Netflix’s latest Indian crime drama series, “Rana Naidu,” is intriguing enough to warrant a watch but does seem to be disbalanced and even predictable towards its end. Featuring the uncle-nephew duo of Venkatesh and Rana Daggubati, the Netflix original is a loose adaptation of “Ray Donovan” and follows the eponymous Rana Naidu, who works the shady business of “fixing” the crimes of his rich clients. While Rana’s life is mostly settled in its own broken way, everything turns upside down when his estranged father, Naga Naidu, is released from prison after fifteen long years, still claiming that he was innocent of any crime. What follows is a flurry of characters and events that gradually unfold the past as well as the present, culminating in an ultimate faceoff between father and son.
‘Rana Naidu’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Most people living the glitzy life of Bollywood actors or T-20 cricket stars in the metropolis of Mumbai at times find themselves in trouble that crosses legal and moral boundaries. In cases of this manner, there is only one man that the rich and famous trust to call—Rana Naidu, the fixer, who can solve any problem and situation for them. We get to see Rana in action at the very beginning of “Rana Naidu” Season 1, when a famous cricketer indulging in an extramarital one-night stand is in scandalous trouble without even knowing it. The woman seen with him has a past record of blackmailing men nine months later, saying that they had gotten her pregnant, and in order to save the cricketer from such shame and extortion, Rana is called. The man quickly cleans up the whole matter, using his strong intimidation skills and the always loyal and trustworthy team of Srini and Lara.
In his domestic life, Rana is married to Naina, a Telugu film actress in her past, and they have two adolescent children, Nithya and Ani. Due to his rough and secretive work, Rana keeps himself closed off to his family as well, and his relationship with Naina is also not in its best state due to this very reason. A man dedicated to the cause of his family, Rana also keeps in close touch with his two brothers, Tej and Jaffa; Tej is a stuntman with Parkinson’s and the owner of a stunt training center, while the younger Jaffa is unable to earn his livelihood as he still struggles with a past of sexual assault when he was a child. In his professional field, Rana is also very close to a veteran politician named OB, who is actually the link between the fixer and his potential new clients. The man seems to have an old friendship with the biggest film star in the country at the time, Prince, who often calls upon Rana to help him out of situations.
Despite being dysfunctional, this world of Rana Naidu goes on in its own way until one day, his father, Naga Naidu, is released from jail after fifteen years. Out on good behavior early since the prison sentence was of twenty years, Naga does not waste time to leave his native Hyderabad and come to Mumbai, where he knows his sons are settled. But Naga’s past and his claims of being sent to jail on a false case also drag into the city, turning Rana and his associates’ lives upside down. As is gradually revealed, Rana, OB, and Prince are all intricately tied to the case that wrongly sent Naga Naidu to jail fifteen years ago.
Why Was Rana Naidu So Terribly Against His Own Father?
The most prominent characteristic of the protagonist, Rana Naidu, is his hatred for and a feeling almost akin to vengeance against his father, Naga. Although some of it, or at least the extent to which Naga goes against his father, is unwarranted, there are some reasons for the son’s behavior as well. As can be understood, Naga Naidu was never a stable or emotionally available father and was often absent from the lives of his children. Although Naga has his own version of it, saying that whatever he kept doing was solely to provide a good life for his children, he is not one to value much emotional support or availability, especially for one’s kids. A very real sense of Naga belonging to a different generation than today’s times is intricately woven into the man’s character, as he often says things or uses words that are extremely problematic in today’s world. Therefore, for him to understand the effect of his abandonment, which is still very fresh on his son Rana, is quite difficult. When Naina asks Rana about the reasons for his deep-rooted hatred against his father, Rana is ready with a list: when his mother was sick with a terminal illness, his father Naga used to bring other women to their house to satisfy his bodily demands; the reason for the eldest son Tej’s Parkinson’s is that Naga had pushed him way too much into performing certain stunts that had a long-term effect on him; Naga was completely absent from providing any support to the youngest son Jaffa after he was repeatedly molested as a child by a local spiritual leader.
