Rudhramadevi Movie Review

Friday, October 9, 2015 - 11:45
Rudhramadevi 3D (2015)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Rudramadevi
Cast: Anushka, Allu Arjun, Rana Daggubati, Nithya Menen Catherine Tresa, Vikramjeet Virk, Krishnam Raju, Prakash Raj, Suman, Adithya Menon, Aditi Chengappa, Brahmanandam, Hamsa Nandini, Ajay, Baba Sehgal, Madhumitha, Tanikella Bharani, Krishna Bhagavaan, L.B. Sriram
Lyrics: Sirivennela Seetaramasasthry
Dialogues: Parachuri Brothers
Music: Ilayaraaja
Cinematography: Ajayan Vincent
Art: Thota Tharani
Costumes: Neeta Lulla
Editing: Srikar Prasad
Action: Peter Hein and Vijay
Screenplay, produced and directed by: Gunasekhar
Release date: October 9, 2015
CBFC Rating: U/A
Runtime: 158 mins

What’s it about!
Rudramadevi tells the story and life of Rani Rudrama Devi (1261–1289) of Kakatiya dynasty. With enemies trying to invade the kingdom, the king of Kakatiya Ganapati Devudu (Krishnam Raju) yearns for a son to succeed him but his wife gives birth to a baby girl. Upon the advice of his minister Siva Devaiah (Prakash Raj), the king raises his daughter as a boy Rudradeva. At first Rudrama confuses whether she is a girl or boy, later she comes to know the reason why she is being raised as boy. When she grows up, she is rules as co-regent to her father. She starts loving her childhood friend and Nidadavolu prince (Rana) but she cannot express her love. On the other hand, a Robin Hood kind of bandit Gona Ganna Reddy (Allu Arjun) is challenging her. When some persons in her court suspect about her male identity, she gets married to her relative (Nithya Menen). Few days later, everyone comes to know the real identity of Rudra Deva. How she will win the challenges now and rule her province and what role does Gona Ganna Reddy plays in her life forms the rest of the movie.


The story and life of Rudramadevi, the great ruler of Kakatiya dynasty, is highly inspiring as she ruled the vast province tiding against the male-chauvinist kings who opposed a queen’s governance. Rudramadevi went on to introduce new reforms in governance, built the great formidable fort at Orugollu (now known as Warangal). Truly her life has enough material to make a great story on screen.

To entertain the audiences of today’s generation and for the dramatic effect, director Gunasekhar has changed the story a wee bit and infused some fictional elements and he has mentioned this at very beginning  of the movie.

Now comes the question… Is he successful in telling the story effectively? Well, it is mixed bag. On a most engrossing manner the drama unfolds, moves forward on right note with the explanation of why Rudrama Devi grew up as male Rudra Deva Maharaja, progresses smoothly with the introduction of Gona Ganna Reddy and ends with an interesting hook at the end of first half. After setting up such decent start, the director completely fails to carry on the same tempo till the end. Right from the beginning of the second half, it drifts away from his hands.

Not just the narration, even the graphics in the second half doesn’t live up to the promise he has shown in the beginning. Other than the last 15 minutes in the climax, entire second half of the movie is a total letdown.

The other disappointment is we hardly see the greatness and adventurous side of Rudramadevi as the director has put more focus on the Gona Ganna Reddy’s daringness, a character that is mentioned in footnotes of  the history books. Even the great administration reforms she introduced are told verbally in the movie and are  not shown in visual sequences. None of the scenes arouse emotional pitch or Goosebumps.

The characters of Suman, Aditya Menon and Jayaprakash Reddy are very caricaturist, they scheme evil things always sitting on the balcony like in the old TV serials.

On the positives of the movie, the one thing that needs a mention is the rich scale of the film – it is clearly visible the labor that Gunasehkar has put in and the budget that he has thrown in to make a visually rich movie. Despite some weak VFX works, the graphics depicting the eagle and snake fight of soldiers are noteworthy. And of course, there is some equally rich beautiful art work by Padma Shri Tota Tharani.


Anushka in the titular character is apt to the core. She has essayed two different getups – of a queen disguised as male king, and of a young girl with beautiful physical features. She has shown the variations with remarkable difference for the both getups – almost like playing two different roles. As a warrior queen she has shown ease in sword fights too. For Anushka, this is a film that she can be proud of.

But the one who steals the show in the movie is Allu Arjun as the Gona Ganna Reddy, a bandit with impeccable charm and wit. Allu Arjun seems to have enjoyed himself performing this that he has come up some clap worthy performances. His witty dialogues laced in Telangana accent are superb.

Nithya Menen in brief but important role infuses the energy into the movie whenever she appears on screen. Rana plays his role well as Anushka’s romantic interest. As a king Ganapati Deva, Krishnam Raju, are okay. Prakash Raj in the role of a minister is perfect. There are plenty of unimportant characters in the movie but only few like Catherine Tresa, Aditya Menon gets noticed.

Among the technicians, cameraman Ajay Vincent needs appreciation. He has given the film a very rich look. The artwork by Tharani is equally impressive. But unfortunately, Ilayaraja’s music doesn’t help the movie. The VFX team has failed to come up with right output. The costumes for Anushka by Neeta Lulla are neat. As writer and director Gunasekhar has shown both good work in some parts and as well as let us down with bad narration. One can see his ‘grand vision’, results would have been out of the world had  he executed it effectively.


The scale and rich historical importance is major plus point of director Gunasekhar’s laborious movie but the narration is quite ineffective. Despite Allu Arjun’s stellar show and Anushka’s hard work, Rudramadevi makes the movie a tedious watch post interval. But we should appreciate Gunasekhar for taking such effort to present us our rich Telugu history on to the screen. 

NOTE: The reviewer watched the movie in 2D format, not in 3D.