The story depicts the journey of J. Jayalalithaa (played by Kangana Ranaut), from making a mark as a no-nonsense actress to the most important person for millions in her entire state. Makers hint they’re taking a controversial route when they start the film with the scene of Jayalalithaa (fondly known as Amma to many) getting manhandled in the parliament, but it’s all ‘ruko zara, sabar karo’ moment since then.
It all proceeds with the transformation of turning Jayalalithaa into Amma. Despite the stance of ‘I hate politics’ Jaya gets into it solely to support her reel-life hero M. G. Ramachandran aka MGR (Arvind Swami). The remaining story is all about her rise and shine to be Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister. How does all of this reflect her relationship with MGR? Will she be able to manage together & much more such questions are answered in the second half.
It shows why Kangana Ranaut was an ultimate choice for this one when certain scenes force you to believe it’s her biopic. She’s so natural on-screen, you won’t believe it if she’s playing some other character. Through a commendable change in accents, looks, and physical attributes of a single character, this is a one Kan(gana) show.
Arvind Swami as MGR gets the most difficult job of bottling in the charm, aura of yet another legendary artist in front of a person on whom the film is based. Though dependent a lot on Jayalalithaa’s character, Arvind helps MGR’s character to find his own ground. Nassar as Karunanidhi is a spot-on casting decision but wasted materially.
Bhagyashree looks stunning as Jayalalithaa’s mother nailing her ‘tell me you’re an actress without telling me you’re an actress’ role. Raj Arjun, the surprise package of Secret Superstar still holds the secret to how to stand out amid brilliant performances. He shines bright as MGR’s ‘cold-hearted lieutenant’ R. M. Veerappan. Poorna as Sasikala gets no scope due to her limited screen presence.