But as “Rana Naidu” Season 1 progresses, there are hints at the fact that the reasons provided by Rana are not always honest ones, and the man is driven blind by his vengeance against his father. This is most clearly expressed when the three brothers remember their late sister Nitya on the day of her birthday. The youngest of the four siblings, Nitya, was loved dearly by her brothers, and as is characteristic of siblings in their teenage years, Tej and Jaffa would play pranks on her. One such prank was when the two brothers convinced Nitya to climb up a tree, which left her severely injured and in pain. While Tej and Jaffa clearly remember that they told their sister to partake in this crude prank, Rana remembers the same incident as having been caused by their father, Naga. Rana is convinced that it was Naga who caused Nitya to fall from a tree and get severely hurt. Similarly, he is convinced that somehow it was the father who was to blame for Nitya’s death when she committed suicide after getting pregnant at the mere age of fifteen.
Things are not the same from Naga’s side, as he dearly wishes to meet up with his son and get to know his grandchildren but is also aware of Rana’s dislike towards him. Nonetheless, Naga does not give up on any of his sons, trying to rebuild their bond after coming to Mumbai from Hyderabad. It works well with Tej and especially Jaffa, the latter always being close to his father, but Naga is unable to break through the barrier between himself and Rana, even till the very end. But while most of this unfavorable relationship is restricted to the emotional, Naga soon finds out a truth that makes him reevaluate his desire to make amends with Rana. After all, he learns from a CBI officer looking closely into their case that it was Rana who had been the mastermind behind the false case that had sent Naga to jail, taking away fifteen years from his life. Ultimately, though, Naga does keep up his role as a father, shooting the CBI officer dead when he talks of catching Rana by hook or by crook.
Who Had Committed The Crime That Was Wrongly Charged Against Naga Naidu?
In order to reveal the crime that was wrongly charged against Naga and its real perpetrator, “Rana Naidu” Season 1 takes us back fifteen years, when all the major characters we have seen so far were living in their native Hyderabad. This had been after the death of Nithya and the revelation of the traumatic events in Jaffa’s childhood, when Rana was desperate to leave Hyderabad. He was already extremely distant and spiteful toward his father at this time, and Naga, too, was apparently less caring about such things back then, still in his youthful fervor. Naga’s brother and Rana’s uncle, Surya Rao, was a notorious gangster and criminal of the time, and Rana used to work as a henchman under Surya. It was through this work that Rana developed a long acquaintance with a Telugu film actor named Prince, and it was this actor who was in very close proximity to the political leader OB.
Acting upon OB’s suggestion, Prince was making the shift from Telugu to Hindi cinema by moving to Mumbai, and Rana requested that he take him along. But Prince was not willing to do so since Surya had categorically denied letting Rana go, as the gangster wanted his nephew to stay put at his current job as a henchman. On a particular night, during a party at Prince’s house, a woman named Deeya was shot dead by someone. Deeya happened to be Surya’s girlfriend at the time, and the gangster was understandably livid about the murder and desperate to seek revenge. It was for this crime that Naga had been punished, for within a few days, the police arrested Naga from his house, and the man was sentenced to twenty years in prison. Despite Naga’s claims that he was innocent and had no idea who had killed Deeya, nobody listened to him, and things settled after his arrest.
As it turned out, Rana had been pleading with Prince to take him along to Mumbai on that very night as well. Prince, who was heavily under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time, started to joke around with a loaded gun right in front of Rana, acting out like a stereotypical superstar of Bollywood. But he did not anticipate that he would mistakenly shoot the gun in his hand, and the bullet would directly hit Deeya in her eye, instantly killing her on the spot. Terribly scared of the consequence that Surya would mete out on him, Prince now pleaded with Rana to somehow save him, promising to take him to Mumbai as his bodyguard in return. Rana already hated his father, and the fact that the gun used to shoot Deeya was actually Naga’s, which he had recently gifted to Prince, made him instantly come up with a plan. It was, therefore, Rana who carefully planted evidence that made Naga look like the murderer, and with the help of the politician OB, the plan succeeded greatly. While the father was locked up in prison, the son came to Mumbai and established himself as a fixer for the rich and famous, and the real murderer, Prince, also became a huge superstar, considered India’s biggest actor at the time.
