Gunasekhar's most ambitious film till date, the historical Rudramadevi has Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Nithya Menen, Catherine Tresa, Allu Arjun, Baba Sehgal and a host of other actors in special appearances.
Gunasekhar's most ambitious film till date, the historical Rudramadevi has Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Nithya Menen, Catherine Tresa, Allu Arjun, Baba Sehgal and a host of other actors in special appearances. less
“Rudhramadevi can be watched once for its grandeur and technical finesse.”
Make no mistake, Gona Gana Reddy (Allu Arjun) is the hero of this movie. Rana, Anushka and Nithya Menen get one biscuit each.
Some basic science lessons you'll need: A rope going round and round a pillar will not entwine around it but just miraculously act like a pulley and take the person holding it upwards.
Hitting an elephant with both hands on its head, even in the 21st century, leads to the elephant instantaneously making you its lord.
Thousands and thousands of people cannot identify a 25 year old woman parading as a man (historically incorrect) but another woman does it with a simple touch.
When an eagle formation attacks a snake formation, everyone in the snake formation dies. Everyone inside the eagle chills like a boss. A massive elephant disappears.
Kings and queens could stand atop terraces and just talk across hundreds of meters and still be heard. Wonder why they had those ushers in olden times to loudly shout out just names when the king arrived.
The story of Rudrama Devi is an enthralling one, if you read about it in history. At 14 she is introduced as heir apparent and she is equally up to the task. Rudrama Devi's heroics or heroinics rather, vary from quelling the incessantly bickering chieftains within her kingdom to uniting the pieces of Andhra and turn them into a massive kingdom that was led beautifully. The movie attempts to talk about how Rudrama Devi put her people ahead of her, how she even in the 13th century, managed to harness river water, create irrigation canals, reduce taxes and yet protect the kingdom thanks to a smart minister Shiva Devaiah(Prakash Raj) and some loyals.
The movie though loses its plot completely within a short while. Too many songs, not well composed and needless break your rhythm and confuse an already confusing storyline based on strategies woven by multiple parties. Rudrama Devi's father Ganapati Deva had two step brothers (played by Suman and Adithya Menon) both constantly hatching plots against the kingdom. But Rudrama Devi takes the help of Gona Gana Reddy to not only take care of them but of Mahadeva Nayakudu, her biggest enemy.
Where lies my problem:
Gona Gana Reddy has more punch dialogues than anyone in the movie and the story is so developed that in the end you realise that Gana Reddy is the most selfless and inspiring character, not Rudrama Devi, which is against the principles of storytelling in a movie where the supposed protagonist plays the titular role (Rudrama Devi). It is funny how in all the scenes where the common men are being addressed only particular actor speaks up and keeps appearing, sometimes contradicting himself, praising Rudrama Devi one minute, then complaining against the kingdom another minute and then praising Gona in the third minute. Veerbhadra Chalukya (Rana) is a powerful person in real life who eventually marries Rudrama Devi. Here, he has been reduced to a sidekick who has hardly much to do besides some meaningless love scenes where there is no chemistry. Bad editing doesn't help. Sample this - the villain Mahadeva is seen involved in a sword fight with Veerabhadra (Rana). A few minutes later he is running through a secret tunnel and emerges on the terrace fighting Rudrama Devi. The two step-brothers send out soldiers to capture Rudrama Devi, who single handedly fights 1000s of them. They are happy to see their soldiers make a needless snake formation to surround her. Next moment, as they give cricket commentary from the terrace, they seem afraid that Rudrama Devi will defeat the 1000 odd soldiers. Suddenly the elephant vanishes from the seen and now Gona Gana Reddy is riding towards the fort. The two step brothers are now happy that Gona's eagle formation will destroy the snake - their own soldiers. What you been smokin' bro?
The movie at the end of the day makes sure the audience gets to cheer their hero, Gona, a Robinhood of sorts. Deep inside us, we know that even for women-oriented movies, we need a hero. It is our heroes that draw the crowds and we should be ashamed of it, but we won't. Gona repeats 'Gammu na undavoi' and 'Na moltadu' catchphrases some dozen times and you wonder why. The costume designing, especially for the wars is below average. A lot of scenes look like parts cut, copied and pasted from low-budget TV serials. The OST is almost non-existent and where it does, the tunes are hardly hummable. It could easily be Ilaiyaraja's worst album unless he outsourced it to someone. All in all, it was a painful and forgettable experience.