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Rana Daggubati to battle his uncle Venkatesh in a family feud drama – Beyond Bollywood

Mirzapur creator Karan Anshuman gives Netflix its own desi noir that is an official adaptation of American series Ray Donovan.

Daggubati Venkatesh and Rana Daggubati in Rana Naidu [2023]

By Mayur Lookhar

A legend of Telugu film industry, Daggubati Venkatesh has also flirted with Hindi cinema many years ago. Bollywood fondly remembers him as the innocent lover in Anari [1993], which was a remake of his Telugu film Chinna Thambi [1993]. He did another Hindi film Taqdeerwala [1995]. Near three decades later, Venkatesh returns to the Hindi entertainment space with Rana Naidu, a Netflix original series, which also marks his debut in the OTT place.

Shot in Hindi and Telugu, Rana Naidu [2023] is the official desi adaptation of American series Ray Donovan. What makes it special is for the Indian audiences is that here is a show that pits Venkatesh against his nephew Rana Daggubati. The plot too revolved around a reel family feud where Naga [Venkatesh] is squaring up against his own son Rana [Rana Daggubati]. Naga has been released from an Andhra jail five years before his sentence. He comes to Mumbai where he isn’t welcome by Rana, who is a powerful figure in the city. No quarter is given as Rana and Venkatesh throw all punches at each other. The ‘kickass’ jibe at the end of the trailer will shock Venkatesh’s fans as the Telugu cinema legend has made a career out of playing the family man.

We haven’t seen Ray Donovan, but we presume that Rana Naidu will be sold as a uncle versus nephew reel battle. The trailer that was launched yesterday [15 September] is very much built around the disdain that Rana and Naga have for each other. What is it that makes Rana despise his father so much? That would be revealed later when the series hits Netflix on 10 March.

Mirzapur creator Karan Anshuman has given Netflix a desi noir of its own. The tone, color, explicit nature seen in the trailer suggests that here is a noir that is more apt for individual viewing than community. Netflix India VP Monika Shergill even cheekily said at the trailer launch last evening that this show is better suited to watch on individual device, calling it a maiden foray into masala entertainer for the global streaming giant.

We’re not sure about masala, but we sure did find plenty of guts, dare, intimacy in the trailer. There is Surveen Chawla, who plays Rana’s loving wife here. There is also a club [item] song too. While the plot, as seen in the trailer, may not seem all that enticing, Rana Naidu does boast of an impressive ensemble, led by Rana Daggubati, Venkatesh. Sushant Singh, Ashish Vidyarthi, Gaurav Chopra are seasoned artistes who never disappoint.

Eventually, it is the uncle versus nephew reel battle that builds curiosity around this series. Rana Daggubati naturally revealed that it was tough for him to be speaking in that aggressive tone with his revered uncle. Rana Naidu is a ‘fixer of everything, but this broken bond is hard to mend. It’s a brave move by Venkatesh (62) too take up such a character.

Hard to say whether the family audience will get together to watch this series, but Netflix will hope that Rana Naidu appeals appeals the target audience.

Watch the trailer below.

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