At long last the long awaited historical drama Rudhramadevi has been released. As this topic deals with our favourite subject, history, we will hold off on doing a Baahubali style review until long after the results are in. We advise movie-goers to moderate expectations. Baahubali was in many ways a sui generis. That is, it was a unique movie with a unique combination of unique inputs at a unique moment in time. So not every movie will be a Baahubali. It was a game-changer not only for the Telugu industry but Indian cinema as a whole. Gunasekhar has personally invested in seeing this long-held dream come to life at tremendous personal expense. It is no easy task to put a story on screen and to meet both the expectations of the masses and the chatterati.
In a way, it’s almost fitting that a movie about a powerful female historical personality is being released on the eve of Dasara. The spirit of Shakti is no stranger to Andhra, as this movie will show. Indeed, it and its title character, are living proof of the important place that women held in our society, not only as contributors and administrators, but even as rulers.
Long time readers may recall our early Post on Rani Rudrama Devi, the greatest Queen of the Telugus. Whether or not this film covers all her historical accomplishments, it finally gives a face and and a vision of what our medieval Kakatiya Kingdom and Royals might have looked like–albeit in requisite CGI format. A culture and people that forget their great historical personalities and their great struggles on behalf of their society condemn themselves to the dustbin. Even if this movie doesn’t fulfill all your expectations, see it just to spark renewed interest (societal and cinematic) in the history, language, achievement, greatness, and above all, culture of the ancient Telugu desa, that was called Andhra.
What’s more, this movie is a memory of the mindset of unity that once existed among all Telugus, in place of selfish and self-destructive bickering. It is a reminder of why, historically, Andhra did not just refer to the coast, but the entire Trilinga desa, and was a term for those from modern Telangana, Rayalaseema, as well as Kosta. Bifurcation has occurred, and we have two states whose separate houses should now be respected. But political division can still preserve cultural unity. This dialogue explains precisely why:
So please go and see this film with the right mindset and right expectations. The director Gunasekhar, put a lot of hard work and time in researching and creating this celluloid endeavour for the people of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Supporting this movie will ensure future Telugu and Bharatiya historical dramas on figures such as Gautamiputra and many others will be able to get the funding they need to meet modern and international film standards. Good luck to Gunasekhar gaaru and his team.
Did you see Rudhramadevi already? Comment below and tell us what you thought!