The much talked about spectacular Telugu language film “Sri Rama Rajyam” is directed by the legendary octogenarian Director and Padma Sri Award winner Sri.Bapu..
Produced by Yalamanchali Sai Babu,under his banner Sai Baba Movies,Sri Rama Rajyam is a visual treat made with a massive budget of three hundred and twenty million Indian Rupees..Sai Babu,an industrialist by profession and a philanthropist by nature,has left no stone unturned in extending complete support to Director Bapu in carving out this creative masterpiece called “Sri Rama Rajyam”..
The magic of Sri Rama Rajyam held all the sections of audiences across South India captive with it’s spell binding content conveyed by Bapu through steady frames,excellent closeups,stunning visuals,amazing set designs,spectacular photography,scintillating music and finally those mind blowing visual effects that were never seen on the Indian screen before..
Sri Rama Rajyam deals with the subject of Uttar Kand,the most crucial part of the great Indian epic Ramayan..Uttara Kand depicts Lord Sri Ram’s rule of Ayodhya after His return from Lanka’; His separation from Sita; Sita’s life in the Hermitage of Sage Valmiki and finally the upbringing of the holy couple’s children Luv and Kush in that hermitage..
Director Bapu,with his deft handling of the story of Uttar Kand,through his film Sri Rama Rajyam,has definitely taken the overall standards of Indian film making to the next level and arguably made the best film not only in the history of the South Indian film industry but also in the history of the Indian film industry..
The Story Of The Film
This spectacular film Sri Rama Rajyam begins with the return of Lord Sri Ram from His exile and His subsequent coronation as King of Ayodhya..Life is full of merriment for the noble couple of Sri Ram and Sita until one day when an idiotic washer man talks rude about the holy Sita saying “how can she be pure when she’s held captive by a demon King Ravana for so many years..”
Taking the washer man’s remarks very seriously,a much disturbed Lord Sri Ram instructs His brother Lakshmana to leave Sita in the middle of a forest and come back..Though reluctant initially,Lakshmana is forced to obey his Brother’s orders and finally leaves a much shocked Sita in a wild forest and returns back..
Sage Valmiki comes to the rescue of the lonely Sita and provides Her shelter in his Hermitage..Sita,who was already a pregnant by then,gives birth to two cute male twins who are later christened Luv and Kush by Sage Valmiki..The twins, whose identity was deliberately hidden by the noble Sage,grow up under his tutelage..
Valmiki composes Ramayan in poetic form and teaches Luv and Kush to practice singing it.. Later,when Sage Valmiki comes to know about the public ceremony King Sri Ram is holding in Ayodhya,he instructs Luv and Kush to attend it and sing Ramayan in front of Sri Ram..Obeying the holy Sage’s orders, Luv and Kush sing Ramayan in front of Sri Ram and at the time when they recite about Sita’s exile,Sri Ram becomes extremely grievous..
Finally,after a spectacularly captured battle between Lord Sri Ram and the young twins,Sita with the help of Hanuman,comes rushing to the battle field and it is at this point of time that the great King Sri Ram comes to know that the young twin brothers,who have so far waged a bravely battle with Him,are actually His sons..
However,that’s too late for Sri Ram as a much disappointed Sita,despite persistent requests from Sri Ram calls upon her Mother Earth,to take her away..As a result,the forest ground where Sita is thus far standing opens up under her feet and Sita vanishes into it.. (This scene conveyed through mind blowing visual effects is the highlight of this spectacular film)..
Later,Lord Sri Ram hands over the reins of the kingdom of Ayodhya to Luv and Kush and as the seven gates of the Celestial Abode of Vaikuntam open before Him,the holy Lord very gracefully walks into His holy Celestial Abode thus marking the end of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Sri Ram on our planet Earth..
Star Cast Of The Film
Whereas Nandamuri Bala Krishna,a popular Telugu super star and son of the iconic Telugu film personality N.T.Rama Rao,played the role of Lord Sri Ram in this film,the role of Sita is portrayed by South Indian film industry’s one of the most beautiful heroines,Nayana Tara..By and large Nayana Tara’s performance as Sita in Sri Rama Rajyam will go down in the history of Telugu film industry as one of the finest performances ever seen on the Telugu screen..
