

Referring to a woman from Shillong as ‘hakka noodles’ or ‘chinky’, and the father wisely saying that blouses (as in women) and houses require to be changed, may sound funny and lend much colour to Naga but they are inexcusably incorrect.    

What is interesting is the father-son stand-off. And there’s a window kept open for another round of the family drama steeped in crime.      

Watch Rana Naidu Trailer:

Also Read: Review | Happy Family: Conditions Apply – Warm, Wacky, Watchable

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Crime, Family & Politically InappropriateReview | Rana Naidu - Crime, Family & Politically Inappropriate