Nandamuri Balakrishna and Bapu have come together to create a devotional magnum opus, Sri Rama Rajyam. The movie has Balakrishna playing the role of Lord Rama, Nayanatara in the role of Sita and Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu as Valmiki. Sri Rama Rajyam released all over the world today and there are some pretty high expectations on this film. Let us see how the movie fares.
Ramayana is a familiar story for every Indian. But a brief synopsis is being given here for the benefit of everyone. Sri Rama Rajyam is set in the Uttara Kandam of the Ramayana that deals with the story of Lava and Kusha. After Rama (Balakrishna) and Sita (Nayanatara) get back from Lanka, the Kingdom of Ayodhya rejoices and everyone is happy for a while. But Lord Rama is forced to banish Sita from the Kingdom when a washerman (Brahmanandam) questions her ‘pavitratha’.
Sita takes shelter in the Ashram of Maha Rishi Valmiki (Nageswara Rao) and raises her kids Lava and Kusha as normal kids without informing them of their heritage . Lava and Kusha are trained in all the ‘vidyas’ by Valmiki. A series of incidents later, Lord Rama performs the Ashwamedha Yagam for the benefit of the kingdom. The sacred yagam horse wanders through the forest and it is captured by Lava and Kusha. A confrontation erupts between the kids and Lakshmana (Srikanth) and when Lakshmana falls, Lord Rama enters the arena.
The fight is prevented by Sita and she reveals her true identity to her kids. Lava and Kusha are re-united with their father, Lord Rama, and Sita unites with her mother Bhoodevi (Roja) and leaves this mortal world.
Plus Points :
First, the Producer, Director and the lead actors Balakrishna & Nayanatara need to be specially applauded for having the courage to come up with such a project in this day and age. The movie Sri Rama Rajyam has some terrific performances from everyone involved.
Balakrishna looks majestic and regal in the character of Lord Rama. In some scenes, there is a very strong resemblance to his father, Telugu Cinema Legend Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao garu. His histrionics are spot on and he has delivered a fine and balanced performance. His performance in the emotional moments of the film will win applause. He is perhaps the only actor of his generation who can play such mythological roles.
Nayanatara has given what is perhaps her career best performance and she will win many awards for her portrayal of Sita. She is outstanding in emotional scenes and there is an air of divinity about her whenever she is seen on screen. This is a remarkable achievement for an actress who has always maintained a very glamorous profile.
It is easy to understand why Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu is a legend. He has a full length character in the movie as Valmiki and he delivers beautifully. He gives the key scenes of the movie the necessary balance and maturity.
The kids who have played the characters of Lava and Kusha have done a superb job. They have shown a lot of talent in their performance. The fight scenes in the climax have come out really well. It has been a long time since we saw magic arrows flying from both sides sides of the battlefield for a duel. Nostalgic experience.
Bapu is a master artist and you will be reminded of this fact right from frame 1 of the movie. Every frame of the movie looks visually stunning,with a beautiful symphony of colours. The costumes and appearance of Balakrishna and especially Nayanatara are top notch. The songs have been picturized perfectly in typical Bapu style. Special effects and CGI are of a very high quality (More on this in Technical Aspects)
The emotional scenes in the movie have come out really well and the connection with the audience is very strong. It is easy to empathize with the difficulties of Rama and Sita.
Srikanth and Sameer are ok as Lakshmana and Bharatha. K.R.Vijaya is outstanding as Kousalya. Roja is good as Bhoodevi. There are a lot of other prominent actors in the movie in short roles and they have all done well.
Minus Points :
The movie is a tad long with a run time of 3 hours. Barring a few scenes, there are no ‘commercial elements’ to speak of and this might make it difficult for front benchers and mass movie lovers to appreciate the film. It will also be difficult for young people who look for romance and comedy as major sources of entertainment.
Brahmanandam and Jhansi were wasted in their minimal roles. The makeup of Lord Hanuman should have been better.
Ilayaraja’s music and background score are extraordinary. They are a major asset to the movie and will be appreciated by one and all. Care has been taken in the SFX and CGI department and it is a treat to watch the special effects on screen. The movie has some of the best visual effects ever seen in a Telugu cinema.
Screenplay by Mullapudi Venkata Ramana and narration are the movie’s main strengths. There is hardly a moment in the movie where the interest is lost. Cinematography and editing are outstanding. Dialogues are pleasant and easy to understand. Jonnavitthula’s lyrics are excellent.
Sri Rama Rajyam is one of those films which can be showcased as examples of what the Telugu Film Industry can do. Bapu has delivered a stunning mythological masterpiece. Balakrishna and Nayanatara are majestic as the divine couple of Rama and Sita. Outstanding music and background score, high quality special effects and some very grand visuals make this movie a great watch. Lack of commercial elements and limited appeal to students & front benchers might hamper the movie in some areas. The true Box Office range will depend on how the family crowds and elders embrace the film. Thumbs up for Sri Rama Rajyam. Go and immerse yourself in this divine experience.
– Mahesh K.S
123telugu.com Rating: 4/5
Legend: 5 – Flawless
4 – Must Watch
3 – One Time Watch
2 – Wait for the DVD
1 – Stay Away
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