Watched “Rudhramadevi” yesterday on the very day of release… Had it not been 3D and galvanizing performance by Queen of Tollywood Anushka, movie is set to get tanked on box office.
Agreed that Gunasekhar has put everything at stake for creating this magnum opus, agreed that Allu Arjun in his Gona Ganna Reddy role with Telangana dialect comes to save the prideat occasions, agreed that unpardonable delay in releasing the movie has turned the tables, still there is no excuse to sloppy script, loose direction and some pathetic quality animation.. Sigh, star-studded cast and lavish expenditure followed by huge promotion could not alter one fact – Movie’s success largely depends on content …. And Rudhramadevi precisely fails there !!!!
The challenge in filming historical biopics is the limited liberty you get in story telling… But hey, you still have your directorial hat to customize the drama, right? Gunasekhar with all his passion can’t be forgiven for the major miss i.e. Inefficient narration… The man with big dream in his heart could not manifest it in captivating style; instead he produced a piece-mill experience of larger than life dynasty tale with no conclusive effect…. Unfortunately Rudhramadevi is released at the backdrop of monumental Pan-India success of Rajamouli’s ‘Baahubali’ that raised bar of period films to towering heights. Comparison was inevitable and sad to see Rudhramadevi faltering at many places hands down.
To begin with, stale and uninteresting music scores by legendary Illayaraja; Its hard to believe that maestro has produced such lousy music that not only makes the whole story dull but fails to register any mark on listeners mind… Guru, you could have done much better !! Background music was not enthralling either. Then couple of songs were completely out of space and not necessarily doing good for any cause. Secondly the speed of unfolding is non-uniform and appears like a patchwork. Certain scenes come out from nowhere & there is great deal of missing explanations for common spectators. I was expecting lot of emphasis on adventures and lifework of warrior queen but Gunasekhar for some strange reasons chose many non-relevant events and that too in a placid pace…. Barring one or two, Audience was never given moments of intense involvement.
Catherine Teresa and Nithya Menon completely wasted in menial jobs and introduction of characters was pretty unimpressive. Rana in Prince Veerbhadrudu role seemed confused… His character and overall flight path was never fixed. I have begun to suspect that his caricature was not well researched. The computer animation is no match for Baahubali. Inspite of spending loads of money on technology, the CGI and VFX could not produce the jinx. They could have creatively fabricated so many spots that will give theater crowd value for money !
Now the positives …
Anushka as Rani Rudhramadevi is phenomenally ravishing. Queen of South Indian Cinema delineating life sketch of her majesty is beyond magnificence !! Her eyes and expressions are best in town and the body language was tailor-fit for queen’s role. The sword-fights, war sequences and superb transitions while dwelling between two genders are proof of her dedication, commitment and sovereign command over actorhood. Very rarely we see the female protagonist carrying the weight of entire film on her shoulders and try to make up for many loopholes created by others. Anushka has lifted that Atlas with her immaculate acting prowess. Rani Rudhramadevi character is another feather in Anushka’s diversified multi-color career where she pours her heart out to hold the sail higher. My respect for Sweety Shetty had skyrocketed after ‘Yennai Arindhaal’; after seeing her gruelling efforts and devotion in Rudhramadevi, it reaches pinnacle !! We are privileged to witness Anushka’s array of exceptional work in this era… Anushka is truly an epitome of excellence when it comes to giving cent-percent for demanding center-stage roles.. Bravo !!
Another noteworthy mention is Allu Arjun’s rowdy but comic Gona Ganna Reddy. Bunny has cemented the scenes with splashy dialogues and quintessential arrogance. Though in Andhra history books, GGR is given very minuscule space, Gunasekhar’s gamble to sparkle this role has paid off.
Couple of war sequences are good… Editing is average and the artwork with those gigantic sets needs accolades for its grandeur… Rudhramadevi is Gunasekhar’s long cherished dream & much anticipated film…. I would still go and watch it atleast once for man’s passion and Anushka’s breath-stopping performance… I would say “Well Done team but you left me wanting for more !!!!