A Nice History Class!
Italian merchant traveller Marco polo (Gary Tantony) narrates the legendary story of Kakatiya ruler Ganapatidevudu, his Kakatiya dynasty and most importantly his daughter Rudramadevi who is raised as a male child named Rudradevudu to safeguard the interest of his Kakatiya kingdom. Hariharadeva (Suman) & Murarideva (Adithya Menen), the wicked cousins of Ganapatideva plan coups to dethrone Ganapatideva while Mahadeva Nayakudu (Vikramjeet Virk), the arch rivals of Kakatiya dynasty waits for the right moment to wage a war and capture the Kakatiya Empire. On the other hand, Gona Ganna Reddy (Allu Arjun), a rebellion and bandit in the Kakatiya kingdom fights against exploitation by the rich and turns a hard nut to crack for the Kakitiya rulers. With so many challenges both in and outside the kingdom, how did Rudradevudu alias Rudramadevi accomplish her mission to safeguard Kakatiya dynasty forms the rest of the plot.
Since the film has an ensemble cast of many known actors and some new faces as well, we would like to mention some note-worthy performances.
Anushka: This able actor is absolutely majestic and tailor made as the legendary ‘Rudramadevi’. She gets into the character of the warrior queen with aplomb and displays all the essential variations with ease.
Allu Arjun: After the titular role, it is Stylish Star who needs a mention. He delivers a stellar as Gona Ganna Reddy and steals the show like a Boss with his intense performances. His Telangana accent and dialogues are exceptional. He is the true heart of the film and watching him is an absolute delight to the fans.
Prakash Raj: The exemplary actor plays a crucial role in the film and his performance and dialogues especially in the second half are tugging.
Suman & Adithya Menen: The duo played key roles in this historical epic drama and did complete justice to their roles.
Rana Daggubati: This lanky was handsome and dynamic as Chalukya Veerabhadra and was the perfect choice as well. He tries to leave an imprint with his looks but wish his character had more scope to unleash the best of Rana.
Nithya Menen: She plays a brief yet significant role in this film. Her scene with Anushka in the second half elevates the story of Rudramadevi,
The rest of the cast including Krishnam Raju (Ganapati Devudu), Baba Sehgal (Nagadevudu), Hamsanandini (Madhanika), Catherine Tresa (Anamika Devi), Vikramajeet Virk (Mahadeva Nayakudu), JP (Ambadevudu) give their best. Besides them young talents Ulka Gupta (As teen Rudramadevi), Vikram Lagadapati (as teen Gona Ganna Reddy), Roshan (As teen Chalukya Veerabhadra) prove that they are the upcoming acting sensations.
Well, it becomes our responsibility to start this segment with 2 things – reminding this is a historical film but not a fantasy adventurous fiction film and secondly appreciating for his incredible research and passion behind telling this story.
Rudramadevi 2D is an inspiring tale of a warrior queen that took birth in our Telugu land who sacrificed her life for Kakatiya dynasty and its people. Set in the 13th century AD, Rudramadevi breaks many myths, goes against all stereotypes, stood against all odds and fights for her kingdom and people. Her tale had all the essential ingredients that can be translated into an exceptional film with the right cinematic touch. This is Gunasekhar’s biggest weapon in the first place but this is where Gunasekhar fails.
His impeccable research, stalwart cast, performances, visual effects etc could recreate history on the celluloid but could not give the quintessential cinematic experience for the audience. He successfully painted the history for us on the big canvas but could not amaze and tug the common cinegoer with the right cinematic stroke!
Serious plots, coups, painful past, tough challenges, novel sacrifice, an intense conflict of love and responsibility – Rudramadevi’s life has everything but your viewing experience is rather marred by some dreary narration, lame visual effects, roped action sequences, coerced songs and back ground score that lacklustre. At this juncture, Gona Ganna Reddy’s character (in fact Allu Arjun) pumps life into the film. His sheer screen presence, mannerism, body language, most importantly his dialogues, the Telangana accent & sayings (Aey Gammunundavayya, Nenu Telugu Basha lekka…Aada Unta..Eeda Unta…, Kodalaki Neethulu Cheppi Attha Evadithono Udaayinchindanta…etc) simply steal your hearts. He is the knight in the shining armor for the film as well. There are few key scenes like the one between Nithya Menen – Anushka, the open court scene where Prakash Raj & Anushka talk about women & Rudramadevi that are commendable but on a whole, the lack of sufficient emotional highs in the narration might blemish the film. Of course, Gunasekhar does leave some doubts and loose ends in the script citing cinematic liberty.
The film that starts with the much intense voice over of Megastar Chiru slips directly into the story of Rudramadevi and Gona Ganna Reddy brings in the intermission in style. The second half has some meaty scenes and action sequences especially in the climax with a blend of lengthy emotional scenes put an end to the film on an inspiring note leaving the audience for Pratapa Rudra (Oops! That was a spoiler!)
With due respects to Maestro Ilayaraja, we dare to say that the songs were not impressive. They rather looked forced and did not go in sync with the mood of the film. And even the back ground score couldn’t engage the user. They remained to be the major setbacks of the film.
- The costumes by Neeta Lulla were regal.
- However, the Vfx effects were mediocre.
Rudramadevi is like a good history class - a well-researched script and an appreciable attempt. But the film might disappoint in terms of a good cinematic experience especially those who step with sky high or rather Baahubali expectations! Can watch it for the story & Allu Arjun!
ALSO SEE : That was the biggest risk I took till date: Gunasekhar