Rudhramadevi Review, What’s Behind: The astonishing ‘Bahubali’ success constructed a massive hype even for ‘Rudhramadevi,’ as this film is based on historical evidences available about Kakatiya queen. Gunasekhar’s tough grind with production, post production and managing the release have also generated a soft corner towards this magnificently casted project made with high end technology on 3D format. Let us see, how great Guna lived up to the hype and expectations in ‘Rudhramadevi’ review.
Rudhramadevi Story: Sensibly the narration begins with voice-over of Chiranjeevi wherein Marco Polo, an Italian traveler shares his recorded observations on his visit to Kakatiya kingdom centered in Orugallu, ruled by Ganapathi Deva (Krishnam Raju). The empire lies in disorder due to missing of a male successor with threatening invasions from neighboring rivals. To secure the empire from falling prey into enemy hands, Ganapathi Deva and his Minister Shiva Devaiah (Prakash Raj) pretends the newborn daughter of Ganapathi Deva as a male heir grown under the name of Rudhra Deva (Anushka).
Rudhra Deva has two childhood friends Chalukya Veera Bhadra (Rana) and Gona Ganna Reddy (Allu Arjun). Along with Prince Maha Deva (Vikramjeet Virk), a Yadava King from Nidadavolu and Uncles Hari Hara Devudu (Suman), Murari Devudu (Adithya Menon) along with surrounded selfish nobles, there is a menace for Kakatiya dominion.
Showing courage, political intelligence tackling the enemies, in parallel Rudhra Deva also worked for unity and development of Telugu people, culture. However, Rudhra Deva’s ascent to throne was unaccepted by people and other nobles because they are against appointment of a woman as Maha Raja. When Hari Hara Devudu, Murari Devudu join hands with Maha Deva to kill Rudhramadevi and Ganapathi Deva, how Gona Ganna Reddy and Chalukya Veera Bhadra befriended Rudhramadevi in the war is the climax.
Rudhramadevi Artists and Technicians: A true historic film positioned with strong content centered on a woman warrior makes this project, different from regular movies. Gunasekhar has done enough of basic research on social, economical (agricultural) and political position of Kakatiya dynasty when Rudhramadevi was born. So, there is no scope for altering the delicate history part. Undeniably, there is a secured and shocking story on hand to execute. Grievously, Guna’s screenplay is observed to be lopsided with disproportionate correspondence between Rudhramadevi and Gona Ganna Reddy characters. Except curiosity in hiding the original female identity drama of Rudhramadevi till last hour, the same script failed to elevate glory of Rudhramadevi in administration and its functioning. Gunasekhar directional capabilities surely lacked in meeting our expectations. Though he kept the interest of audience locked to an extent, those of war and action episodes are pathetically dealt. Technically, he appeared to have lost the grip in executing this venture to fullest of satisfaction. Ajay Vincent camera work was so inconsistent. Most of the set work being created in CG, there was non-compatibility in syncing the backdrop. Far more quality cinematography was demanded for movies of this magnitude. Sreekar Prasad editing job had plenty of lapses. Selection of shots and assemblage with VFX were non-coherent in many places. Even second half length indiscriminately needs a chopping. Though Ilayaraja songs sounded melodious and well picturized, background score is so weak with age old compositions. Stunt choreography is one of the worst departments at work for this film. Same applies for VFX which damaged the complete appeal in narration. This is one of the cheapest quality CG works done in recent times. Neetu Lulla costumes gave a royal appeal. Guna Team Works production values and back breaking work to wrap this extensive adventurous undertaking absolutely needs many appreciations.
Anushka can be the only heroine in industry with imposing stature and eligibility to become ‘Rudhramadevi.’ She bought charm for the character balancing the male and female traits. Not just the voluptuous body exposed in needful situations, Anushka showed a wide range of emotions bringing the true actress in her. Allu Arjun is the real show stealer. His dialogue renderings in pure Telangana slang are the best selling parts of total movie. Whenever Bunny appears on screen, there was a magic weaved with his costumes, body language and attitude. Prakash Raj added the strong reasoning and proper understanding to the life of Rudhramadevi. Thankfully, Krishnam Raju got a character suitable to his respect, caliber and image. Nithya Menon bought completeness to one phase of Rudhramadevi role by showing her worth in brief. Catherine Tresa looked energetic. Hamsa Nandini did fine as a cunning secret agent. Rana is a wasted character while Suman, Adithya Menon does fine. Vikramjeet Virk failed in establishing a substantial villainy. Ajay is apt as honest warrior command-in-chief. Baba Sehgal as Naga Deva had an abrupt end. Vennela Kishore, Krishna Bhagawan, Venu Madhav were unnecessary. Child artists Ulka Gupta, Srikanth son Roshan, Lagadapati son Vikram Sahidev were arresting. Rest there is a big list of actors like Sivaji Raja, Gautham Raju, GV, Sana, Jaya Vani and many more fitted into small roles.
Rudhramadevi Rating Analysis: From start till end, Gunasekhar’s blood, sweat and tears are seen in every frame of Rudhramadevi. Dreaming a project of this scale and implementing the same clearing many obstacles is by itself a big achievement for Gunasekhar. His sincerity in conduct with a real history subject to narrate is noticed in many scenes. Those viewers who have unlikely never heard of Rudhramadevi was raised as a man are sure to be left shell shocked with an untaught history gone out of our notice. Rudhramadevi had pride and distinction of being the first woman warrior in Indian history and only one from our Telugu history.
Guna precisely touched the achievements of Kakatiya queen in development of lakes and tanks which is currently popularized as Mission Kakatiya by Telangana government. Even the construction of Seven Forts for security of Orugallu seen as Engineering excellence is touched. Alongside, respecting and empowerment of woman is also preached in a moderate dose.
Apart from advantages in Anushka’s durable screen presence, amazing Allu Arjun, polite full Prakashraj, strong content supported by very big artists filling the screen with completeness; major drawbacks in Gunasekhar’s compromised making standards, lifeless stunts, editing blunders, hopeless VFX, extremely weak climax made ‘Rudhramadevi’ to suffer in humiliation.
Guna also remained unfaithful in character elevation of Rudhramadevi left far inferior than Gona Ganna Reddy. A familiar comment heard is, ‘better Gunasekhar would have titled this film Gona Ganna Reddy rather than Rudhramadevi.’ Such was high impact and register value Bunny left on film.
On a last note when comparing ‘Bahubali’ with ‘Rudhramadevi;’ if the former missed in content the latter is rich; if Rajamouli showed ultimate peaks redefining the passionate film making - Gunasekhar failed to do so; the character elevation of ‘Bahubali’ is also higher than that of ‘Rudhramadevi.’ Of course, presence of weak villains bringing the film to an abrupt climax is a drawback common in both. In understanding the commerciality, Guna is nowhere near to Rajamouli.
Above all these analysis and from critics’ point of view, ‘Rudhramadevi’ is still worth for a 3 star rating. Commercially, Allu Arjun’s presence should keep mass audience to attack the Box Office with huge revenues for next one week.
Rudhramadevi Cinejosh Verdict: Untold History Ineptly Presented
Rudhramadevi Cinejosh Rating: 3.0/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas