October 20th, 2015


Magic In Tunes: 10/08/2015 - Antahpuramlo Andala Chilaka

This soft melody is from the 2015 hit Telugu historical film Rudhramadevi ( =Name of Indian Queen) based on the life of Rudrama Devi, one of the few ruling queens of India. It was Sung by Chithra, Sadhana Sargam and Chinmayee. Music composed by Ilaiyaraaja and Lyrics penned by Sirivennela Sitaramasastri.

Rudramadevi was a ruler of Kakatiya Dynasty in the Deccan plateau from 1259 till her death in 1289. Although born as a girl, she was raised as a boy, named, Raduradeva, by her parents to avoid letting enemies know that there was no male heir born in the family. Traditionally male child inherits the family in India, a practice still seen in modern India even though women have excelled in every field. The rest of the movie follows her life first as Rudradeva bringing reforms to the dynasty and protecting from both external and internal enemies; following up with her being revealed as a female child Rudhramadevi right before her coronation, at the age of 14, and defending both about her being hidden as a girl child for so long and the dynasty against attacks by Jatavaram Sundara Pandya. A sub-plot follows the romantic interest by Chalukya Veerabhadra, Rudradeva's childhood friend and right hand man, who loves her once he knows her real identity. Another sub-plot follows the bandit king Gona Ganna Reddy, who aids her in her battles caused by enemies within and out. Rudramadevi eventually marries Veerabhadra and has a child named Prataparudra. Gona Ganna Reddy remains loyal to her all thru her reign.

Movie has been well made, stuck true to the history. Anushka Shetty as Rudhramadevi / Rudradeva, Rana Daggubati as Chalukya Veerabhadra and Allu Arjun as Gona Ganna Reddy have reprised the real-life roles excellently. Anushka justified both the roles well. Allu Arjun with his rural Telangana accent and dialogues stole everyone's hearts. Rana with his charms and witty comments made a mark. The 7 -wall protection around the city was an ingenious war plan that is well played.

Yet, there have been certain obvious flaws in the movie. First the entire attempt to show it in 3D - perhaps it would have been a better movie if the 3D was not attempted. Because of that the minutest of the errors with cinematography / graphics were blown up more than required. A good attempt but not the right movie to try.

Second the portrayal of a Tiger in place of actual human character of Rudramadevi looked really silly. Director could have shown the power of the character by keeping the character as is.  There was no need to use an animal enactment to prove it.

Third the weak music. As great a music director as Ilaiyaraaja is, one expects a little better than what was heard. May be it's me expecting more of the legend, but the music was certainly weak.

Fourth are the annoying characters (two men and one female) who are ever present in the people portrayed as the citizens, sometimes screaming good things about Rudradeva and sometimes yelling against Rudramadevi. They could have been mellowed a lot and blended in rather than being shown as obnoxious.

Lastly, not sure if it is a flaw, but I am categorizing under it since I could not find any accurate historical proof. Movie shows Rudramadevi marrying another girl, Muktamba, while she was still living the role of male child, Rudradeva. Not sure if this part is entirely true. And if it is, it further proves the courage the queen had that she had committed her life totally for the sake of the dynasty rather than thinking of herself for a single second.

All in all a well-made historical movie, performed equally great by the three lead actors and enjoyable if you can ignore the flaws.

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