'Sita Ramam', produced by Vyjayanthi Movies and Swapna Cinema, was released in theatres today.
The story is set in two timelines. In 1984, Afreen (Rashmika Mandanna) comes in search of one Sita Mahalakshmi. She has to hand over an unopened letter to her.
Back in 1964, Lieutenant Ram (Dulquer Salmaan) was wooed by Sita Mahalakshmi (Mrunal Thakur) after a shattering event. They both fell in love with each other and decided to get married. But destiny had other plans for them. In the early 1980s, can their story get closure?
Love stories that aspire to attain the status of classic usually cast beautiful faces in lead roles. 'Sita Ramam' is one such film. The film gets its casting bang-on. Dulquer gets to deliver a gem of a performance as a cheery Army officer who is not given to established patterns. His character is stuffed with varied emotions and he pulls all of them with ease.
Mrunal Thakur is a perfect match, and she aces the role without making her character look unrealistic. She even dominates Dulquer in the second half, which makes her one of the most promising actresses to watch out for.
Rashmika powers the well-etched role of a young woman who might carry a secret in her stomach. Sumanth as Brigadier Vishnu Sharma is sincere, while Tharun Bhascker as Balaji and Vennela Kishore are fun. Murali Sharma is able. Gautham Vasudev Menon as Major Selvan is good. Sachin Khedekar is remarkable. Prakash Raj, Shatru, Jisshu Sengupta, and Bhumika Chawla do well.
The cinematography (handled by PS Vinod and Shreyaas Krishna) lends a smooth character to the drama. And Vishal Chandrasekhar's music proves to be even more indispensable. The bit songs, set to exquisite montages, are grand. 'Kaanunna Kalyanam' and 'Oh Sita Hey Rama' is where all major departments come together to give a layered output. 'Inthandham' is superb.
Sunil Babu's production design might not have been this impressive but for the support of the banner that had produced 'Mahanati'. Sheetal Sharma's costumes are flawless.
Director Hanu Raghavpudi wrote an unpredictable love story as his first film, 'Andala Rakshasi'. He once again marshals his knack for such writing for 'Sita Ramam', which is expansive, deep and profound on many levels.
The backdrop of Kashmir forms a motif that the story keeps visiting and revisiting for a reason. The drama unfolding between Indian and Pakistani soldiers adds text and subtext to the film. The love story is sometimes at the forefront. At other times, it is in the background.
'Sita Ramam' is story-oriented, unlike most love stories that are driven more by melodrama and emotions. The film makes the reactions of its lead characters subservient to the circumstances and events that are not in their control.
The director doesn't waste time in the name of setting the mood. The events surrounding the lead pair are as different as a train journey and a financial crisis hitting Oman.
The climax is rousing. The conversations and meaningful situations look organic. Everything is there gracefully, without itching to make the story look larger-than-life.
This is also one rare Telugu film with superb dialogues. The director has penned the lines in association with Jay Krishna and Raj Kumar Kandamudi.
'Sita Ramam' is a must-watch film with enticing story-telling, top-notch performances, and amazing scenes.