Arundhati – a riveting tale of revenge and redemption
Release date: 16 January 2009
Director : Kodi Rama Krishna
Music Director : Koti
Producer : M. Shyam Prasad Reddy
Starring : Anushka, Deepak, Sonu Sood, Sayaji Shinde, Manorama, Kaikala Satyanarayana ...
Related Links: First day first show Videos Photos Interview with Anushka Exclusive Information

Not everybody could play Arundhati. Then again Anushka is anything but everybody. She wades into a character that Shyam scripted just for her, and by the end of the movie, like gold forged through fire, emerges a sparkling winner. Anushka as Arundhati is awesomely competent, on your face symbol of women power and for good measure stacked with a swaggering attitude of an adventurer.

What is it about : It is a period drama about sustained revenge that simmers for over 80 years. It takes Arundhati two lifetimes to redeem herself from the ghosts of her past. The gruesome ghost of her past is Pasupati, - a role brilliantly essayed Sonu Sood. After committing one atrocity too many, he is banished out of the kingdom by a young Arundhati. Given up for dead, he is saved by tantrik Aghoras and with their help equips himself with the powers of the supernatural. A few years later he returns to the Kingdom on Arundhati’s wedding day and unleashes unimaginable mayhem. Arundhati confronts him and in a stunningly choreographed dance sequence (reminiscent of Zhang Yi in Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon) she impales Pasupati and has him buried alive in a samadhi. This dance sequence is by far the highlight of the film. The rest of the movie is about Pasupati emerging from that samadhi and going in search of his tormentor.

What is Good: The script, its treatment, Anushka and Sonu Sood - they are all top dollar. Shyam’s focus on the hero(ine) and Kodi Ramakrishna’s on the villain makes up for an engrossing cinema. It takes a mean villain to bring out the magical best in a hero. You are perfectly excused if you watch the movie with eyes half-closed in fear. But your reassurance comes from Arundhati’s determined and wide open eyes. She does not blink. Through all the manic torment, which Pasupati inflicts on her, she stares at him right back. Pasupati’s supernatural aura is generated from Shyam and Rahul’s special effects team. But Arundhati’s resolve is entirely Anushkas. This lady, if this movie is any indication, will climb every step of the ladder – all the way to the very top!

What is bad: Kodi Ramakrishna’s obsession on villainy should be reduced. Pasupati in the second half is given way too much rope. And Shyam had to pay the price in the form of an abrupt climax. How one wishes that Arundhati, puts Pasupati through the wringer, just that little bit longer. The stage was all set. But the time just wasn’t there.

Me Thinks: Arundhati has a storyline as old as time itself. It is told by a storyteller with a perfect understanding of the talent and technology. Good actors have given great performances. Go to the theatre suspend your sense of belief, and let Shyam take you on a cinematic ride the likes of which you haven’t experienced for a long time.

Tailpiece: Adventures involving the ancient, the occult and the exotic are much superior to those involving modern cars and guns and cops. Go ahead indulge in one!

- Pramod Reddy  
Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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