Hindi web series Rana Naidu review: A multi-layered Netflix drama

Balakumar Kuppuswamy
4 Min Read
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Rana Naidu Review

The Hindi web series Rana Naidu is now streaming on Netflix and is directed by Suparn Verma and Karan Anshuman. It stars Rana Daggubati, Venkatesh, Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Gaurav Chopra, Aditya Menon.

Rana Naidu review

When Netflix announced Rana Naidu with Venkatesh and Rana Daggubati in the leads there was some scepticism about whether the two Telugu stars could pull it off in Hindi. But a few episodes into the 10-episode Rana Naidu — an official adaptation of the 2013 English show Ray Donovan — you get your answer. The Hyderabadi Hindi that Venky speaks is kinda quaint and adds an extra allure to the series that otherwise could easily have slipped into grim aggression and machismo.

The biggest strength of the series is the fact that while it is an adaptation of a successful crime drama, the writer and co-director Karan Anshuman with Sparn Verma –  has adroitly tweaked the story to be a layered family drama rather than the shady tale of a high-end fixer. 

Rana Naidu review

While the story on the face of it is about the eponymous Rana Naidu, who is the go-to guy for society’s big names for covering up secrets and dark emergencies, the other layer is about a man looking for redemption by mending his dysfunctional family.  This smart refinement to the original tale provides the series with the much-needed heft and humour.

Rana Naidu (Rana Daggubati) is the man who is on the speed dial of many high-end folks. He is the guy who scrubs their tracks in messy affairs and happenings. He is a humourless, grim sorta guy, and for his family, life is in shambles.

His equations with his children and wife are barely speakable. His past is no good. His dad Naga (Venkatesh) spent 15 years of his life in government jail, albeit for a misdemeanour he did not commit. Rana’s two brothers  (Abhishek Banerjee and Sushant Singh) also lead a troubled and traumatized life. One is a stuntman enduring Parkinson’s disease, while the other is a victim of child abuse and struggling to kick his alcoholic ways.  Now, Naga wants to set things right on the family front. But with each of his sons fighting their inner demons, a patch-up looks impossible. 

Rana Naidu review

Moreover, Rana holds his dad responsible for the sorry predicament. The face-off between the penitent dad and the impertinent son provides the series with crackling energy, which otherwise moves in fits and starts in the initial portions. In the earlier portions, too many characters flit in and out as Rana’s clientele without making much of an impression. But once the family angle of the plot kicks in, the latter segments are full of drama and action.

Venkatesh as a father looking for redemption, brings to his character a vulnerability. The dry humour that permeates his otherwise deadpan delivery is one of the highlights of his performance. Rana Daggubati is also in great form as his inner rage is channelled through the fire in his eyes set on a stony face. Abhishek Banerjee, as ever is adequate.

As with Farzi on Amazon Prime Video, this series, too, is specked with expletives. Surely web series dialogue writers are overdoing this. Nobody is against using filthy words as they bring out the raw reality. But when the lines abound with them, it becomes a strange celebration of the profanity. 

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Ex-Editor News Today. Humour Writer. Now freelancer, gun for hire on TN, Sports, Films. Written for CricketNext, Yahoo and TechRadar.
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