Hyderabad: Film: 'Sri Rama Rajyam'; Cast: Nandamuri Balakrishna, Nayantara, Akkineni Nageswar Rao, Srikanth, Brahmanandam, K.R. Vijay, Murali Mohan, Master Tanay Teja and Master Satvik. Producer: Yalamanchili Sai Baba; Director: Bapu; Dialogue Writer: Mullapudi Venkata Ramana; Music Composer: Ilayaraja; Cinematography: P.R.K Raju; Rating: ****
Octogenarian director Bapu has been described as one of the top directors who specialised in making films that represented nativity, culture and richness of folk elements peculiar to the Telugu language.
Bapu and late writer Mullapudi Venkataramana teamed up to deliver classics like 'Muthyaala Moggu', 'Budhdhimanthudu' and 'Andaala Ramudu'.
Venkataramana died few months ago and this time Bapu teamed up with Ramana to deliver another classic called 'Sri Rama Rajyam', a remake of 1960s Telugu hit 'Lava Kusha'.
While the Senior NTR, who dominated the Telugu film industry like a Colossus for more than four decades, had acted in the original film directed by CS Rao and Pulliah, Bapu's film has Nandamuri Balakrishna, NTR's son, in the lead.
'Sri Rama Rajyam' is one film that the Telugu film industry can be proud of. In these days, when everything is commercialised and films have an overdose of sex and violence, kudos to the producer to opt for a mythological film, which is made tastefully and with commitment.
'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.
Bapu wins his first battle by picking up the right artists. Selecting legendary actor Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, contemporary of NTR, to play Valmiki and actress Nayantara for Sita's role are certainly worthy choices.
He chose to narrate the film in a peculiar style, a fusion of artistic and tasteful commercial elements. The art work and designing part is also perfect.
Ilayaraja's music is another major attraction. Dialogues and song lyrics are so good that you do not want to miss them.
It would be difficult to pick up holes in the films which appeals strongly to people who want to look at films that offer variety.
Balakrishna, Nayantara and Akkineni Nageshwara excel in their respective roles.
Balakrishna effectively portrays Rama and comes out as a winner, which seemed a difficult task considering his legendary father's portrayal of Rama has penetrated deep into the Telugu audience psyche.
Nayantara's swang song role as Sita is so good that you think she has opted for the best film to bid adieu to acting.
The two child artists have also performed very well. Other artists are sure to make an impact. Technically also film is strong.
'Sri Rama Rajyam' stands taller among mythological classics and may well set standards like other Telugu classics like 'Annamayya', 'Krishnarjuna Yuddham' and 'Ramadasu'.
Filmgoers, who look for classics, should not miss this film.