Film: Sita Ramam; Duration: 160 minutes (Releasing in theatres)
Director: Hanu Raghavapudi
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Mrunal Thakur, Rashmika Mandanna, Prakash Raj, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Yarlagadda Sumanth Kumar, Bhoomika Chawla, Vennela Kishore, Tarun Bhaskar, Murali Sharma and Sunil.
IANS Rating: ****
By Manigandan K.R.
Director Hanu Raghavapudi's 'Sita Ramam' is just a brilliantly-crafted, beautiful love story that leaves you completely overwhelmed by the time you walk out of the theatre.
The film, which has all the makings of a timeless classic, tells the love story of Lieutenant Ram, played by Dulquer, an officer of the Indian army who was serving in Kashmir in the sixties, and Sita, a princess who was willing to relinquish everything, including her wealth and title, for the sake of his love.
The story slowly unravels itself as Afreen (Rashmika Mandanna), a Pakistani student studying in the UK, is forced to embark on a journey to deliver a letter written by Ram to Sita almost 20 years ago.
She is entrusted with the job of delivering the letter by her late grandfather, Pakistan Brigadier Tariq, played by Sachin Khedekar.
Afreen, who appears to be a feminist and a jingoist, whole-heartedly hates India and therefore, grudingly begins her search for Sita. The journey, however, opens her eyes to truths that she was blind to initially and makes her see the power of love, compassion and kindness.
Director Hanu Raghavapudi does a magnificent job of narrating a touching romantic story capable of melting the hearts of even the most cynical people.
The film has much to offer, both as a visual spectacle and as a treasure trove of noble ideas.
Though' the film might initially come across like just another classic rich girl falls for poor boy kind of story, in reality, it is much more than that. It is a story that is full of small incidents or interactions that showcase various qualities that deserve praise.
It also dispels myths along the way, in its own sweet non-imposing manner. Take for instance, the scene in the film in which Ram, who does not know his Sita is actually a princess, attempts to convince her that she does not have to worry if he has the means to provide for her because he has a princely sum of Rs 12,000 in his bank account.
It is just a beautiful sequence that evokes laughter and admiration both at the same time. Laughter at Ram's ignorance and admiration at his sincerity.
The film has breathtaking visuals from the start till the end. Every single scene is picture perfect. Be it the lighting, the choice of colours, the designs or the frame, there is very little to complain about.
Both cinematographers P.S. Vinod and Shreyaas Krishna seem to have done outstanding work in the film. So good is their work that 'Sita Ramam' can be watched just for its visuals alone!
Vishal Chandrashekar's music, be it for the background score or for the songs, work big time. The songs in this film have considerable retention value and that credit must go entirely to Vishal. His background score is also apt.
Dulquer, like always, delivers a fantastic performance in the film. He charms his way into your heart and rules it like a king by the time the film ends.
But it is Mrunal Thakur who steals the show. She looks the part and plays it to perfection. She displays the class of royalty and the compassion of a kind-hearted noble soul simultaneously with commendable ease.
While her attire and attitude indicates royalty, her eyes are full of compassion and kindness. Her demure nature perfectly complements the playful and flamboyant nature of Ram and they make an ideal pair together.
Rashmika Mandanna as Afreen showcases a new facet of her acting. She plays a woman who is self-centred, unforgiving and hateful at first but turns into a person forgiving and loving at the end. Rashmika showcases both personalities quite well.
Almost all the actors deliver in this film. Special mention of Vennela Kishore and Murali Sharma, must be made, who played their parts to perfection yet again.
In all, 'Sita Ramam' is a work of perfection and deserves to be celebrated.