Another legendary Telugu actor and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner Padma Bhushan Dr.Akkineni Nageswara Rao played the role of Sage Valmiki in this great film..The rest of the other important characters too were portrayed by popular Telugu film artistes like Srikanth (Lakshmana) Sameer (Bharatha) and Vindu Dara Singh(Hanuman)
CNN-IBN: “Sri Rama Rajyam is one film that the Telugu film industry can be proud of.. ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’ is a well-known story,so it’s a challenge to remake such a classic,but Bapu’s good work turns the remake into another classic.. Filmgoers,who look for classics, should not miss this film”..CNN-IBN gave a four star rating to this film
NDTV: “In all,Sri Rama Rajyam is a feel-good film that brilliantly showcases our ancient culture”
Rediff: By giving three stars to this classic,Rediff said in it’s review “Kudos to Director Bapu and Producer Saibabu for recreating the Ramayana magic on celluloid..”
Oneindia.in: “Sri Rama Rajyam is a feel good film that showcases our ancient culture,heritage and values..The way Bapu managed to make the film into a visual and musical delight is extraordinary and it is a film that can give you an enriching experience while entertaining you in good measure”..Only Bapu,the veteran director,could have executed this mammoth task so well..Sri Rama Rajyam is an optical feast. Go for it”
Sri Rama Rajyam has won Andhra Pradesh state government’s prestigious Golden Nandi award for the year 2011 in as many as seven categories that include Best Feature Film (Director Bapu and Producer Sai Babu),Best Actress (Nayana Tara-Sita),Best Music Director (Maestro Ilaya Raaja),Best Cinematographer (P R K.Raju),Best Choreographer (Sreenu),Best Make Up (P.Ram Babu) and Best Female Dubbing Artiste (Sunita for Sita’s character)
The film has also won the 59th annual Film Fare Awards-South India under the categories for Best Actress (Nayan Tara),Best Female Ply Back Singer (Shreya Goshal-Jagadaananda Kaaraka)) and Best Lyricist (Jagadaananda Kaarakaa-Jonna Viththula Rama Lingeswar Rao)
Additionally,PRK Raju,the Director Of Photography,lauded for his spellbinding work in this film,has won the award for the Best Photography,for the year 2012,at the prestigious South Indian International Movie (SIIMA) awards held annually at Dubai.. Nayana Tara too has won the best actress award at the same venue for 2012..
The Director : Bapu
With a penchant for art and art work,Bapu’s subjects are reflections of the conventional Indian society and right from his first film “Sakshi” (Telugu-1968) to Sri Ram Rajyam (Dec,2011) Bapu’s films are subjects chosen right from the lives of the middle class Indian families..The characters of women,in Bapu’s films,were always held on a high pedestal and it would not be an aggrandizement of the Director to say “no other Indian Director has shown women,in Indian films,as aesthetically and as sensuously as Bapu..”
In an illustrious career that’s spread over four decades of dedicated film making,Director Bapu has directed fifty one films that include ten Hindi films (Hum Paanch, Seeta Swayamvar,Anokha Bhakt,Bezubaan,Woh Saat Din,Pyari Behna, Mohobbat,Mera Dharam,Diljala and Prem Pratigya) and one Tamil film(Devan Mayagugiran)..
Music Director: Illaiyaraja
Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja composed the background score and songs for “Sri Rama Rajyam” and according to the music sources in Mumbai and Chennai, Illaiyaraja and his troupe of seventy amazing musicians literally worked for twelve hours in a day to give the viewers of Sri Rama Rajyam that out of the world musical experience..
Nine extraordinary musicians were specially flown in from Hungary to assist the Maestro Illaiyaraja in delivering that amazing background score for this film..A very rare musical instrument “Timpany”,that’s not found anywhere in India and found only in three countries around the world,is specially brought in and used for this film..
Although all the fifteen songs composed by Maestro Illaiyaraja for Sri Rama Rajyam are musical gems,there’s however,one particular song that stands out among them..Composed in Raag Naata “Jagadaananda Kaaraka” (Telugu) is one of those rare gems from Saint Thyagaraja’s pancha ratna Keerthanas and using the opening lines of this popular keerthana,Maestro Illaiyaraja composed “Jagadaananda Kaaraka” song for the film “Sri Rama Rajyam”.
