It is considered risky when you prefer to differ from the trend where Tollywood directors are churning action and item number packed masala entertainers one after the other. And the risk doubles when it is a woman centric film. The 2009 blockbuster film Arundhati, in such scenario was a pretty unsafe commercial venture directed by Kodi Rama Krishna, who is renowned for his socio-fantasy creations.
A to-be-married Arundhati (Anushka) steps into Gadwal to visit her ailing grandfather. Gadwal was and is ruled by Arundhati’s family. We are now introduced to Jejamma (also played by Anushka) who was a highly admired, royal and a fiery woman 80 years ago when Gadwal was under her reign. Arundhati, being the first girl child to be born in the family after Jejamma, is equally treated and respected as the latter. After a spate of events Arundhati gets to know that she was brought to Gadwal by a super natural satanic force which now lies in an ancient palace. The evil force is said to be the spirit of one Pasupathi (Sonu Sood) who is on a mission to avenge his death caused by Jejamma.
The rest is about:
- Why and how did Jejamma kill Pasupathi?
- Why Arundhati is targeted and how she deals with all this?
You are enormously engaged from the moment the movie takes off. Though the concept of revenge and rebirth has been dealt with earlier and many Hollywood movies were taken as inspiration here, Arundhati is unique in the way it was scripted, directed and executed.
You are taken into a satanic ride from the very beginning. The way the evil Pasupathi and even his spirit are shown craving for the beautiful Arundhati or how he in an ever drunken state fumbles and stumbles yet looks for Bommalis (pretty women) around as people mourn his wife’s suicide, it is wickedness at its best. And when the fiery little Jejamma seeks to end his cruel antics, it is a pure joy to watch. Pasupathi’s re-arrival to the Gadwal fort was very well shot. It was a proud and an emotional moment to watch the way Jejamma dies and Anushka looked a Goddess when coconuts break on her head. Such elegantly made flashback is the soul of this movie.
The only major directorial flaw was the random appearances of Arundhati’s huge loving family. It disturbs the mood of this gripping tale.
Technology and graphics contribute significantly. The camera angles were very powerful and especially the Gadwal fort and the Jejamma song were shot beautifully. The talwar making scene has a stunning cinematography! The background score adds to the level of interest. The dubbing for Anushka was commendable for it narrates the whole story to us. Sonu Sood’s voice especially terrors you and it is what that brings in the venomous feel to the movie. Costumes and sets were realistic and appealing. The Gadwal fort stands out. Three cheers to the dialogues and their flow. Bommali fever has gripped Andhra and it means so much to the movie.
We know Anushka is a gorgeous woman. But little did we know that she can act this well! She was very believable and appreciable as a royal, fiery and a respectable woman. The awards she went on receiving after this movie speak a lot.
Sonu Sood was simply outstanding and is the major plus of this movie. From the evil grin to the women lusting expressions, he did it amazingly well.
Sayaji Shinde did his bit very well. Manorama did a decent job. Subhashini was powerful in her tiny negative role. Divya Nagesh as young Jejamma was commendable. Others had nothing much to do.
I will go with 4 out of 5 for this must watch nail biting tale. All you faint hearted ones, gather some strength and please do watch the movie.
You can also watch Arundhati with English sub-titles on You Tube. A glimpse: