Jaya ho Rudrama
I watched Rudramadevi recently. If not for the Ghar Wapsi of these Sahitya Academy awards I would have penned down my thoughts on this movie much earlier.
To me, this was a bold movie. One, this deals with history. Given the recent tensions between Telugu regions, portraying any character on the flip side would have been suicidal for the movie. The director had to do a tight rope walk on this front and he did that well.
Two, the story that the director chose to depict was the story of Rudramadevi before her coronation. In essence, you are trying to tell the story of a person before the prime years of her life. This is a big risk. This is a risk as the childhood and the initial years of the protagonist eat away good amount of your movie’s time. If you cannot make this interesting you are losing the attention of the audience.
Three, doing a high budget and high-cost movie with a female protagonist. This is an opportunity and a threat as well, one a female protagonist appeals to most of the urban Telugu cinema goers. The threat, you might lose the movie even if there is a drag. Most of the Telugu movies today are doling out a huge amount of action packed sequences and glamour to get the audience into the groove. With a female protagonist, you are not ensured of this. For, you have got to extract glamour and action from the same person. Gunasekhar struck a fine balance by ensuring that songs bring out the glamour and regular plot brings out the action part from Anushka.
I felt Gunasekhar pulled it off very well. He started off by establishing the fact that women were not treated well in that age. The initial dialogues of HariHara and Murari deva establish this. Thus, he establishes the fact that there were men who believed in women and there were men who wanted them to fail in that era. While the fight is for the throne in the sense of the movie, the viewer would view it as a fight between the pro-woman and the anti-women lobby. I liked that ploy. This provides a good reason and indirectly makes the audience identify themselves with one of the parties.
Anushka is now turning out to be the go-to person when it comes to female-centric movies in Telugu. The way she acted in this movie was awesome. She sizzled in the songs and owned the screen when it came to the fight and action packed sequences. It is heartening to see her pull off the role of the protagonist with ease.
While it is Anushka’s movie all the way, the character of Sivayya was well thought of and Prakash Raj’s acting was the icing on the cake. We ought to forget the Bhallala deva and enjoy Chalukya Veerabhadra. Rana simply made an awesome
transition across the movies. The best of the lot, however, was Allu Arjun, the character had mystery shrouded around it and Arjun did everything to make sure that Gona Gannareddy is never forgotten by the Telugus.
Picking up three strong male characters and positioning them around Rudrama Devi was another great ploy of the director. This has balanced the characters very well and ensured that the thick of the action always exists. Devoting a good time to
the antagonists, was another nice move. By showing that Rudrama Devi had opponents both at home and away, the director drove home the message that the odds were against her both inside the kingdom and the out side of it. Thus, it was all the way more tough for her to succeed.
I am writing this review on a day when another visual wonder that enthralled the Telugus this year, “Bahubali” is being telecast in the Television. Bahubali is a magnum opus beyond any doubt. To me it is the best visual wonder in telugu till date. However, when we look at the effort for the director, I feel that Gunasekhar (Director of Rudramadevi) had lesser flexibility than Rajamouli (director of Bahubali) as Rudramadevi has a historical back drop while Bahubali is fantasy. To an extent Gunasekhar did not enjoy the freedom that Rajamouli had, this makes Gunasekhar’s success with Rudramadevi a special one.