And “Jagadaananda Kaarakaa” quite rightfully won the best lyricist (Jonna Vithhula) and the best female playback singer (Shreya Goshal) awards for the film..In an illustrious career spread over forty five years of selfless service to music,Sri Rama Rajyam is the first mythological film the Maestro Illaiyaraja composed music for..
Spectacular Visual Effects
Undoubtedly Sri Rama Rajyam is a masterpiece created by Bapu,however,it’s important to mention here that at least half of the entire credit should unconditionally go to the Visual Effects Team that did a splendid job in finally giving Sri Rama Rajyam that spectacular look..
Under the able leadership of National Award Winner Kamal Kannan (Maga Dheera) the Visual Effects work was executed by award winning company, Pixelloid from Mumbai in association with EFX and Makuta..
Business Of The Film
With its extravagant production values “Sri Rama Rajyam” becomes the first Telugu film in the history of the Indian film industry to command a whopping sixty million Indian rupees for it’s satellite rights alone..Whereas the film did a commendable business in every area it is exhibited,it did exceedingly well in some areas of Andhra region..
Sri Rama Rajyam is also dubbed into all South Indian languages and it did a very decent business in all those areas too..Sri Rama Rajyam is also the only second Hindu mythological film to be dubbed and released in a Christian dominated state of Kerala..Quite interestingly,”Lava Kusa”(1963-Similar story of Uttara Kand starring N.T.Rama Rao,father of Sri Rama Rajyam’s hero Bala Krishna) was the first Hindu mythological film to be dubbed into the Malayalam language of Kerala..
According to Blue Sky Cinemas Inc.,the overseas distributors of Sri Rama Rajyam,who released the film in Australia,Atlanta, Raleigh,Charlotte,South Carolina,Indianapolis,Iowa, Nebraska and Memphis,”In the history of overseas film business,more particularly of Telugu film business,Sri Rama Rajyam is the only film that broke all the previous records and had an eighty percent collection rate for two consecutive weeks in America.. This was never the case for any Telugu film so far,as every previous film screened here found a drop in it’s collections in it’s very second week,however,Sri Rama Rajyam had a steady collection in the second week too..”
Sri Rama Rajyam ran to packed houses in every place it was screened in America, more so in localities like VA,New Jersey and Bay Area.. During one of the premier shows held in America,a guy by name Ashok Babu Kolla of San Jose purchased a premier show ticket for $2500…Another great record indeed..
Special Honors For The Film
Sri Rama Rajyam was specially chosen for screening at the International Film Festival held in Goa in 2012..For the first time in the history of this festival,Sri Rama Rajyam was specially shown to five hundred media personalities from all over the world who were stunned by the standards delivered by this film and gave a standing ovation to director Bapu after the screening..
During the same festival,a special screening of Sri Rama Rajyam was held for the hon’ble chief minister of Goa,Manohar Parrikar who after viewing this film specially felicitated it’s entire crew…
Additionally,a special screening of the Malayalam version of Sri Rama Rajyam was held for His Majesty Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.the Maharaja Of Travancore Royal Family of Tiruvanantha Puram in Kerala..His Majesty,a great devotee of Lord Vishnu,was extremely delighted with the film and specially honored director Bapu for his outstanding work.
Some Vital Developments
Immensely pleased with the response his film received from all corners of the Entertainment World,the producer of Sri Rama Rajyam,Yalamanchali Saibabu, decided to dub the film into Hindi language for the viewing pleasure of the Hindi speaking audiences all over the world..
In this regard the Line Producer of this film P N Ramachandra Rao,who is also a notable producer and director from the South Indian film industry with over forty five films to his credit,has held a special screening of the Hindi version of Sri Rama Rajyam in Mumbai recently..
Celebrated Bollywood actor,Anil Kapoor,ace Music Composer,Himesh Reshammiya,Director Bapu,hero of the film Bala Krishna,Producer Yalamanchali Saibabu,were among those who were present during the screening..
Later addressing the media,Anil Kapoor who was actually introduced by Director Bapu through a Telugu film “Vamsa Vriksham” thirty two years ago,not only spoke great things about Bapu but also praised the octogenarian director’s creative work in his spectacular masterpiece called “Sri Rama Rajyam ”
Any word of praise would be inadequate for this great Indian film called “Sri Rama Rajyam”,which undoubtedly is the precious life blood of a master spirit that should be embalmed and treasured for a life beyond life..