Movie: Maryada Ramanna
Banner: Arka Media Works
Cast: Sunil, Saloni, Nagineedu, Supreeth, Kanchi, Brahmaji, Rao Ramesh, Venugopal, Prabhakar, Subbaraya Sharma, Anuj Gurwar, Jayavani etc
Music: M M Keeravani
Cinematography: C Ramprasad
Director: S S Rajamouli
Producers: Shobu Yarlagadda, Devineni Prasad
Release Date: July 23, 2010
What’s It About: The story is simple and was already announced by the director himself. A poor but good at heart ‘Ramu’ has only few trusted friends. One of them is his old bicycle and the other thing is his famous ill-luck. So when he gets an offer that he can’t refuse he goes to his village Gandikota, in Rayalaseema to claim the land he just happened to earn. But what he doesn’t know is that his dead father was a ‘seema factionist’, and someone who killed the brother of a well known Rayalaseema factionist Ramineedu.
Ramineedu had vowed to kill all the family members of Ramu’s father, though somehow Ramu’s mother had escaped to the city along with baby Ramu. But alas Ramineedu has one big weakness. He treats every guest who comes to his home with extreme hospitality and if he has to do any killing it will be outside his home. Ramu somehow lands inside Ramineedu’s home and is already friends with Ramineedu’s daughter! The fun starts when Ramu realizes he is about to be killed once he leaves the home and finds all sorts of excuses to stay inside the home. How does Ramu come out of their home, and how Ramineedu takes his revenge become the rest of the story.
What is Good: Sunil, Saloni, Nagineedu, Brahmaji make the best of the opportunities they have been given. Sunil not only cuts down on his typical dialogue delivery but also emotes with extreme innocence. Saloni has all the makings of a heroine, and one wonders why she hasn’t had many opportunities. Ramineedu, a first timer in Telugu, emotes with extreme goodness in hospitality scenes while he elevates himself to a typical Telugu cinema villain easily.
But it is Brahmaji who does his role with extreme ease. His character is etched well, and his timing is spotless though it is touch hard to say that he is the comedian in the film.
Ravi Teja’s voice for the bicycle is funny, and in some scenes he becomes an invisible actor. If there is someone claiming to put Telugu culture at the fore, they better look at this film. Telugu culture doesn’t become the vital part of the tale, but gets real value. ‘Telugammayi’ song and a scene in which a marriage party leave the house are done well even though it is there for few seconds.
What is bad: For his innocence, Ramu is touch too clever, which isn’t explained well. The final solution to the problem at the end of the climax of the film becomes too conventional unlike Rajamouli’s other films. Minus an unnecessary song at one place or sometimes not so great visual effects are just small hiccups in the overall feel of the otherwise good film.
Technical Departments: If Rajamouli had chosen even a known young actor or even a new comer, expectations could have been higher from his film. Hence Sunil was apt choice.
The way Rajamouli portrays each character – the villain, the heroine, the heroine’s cousin, her brothers is impeccable. Once the main conflict is leaked between main characters, any other director would have looked for climax. But Rajamouli takes the audience for a ride in his own way until it becomes convincing and necessary to kick Ramu out of home.
His mark violence is completely reduced. For his trademark slow motion scenes Rajamouli doesn’t need a cinematographer. But that shouldn’t take anything away from Ramprasad, the actual cinematographer, notably in the train song and the cycle chase scenes. Editing is crisp and dialogues are written well, especially between Ramu and Ramineedu. All the other departments did good including set and costumer designers. The visual effects in the song ‘Udyogam Poyindi’ are cool, though one thinks the visual effects in few frames was a tad average.
But last not the least, it is Keeravani who keeps the audience not just engaged, but also has them in splits or sometimes completely silences them with his background music.
Final Point: Filmmaking is like cricket, more so for Telugu people. The moment you perform in one innings (read film), the second innings (next film) generates unnecessary hype inspite of having a different story and different demands. Nagarjuna after ‘Annammayya’, Krishna after ‘Alluri Seetarama Raju’ must have realized it the hard way. This is where Rajamouli does well. He can now take the burden of ‘Magadheera’ off his shoulders and yet get a good hit with this film. He can sleep better now. Go watch ‘Maryada Ramanna’ with your family. This is a good Telugu commercial cinema.