|Produced by||Devi Vara Prasad|
|Written by||Yandamoori Veerendranath(Script Assist.)|
Nagendra Babu(Adapted Story)
|Based on||The Ghost and the Darkness|
|Music by||Mani Sharma|
|Cinematography||Sekhar V. Joseph|
|Edited by||Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao|
|Distributed by||Devi Film Productions|
Mrugaraju(Telugu: మృగరాజు; English: King of Animals) is a 2001 Tollywood action adventure film which was directed by Gunasekhar and based on the Hollywood film The Ghost and the Darkness. Coincidentally the hollywood film was dubbed and released in January by laxmi ganapathi films. The movie was bombed at the box office. It stars Chiranjeevi, Simran, Sanghavi and Nagendra Babu. Mani Sharma composed the music for this film. The film has been dubbed into Tamil with the title Vettaikkaaran. The Hindi version of this is named Rakshak, The Protector. The film was released along with Devi Putrudu and Narasimha Naidu on the same day.
In a jungle, there lives a man-eating lion. The latest victim of the lion's havoc is the death of the chief engineer, who is constructing the rail bridge. The railway department asks Aishwarya (Simran) to go on the mission of constructing the bridge. Even after Aishwarya resumes the building, the lion starts terrorizing the crew of the construction team. Raju (Chiranjeevi), the ace hunter of Adavipalli, is entrusted with the job of hunting the lion.
The rest of the first half is all about how Raju traps the lion and kills it at the cost of Appanna Dora (Nagendra Babu). But the other lion in the jungle becomes enraged at Raju for killing its companion. There is another trouble for the bridge project in the form of a forest ranger (Surya) and a local smuggler (Rami Reddy). Raju gets rid of these two goons by the interval.
Then it's revealed to the viewers that Aishwarya is Raju's wife. In the second half, the flashback is revealed. Raju comes to city to participate in the crafts fair to sell his herbs from the jungle. There, he meets Aishwarya, who has come to visit a fun stall along with her fiancé Vicky (Raja Ravindra). When Aishwarya tries to take a shot at shooting a balloon, Vicky disappoints her saying that she cannot do it. Raju, who is an onlooker, comes forward and gives her confidence and tips to shoot. Then Aishwarya's bullet hits the bull's eye. Impressed with Raju's help, she invites him to come to her engagement party.
At the party, Raju spots Vicky flirting with another girl and tells him about the importance of being a good human being. Aishwarya watches the entire episode from behind, and she decides that Raju is a loyal man compared to the flirtatious Vicky. She seeks Raju's hand and they get married. Aishwarya's father cunningly separates the couple by creating misunderstandings. The rest of the film is about how Raju and Aishwarya sort out the matters and complete the construction of the bridge.
- Chiranjeevi as Raju
- Simran as Aishwarya
- Sanghavi as Sivangi
- Nagendra Babu as Appanna Dora
- Brahmanandam as Ibraheem
- Prakash Raj as Valmiki Dora
- Surya as Forest Ranger
- Rami Reddy as Smuggler
- Raja Ravindra as Vicky
- Chalapathi Rao
- Gundu Hanumantha Rao
- L.B. Sriram
- Kovai Sarala
- Tanikella Bharani
- M. S. Narayana
- Kallu Chidambaram
- Rambha as Guest role in the song "Ramaiah Padaletti"
- Director: Gunasekhar
- Producer: Devi Vara Prasad
- Music: Mani Sharma
- Cinematography: Sekhar V. Joseph
- Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
- Art: Ashok Kumar
- Assistant Director: Yadagiri
- Stunts: Vijayan
- Lyrics: Veturi Sundararama Murthy, Chandrabose & Bhuvana Chandra
|Soundtrack album by|
The soundtrack of the film was composed by Mani Sharma. The album consists of six songs. Lyrics for the three songs were penned by Veturi Sundararama Murthy and the remaining three songs were written by Chandrabose, Kulasekhara and Bhuvanachandra.
|1.||"Ramayya Padaletti"||Veturi||Shankar Mahadevan||6:00|
|2.||"Aley ley Aley ley"||Veturi||Udit Narayan, S. P. Sailaja||5:36|
|3.||"Sathamana Mannadile"||Veturi||Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam||5:38|
|5.||"Hangama Hangama"||Kulasekhar||Raghu Kunche, K. S. Chithra||5:29|
|6.||"Dammentho"||Bhuvanachandra||Sukhwinder Singh, Swarnalatha||5:28|