Theatrical release poster
|Edited by||Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Gunaa Team Works|
Sri Thenandal Films
|Box office||est. ₹98.92 crore|
Rudhramadevi (Telugu: రుద్రమదేవి) is a 2015 Indian Telugu 3D epic historical fiction film based on the life of Rudrama Devi, one of the prominent rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan, and one of the few ruling queens in Indian history. The film written and directed by Gunasekhar features Anushka Shetty as Rudrama Devi, alongside an ensemble cast of Allu Arjun, Rana Daggubati, Vikramjeet Virk, Krishnam Raju, Prakash Raj, Suman, Nithya Menen, Baba Sehgal and Catherine Tresa. The film is narrated by Chiranjeevi. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja.
Rudhramadevi was released worldwide on 9 October 2015, with dubbed versions in Hindi and Malayalam languages. The Tamil version was released by Sri Thenandal Films on 16 October. The film became the fifth highest opening day grossing Indian film of 2015. It grossed ₹32 crores worldwide in the opening weekend.
Ganapatideva (Krishnam Raju) is the emperor of the Kakatiya dynasty who rules Kakatiya Empire from Orugallu (present day Warangal, Telangana) as its capital city. There are only two threats to Ganapati's rule. Murari Devudu (Adithya Menon) and Hari Hara Devudu (Suman)), dukes of Kakatiya, are both obviously unsatisfied with Ganapati's reign, and plot to usurp the throne. Emperor Singhana of the Devagiri Empire also wishes to conquer the Kakatiyas and name his grandson and heir, Mahadeva, as king. Meanwhile Ganapati’s wife is pregnant. Everyone prays for a boy child, because a prince can repel the Devagiri Empire and serve as a successor to the throne. A priest working for Murari and Hari Hara predicts Ganapati’s baby will be a girl who will be the savior of the kingdom.
Ganapati’s baby indeed turns out to be a girl, Rudramadevi (Anushka Shetty). Her birth disappoints Ganapati, who, being helpless, takes advice from his prime minister, Shiva Devaiah (Prakash Raj), to announce the baby to be a boy – Rudrama. Murari and Hari Hara go mad after hearing the news that Ganapati gets a prince, a successor to be of the crown; they then angrily kill the priest who predicted Rudrama would be a girl before “his” birth. Rudrama’s gender and real name are kept secret from every people other than Ganapati, his wife and Shiva Devaiah; even Rudramadevi herself does not know she’s a girl in her childhood.
Rudrama is then brought up and trained in prince’s manner. After a few years of training, Rudrama is summoned back to Oragallu for her coronation as the crown prince. At her coronation, she befriends Chalukya Veerabhadra (Rana Daggubati), a neighborhing prince, and forms a friendly rivalry with Gona Ganna Reddy (Allu Arjun), another neighboring prince. She sneaks out of the capital along with Chalukya to bathe in the river. She realizes her gender when she sees an elegant statue of a beautiful woman. After seeing the boys disrobe, she realizes that her body is different from theirs. She then runs to her mother angrily and confusedly to ask the reason for hiding her real gender; her mother confesses the story and tells her the reason was to protect the kingdom. In front of her parents and Shiva Devaiah, Rudrama swears to continue living as a boy until the kingdom's safety is assured.
Years later, in a sporting event, Naga Devudu, the nephew of Murari and Hari Hara, fails to subdue a raging elephant. Murari and Hari Hara challenge Rudrama to defeat the elephant. Rudrama accepts, however she is unaware that Murari and Hari Hara have rigged the competition so no one can win. Despite this, Rudrama wins the challenge, making her adored by several princesses in the scene, including Muktamba (Nithya Menen). Gona Ganna Reddy, one of Rudrama’s playmates in childhood and who was then thrown out of the palace and is now called a traitor, shows up in the scene to confront Rudrama. Gona is now the leader of an opposition army which has been a threat to Ganapati’s position. He manages to escape when Ganapati’s army tries to arrest him.
Ganapati, unable to escape from the pressure from inside and outside his palace, decides to get Rudrama married to a princess, and he chooses Muktamba. On their wedding night, Rudrama, in order to protect her secret, tells Muktamba that she has taken a vow of celibacy until the kingdom is safe. The conversation is tapped by a spy of Murari and Hari Hara, and she tells it to the two, making the secret and the fame of the Ganapati's family in danger.
The two plan to reveal the secret and use it as an excuse to force Ganapati off the throne, however before they can do so, Shiva Devaiah decides to reveal the secret to the people.
Shiva Devaiah then announces Rudramadevi’s real identity and her to be the queen of the kingdom. The people of Kakatiya, after knowing Ganapati has cheated them for many years, become angry and unsatisfied and strongly object. Rudramadevi is not accepted by the people to be their queen and is hence driven out of the kingdom. Ganapati also loses the trust and support of his people because of this. Murari and Hari Hara take this chance to launch a coup using the secret passageway. They then proclaim that they will rule Oragallu in Mahadeva's name, while maintaining their own power. Before Murari and Hari Hara can kill Shiva Deviah,he has a heart attack and dies.
It doesn't take too long for the people to realize that who deserves to rule the kingdom, as Murari and Hari Hara start to prosecute them with higher tax rate and unprecedented cruelty and aristocracy soon after they take power. The desperate people along with Shiva Devaiah (who faked his death) then turn to Rudramadevi to apologize and for help. Rudramadevi then forms these people as an opposition army to fight against her own kingdom’s army.
Rudramadevi and her army meet Gona Ganna Reddy’s army on her way, who is surprisingly not about to attack her, but to help her get her crown back. It is revealed that Gona, who noticed Rudramadevi was a girl in their childhood, is not a traitor but a most loyal warrior of the kingdom. He had already expected that Rudramadevi would lose her power and be driven out of the kingdom one day, so he left the palace, pretending to be driven out for being a traitor, to form his own army to wait for the day.
