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Hanu Raghavapudi’s Sita Ramam, a beautiful modern-day reimagining of the classic Ram-Sita story, is the kind of film that can even make those who aren’t a fan of love stories have a change of heart. With its breathtaking visuals, soulful music and a moving story of love set against the brewing tension between Indian and Pakistan in the 1960s, Sita Ramam has its heart in the right place and conveys its message about love and humanity over war quite effectively. It’s the kind of film that reassures that grand romantic tales can never go out of fashion. Also read: Sita Ramam trailer: Dulquer Salmaan plays Ram in this epic romantic tale
The year is 1964. Our story opens in Kashmir with Pakistan setting its sights on Kashmir. Insurgents have already made plans to infiltrate. As the tension between India and Pakistan continues to brew, we are introduced to Lieutenant Ram (Dulquer Salmaan), who is a national hero having recently saved the lives of many Kashmir Muslims. As he reveals in an interview to All India Radio that he has no family ties, people from all over the country write letters to Ram. Overnight, he goes from being an orphan to someone with a big family spread across the country.
One such letter comes from a person called Sita, who writes without revealing her address. We see how Ram falls in love with Sita and sets out on a journey to find her when he spots a clue in one of her letters. The story jumps 20 years as we see Afreen (Rashmika Mandanna), who is trying to find Sita to hand over a letter Ram had written for her. As Afreen sets out to find the whereabouts of Sita, she learns about the love story and Ram and Sita through some people who were very close to them. What happened to Ram and Sita and why they haven’t been in touch for 20 years forms the rest of the story.
If Ramayana was about the search for Sita after she was taken captive by Raavan, this modern-day story of Ram and Sita is about the search for Ram. As much as this is a love story at heart, there’s an underlying element of mystery that’s very well maintained throughout the film. It is effectively unraveled in the end. This is not a straightforward love story but one that tries to convey its message about choosing humanity over religion, boundaries and countries very convincingly, without ever going overboard. The film and the writing need to be lauded in the way the India-Pakistan conflict has been handled with sensitivity. It’s one of the more mature representations of the tension that has ensued between the countries for decades.
The lead performances play a very key role in making the audiences root for the characters of Dulquer and Mrunal Thakur. As the film reaches the end, you’re eager to know what happened to Ram. Both Dulquer and Murnal are terrific in their respective roles and the chemistry they share really makes scenes between them feel so alive on screen. Rashmika plays a very interesting character and she isn’t your quintessential heroine. It’s a character that goes through a transformation which is well brought out by her performance.
The musical score by Vishal Chandrasekhar is the soul of the film and if not for the great tracks, this would’ve been a lifeless tale of love. The visuals make Sita Ramam a big screen spectacle and one that lives up to the hype in every frame.
Director: Hanu Raghavapudi
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Mrunal Thakur, Rashmika Mandanna, Sumanth, Gautham Menon
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