Friday, 4 March 2011


2009 by  Rajamouli , watching for the third time for my wife

In the 1600's, Udaigarh kingdom is about to be attacked by the invading forces of Sher Khan. Udaigarh is loyally protected by Kaala Bhairava who belongs to a warrior clan in which men are so brave and will not die without killing at least 100 enemy men and mostly they die before 30 years fighting for their homeland. Young princess Mitrananda devi adores Kaala Bhairava, but Ranadeb Billa her cousin is dying to marry her. He forces a competition out for deciding who can marry the princess and inspite of his wickedness it is Kaala Bhairava who emerges winner and Billa has to leave Udaigarh. The King likes Bhairava but is sure that his daughter will be a widow sooner if she marries him and hence request Kaala Bhairava to forget his love, which he sadly accepts. A special prayer is to be offered at an auspicious moment in a sacred Shiva shrine, which itself has a fearsome location, in some part of Udaigarh. Kaala Bhairava escorts princess to the shrine, where she asks him to proclaim his love for her. At this moment Sher Khan's army arrives at the shrine. Billa had turned a traitor and had attacked the palace with Sher Khan, killing the king. Sher Khan had heard a lot about the bravery of Bhairava and challenges him to prove it. Kaala Bhairava single handedly faces about 100 warriors of Sher Khan and kills them all while Sher Khan can only just count the number of dead and towards the end he is in awe of the bravery of Bhairava and proclaims himself a slave to Bhairava as a mark of respect. But Billa interferes, as he was promised help to marry the princess, and fights with Bhairava and is killed, but manages to seriously wound the princess before his death. Mithrananda only wants to know if Bhairava loves him but dies before he speaks out. Bhairava jumps down from the peak after the princess. Four hundred years later Bhairava, princess, Billa and Sher Khan are back in human form as Harsha, Indu, Raghu veer and Solomon. Harsha, when he accidently touches the finger tip of Indu, has a kind of shock which makes him crave for her love. Raghu Veer and Indu are still cousins and Raghu veer desperately needs to marry her. Solomon is a fisherman who is ready to help Harsha in anyways to help him have his love. How Harsha manages to win the love of Indu, how he finally realises their past and how he manages to convey this to Indu and to unite finally, only after the death of Raghu Veer, makes the full movie.

There are many many things that I would like to talk about on this movie, but dont know where to start etc.
A kind of fairy tale story, which we would have loved to hear as a child for all the heroism and thrill it offered, or as a teenager for all the romance. But it has been beautifully penned into a modern day script which effortlessly shuttles us between the 1600's and 2000's. The movie starts in 1600's with the titles, comes back to the life of Harsha and gives us glimpses of his past as he is after Indu and with an accident, takes us back to the 1600's with the whole story and then again completes it in the 2000's. I liked a lot how this has been structured. The movie keeps its excellent pace through out and offers a lot of thrilling moments through out, which has all been beautifully shot. May it be the moment were Harsha recognises his Indu - the scene in which he follows her bus atop a horse, or the scene when Bhairava is saved by his horse , whatever there is a lot of heroism here which I am sure even a staunch feminist would enjoy. All those lighter moments between Harsha and Indu will really make us relax down. And the stunts have been excellent too.

Except for Enthiran, which was a later production and seems to have spend much more money, I havent seen any Indian movie doing this kind of an excellent job with special effects and computer graphics. The difference is we do not worry about the special effects or graphics at all while watching this movie. You are gripped into the story and all what you see are only just part of the story and unless you really care for all such things happening behind and away from camera you will not think about all this special effects at all. There is a particular camera movement, when the camera follows the horse racers entering the kingdom and camera just pans upwards, very fast, by the two towers, I cant describe it, thats simply brilliant. Great great imagination. Technically as well, on all aspects may it be Camera , editing, sound engineering, costumes and sets or whatever this movie is amazing.

Magadheera, for me, is a perfect entertainer. It has every thing we would wish for from an entertainer. A simple and nice story, good thrills, good music, charming actors and wonderful frames. Though it is pretty ordinary for some time in the beginning following Harsh, which I think was important for the box office results, it is wonderfully done. Had the director known that people would accept this movie even without that masala item, I am sure the director would not have compromised for those scenes and couple of other songs. Having said that all those songs are nice to listen to and well shot.

I have to say that Ram charan Teja and Kajal Agarwal has a beautiful charm and they have a movie for their lifetime. So is Rajamouli. This movie could be his hall mark.

Finally, at the end as the credits rolls there is a song which actually introduces all the people behind the camera. Well this is not quite new for Indian cinema now. But in Magadheera this is just very different that the song is picturised with only a few steps and in a very funny way. I cant explain it. I have watched this song alone for more than 20 times. Its really really good.

I was not an admirer of main stream Telugu movies, but Magadheera changed all that. I did watch a few more Telugu movies after my first Magadheera show.

If this movie was made by Hollywood with white actors, I am sure, the movie would have still looked the same but it would have gained universal acclaim. Unfortunately it is from an Indian regional language and its a pity that even many people in South India havent heard about this movie.

One of the best entertainers of all time from India.

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