After they join hands, their united army is greater and stronger than that of Murari and Hari Hara and beats the latter. They also repel and defeat the Devagiri Empire. Rudramadevi then gets her crown back, marries Chalukya and becomes the first queen in Indian history.
- Anushka Shetty as Rudrama Devi
- Allu Arjun as Gona Ganna Reddy
- Rana Daggubati as Chalukya Veerabhadra
- Vikramjeet Virk as Mahadeva Nayakudu
- Krishnam Raju as Ganapati Devudu
- Prakash Raj as Shiva Devaiah
- Suman as Hari Hara Devudu
- Nithya Menen as Muktamba
- Catherine Tresa as Anambika
- Adithya Menon as Murari Devudu
- Prabha as Somamba, Ganapati Devudu's wife
- Vinod Kumar as Ganna Reddy's paternal uncle
- Raja Ravindra as Anambika's father
- Ulka Gupta as Younger Rudrama Devi
- Roshan Meka as Young Chalukya Veerabhadra
- Aditi Chengappa as Ganapamba
- Hamsa Nandini as Madanika
- Ajay as Prasadaditya
- Baba Sehgal as Naga Devudu
- Raza Murad as Singanna
- Jaya Prakash Reddy as Amba Devudu
- Subbaraya Sharma as Jayapa Naidu
- Venu Madhav as Tittibi
- Arpit Ranka as Varada Reddy
- Akshara Mandhapati as Akshara Devi
- Ravi Prakash
- Vennela Kishore
- Sivaji Raja
- Ahuti Prasad
- Dharmavarapu Subramanyam
Director Gunasekhar readied a script based on the life of Rani Rudramadevi. Anushka, Nayanthara and Priyanka Chopra were considered for the title role but Anushka was signed based on her performance in Arundhati. Gunasekhar selected Ilaiyaraja to compose the music and Thotta Tharani for art direction. The film is made on a budget of ₹80 crore (US$11 million). Mahesh Babu and Jr. NTR were first approached for the role of Gona Ganna Reddy, but both of them rejected the offer. Later, Allu Arjun was eventually selected to do the role. Neeta Lulla designed the costumes. Rapper Baba Sehgal was roped in by director Gunasekhar for a role. Vikramjeet Virk, who earlier played a negative role in Ashutosh Gowarikar's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010) and in Puri Jagannadh's 2014 film Heart Attack, was selected for playing a negative character named Mahadeva Nayakadu.
The film's official trailer was released in March 2015. The film was slated to be released on 26 June 2015, but it was but postponed to 9 October due to technical problems. Telangana state has given entertainment tax exemption for the film.
Legal release online
Upon release, the film received positive reviews, with critics praising the direction, narration, and Anushka's performance. Belvoir Eagle gave the film 3.5/5 rating, and Kiaara Sindu of The Hans India rated 4/5.
The film became the fifth highest opening day grossing Indian film of 2015. It grossed ₹32 crore (US$4.5 million) in its first weekend at the domestic box office, and ₹57.62 crore (US$8.0 million) in its first week. The worldwide collection exceeded ₹81.77 crore (US$11 million) in 17 days and ₹83 crore (US$12 million) in 21 days. The worldwide gross was ₹86.92 crore (US$12 million) in 35 days.
Awards and nominations
|2015||Ugadi Award for Best Actress||Ugadi Awards 2016||Rudhramadevi||Won||Anushka Shetty|
|Best actress||Apsara Awards 2016||Won|
|Entertainer of the Year||Apsara Awards 2016||Won|
|CineMAA Award for Best Actress||CineMAA Awards||Won|
|Best Actress||Bharatamuni Awards||Won|
|Best Actress - Critics Choice||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Won|
|Best Actress||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Nominated|
|Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu||Filmfare Awards South||Won|
|Santosham Best Actress Award||Santosham Film Awards||Won|
|Filmfare Award for Best Actor in Supporting role – Telugu||Filmfare Awards South||Won||Allu Arjun|
|Best Actor - Critics choice||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Won|
|Best Actor||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Nominated|
|CineMAA Award for Best Actor-Jury||CineMAA Awards||Won|
|Best Character Actor||Nandi Awards||Won|
|CineMAA Award for Appreciation||CineMAA Awards||Won||Gunasekhar|
|Santosham Best Film Award||Santosham Film Awards||Won|
|Best Director- Telugu||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Nominated|
|Best Movie-Telugu||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Nominated|
|Best Actor in supporting role female - Telugu||SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards) 2016||Nominated||Nithya Menen|
- 2nd IIFA Utsavam
- Performance in a Leading Role - Female - Anushka Shetty - nominated
- Performance in a Supporting Role - Male - Allu Arjun - won
- Performance in a Supporting Role - Female - Nithya Menen - nominated
- Performance in a Negative Role - Vikramjeet Virk - nominated
- Best Make up - won
- Best Costume Design - won
- Best Lyrics - Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry - "Madagajame" - nominated
- Best Playback Singer - Male - Hariharan - "Avuna Neevena" - nominated
- Best Playback Singer - Female - Shreya Ghoshal - "Punnami Puvvai" - nominated
The audio music was planned to release separately in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states having the Chief ministers of these states as chief guests. Out of the six songs in the album, three of them were released on the Ugadi festival day at Visakhapatnam, while the remaining 3 songs released the next day in Warangal. It was named Best Telugu Album of March 2015 by Deccan Music. Soundtrack for The Tamil and Malayalam Version were released later.
Rudhramadevi is the first Telugu film to have its recording in London, United Kingdom. The garments and jewellery designed for the lead cast are available in NAC Jewellers in Chennai as Rudhramadevi Collections.
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