After Naga’s sudden emergence in Mumbai and his constant efforts to get to know Naina and his grandchildren more closely, Rana was desperate to hurt his father once again. Unable to think of any other way, he decided to get the man killed, but he knew that he himself could not do it directly. Therefore, Rana wanted to dig up the past and get hold of his uncle Surya for help. The uncle was still living in Hyderabad in hiding since he was high on the list of most wanted criminals by the CBI, and this, too, was apparently Naga’s doing. Not only had Naga killed Surya’s girlfriend (as he knew it), but he had also stolen one crore rupees from his brother before running away. Surya, therefore, jumped at the prospect of avenging all these wrongs by killing Naga, but meeting him, the man finally got to know the real truth. Naga had already gotten access to a voice recording by Prince, in which he admitted to killing Deeya mistakenly, and now the two brothers confront the superstar about all this. Although the police found Prince’s body hanging at his house that night and ruled it a case of suicide, Naga and Surya had hanged the actor to death in a manner that would make it seem like a case of suicide.
What Happens To Vijaywada Maharaj?
The dastardly spiritual cult leader, calling himself Vijwaywada Maharaj, was responsible for having sexually exploited numerous children, including Jaffa. Such was the effect of the traumatic incidents on Jaffa’s mind that he lost all social skills and was living a life of struggle and agony. The man had developed alcoholism as a means to cope with the trauma and had to go through rehab and therapy in order to get back to stable physical health. His period of being sober for two straight years ends when his father Naga arrives in Mumbai, and since then, Jaffa has had incidents of mental breakdown. In an ultimate breakdown, Jaffa is shocked to see on TV news one day that Vijaywada Maharaj was visiting Mumbai for some event. Jaffa had believed that he would be able to stay away from that name as long as he kept away from Hyderabad, but now seeing the man in his city disturbed him.
In a drunken state, Jaffa rode his motorcycle to track down Vijaywada’s car and then approached to confront the man. One thing led to another, and the spiritual leader’s car crashed on the side of the road. While the man was still not seriously hurt, Jaffa’s effort to confront him led to the young man shooting Vijaywada, only to then realize what he had done.
Jaffa brings Vijaywada to Tej’s stunt center and asks for help from his brothers. Tej goes through a serious dilemma as to whether to let the man die or make an attempt to save his life, no matter how evil his actions have been. But ultimately, Vijaywada is shot dead by Rana, as a horrible secret from their past is also revealed. Vijaywada had sexually molested Rana, too, when the latter was a child, but Rana had never told this to anyone in his life.
‘Rana Naidu’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Rana, Naga, And Their Family In The End?
Even though Rana had brought in his uncle Surya from Hyderabad to get Naga killed, things turned around quickly when Surya learned the real truth. The fact that it was actually Prince who had killed Deeya, and OB and Rana had hidden this all along, made both men priority targets for Surya. OB had already been suffering from hallucinations and stress-related problems ever since Naga had come to Mumbai, and it was all due to his fear of getting caught. His carefully preserved public reputation and image were ultimately shattered when his illicit affair with his sister-in-law got the woman pregnant, letting at least his wife know what had been going on. On the other hand, Rana was still alive and well, and so Surya decided to hurt him when things turned against him, too, as the police got news of his coming to Mumbai. Surya wants to flee the country, and he makes use of Rana and Srini to get hold of air tickets and passports.
By this time, Rana and Naga had also had their final confrontation, in which Naga asked to be paid a ransom for all the troubles his son had dragged him into, but Rana refused any help. Naga, therefore, pretended to team up with his brother Surya, but ultimately his allegiance turned out to be towards his son. A shootout follows between Naga and Rana on one side and Surya and his henchmen on the other. In the end, Surya has Rana cornered and looks threateningly close to killing him when Naga shoots his brother dead, therefore saving his son’s life. In order to clean up the mess, Rana informs a CBI officer who he had close contact with and calls him to the private airfield where the shootout had taken place.
When the CBI officer arrives, Rana shoots his arm and explains that the officer is to tell everyone that he had been tailing Surya when he was caught in this gunfight, in which he had to kill Surya to defend himself. With all danger out of the way now, Rana decides to let his father go and gives him the fake passports and money that had been prepared for Surya. Naga decides to leave the country and settle in Kathmandu, but the relationship between the father and son does not really mend even by the end. All Rana does is spare his father’s life, but mostly because he himself could never kill the man, and right now, there is nobody who would do the dirty work for him. While Naga goes away, Rana returns to his family but remains cautious that his father will come back any day, bringing along some new problems just like he always does.