Even the likes of Megastar Chiranjeevi are stunned the way director Nag Ashwini has carved a storyline to depict “Mahanati” on the silver screen in the much adorable way. But there seems to be a stunning reference that helped the director big time.
Apparently, the base for Savitri’s scenes related to her film journey is taken from one particular reference and her personal life from another reference. The base for her film scenes including that of her uncle rejecting the idea of sending her to dance, the way she’s out of ANR’s movie (her debut film), how she imitated SV Ranga Rao with a ‘gadha’ on her shoulder and how she ended up singing a song for Ghantasala are revealed by none other than Savitri only.
Yes, her radio interview given to “All India Radio” Bezawada station is the literal reference for those scenes. If you could listen to that interview on YouTube, you could notice that all the incidents she mentioned have turned into scenes.
And the tragic side of her life, especially her personal life, including that of doing unwanted charity, getting addicted to alcohol after Gemini Ganesan made her drink, and the way IT raids took place, all these stuff are chronologically taken from a sensational article published about the actress in early 80s. The reference image of that article is freely available on the internet too.
After going through these two references, one would feel that Nag Ashwin got most of the original inspiration from these two only. But anyway, he crafted a terrific film in the end.