In times of OTT, there has been a surge of thrillers and mysteries. While you still also get a one odd content in the comedy genre, it is the romance genre which has truely taken a backseat. Within this space, the charm of an old school romance is missing right from communicating through letters or waiting for hours together for your beloved to return. I have grown up watching films like DDLJ and Veer Zaara which I was an absolute sucker form. But the representation of love stories in a multi-genre setup is absolutely superficial and at times cringe worthy. And it has been the Telugu film industry which has been at the helm of it, creating some love angles which will make your eyes roll.
But having said that, there have been films like Ante Sundaraniki or even Radhe Shyam(which was a disaster in my opinion) which are consistently produced by Telugu films, thus keeping the genre alive. The last time when I really felt for a love story(a pure love story and not a RomCom) that I can recall was in the Tamil film 96. So when I was recommended on my Youtube channel Popcorn Reviewss(Please Subscribe😊) about the Telugu film Sita Ramam, I decided to try and sneak that in this weekend. The year 2022 is a year full of firsts – I happened to watch my first Malayalam film Jana Gana Mana In A Theatre and now it is Sita Ramam(discounting Bahubali and RRR which I had watched in Hindi dubbed versions). So then does Sita Ramam rekindle the old school romance in me, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Sita Ramam follows the story of a soldier who discovers a bunch of letters from an unknown woman claiming to be his wife. Will fate allow them to unite? The story is charming with a soulful love angle. In fact this is everything that Radhe Shyam had aspired to be. The screenplay standing at almost 3 hours might seem to be long but it is a beautiful love story which ensures that your heart will be full by the end of it.
The drama does take its fair share of time to get to the point. And so it does require a fair amount of patience, for there are rewards to be had in the second hour. We are often used to the love stories where the lovers unite only for the conflict to be introduced immediately. But here there is a considerable amount of buildup in what is a meandering first half.
As seen in many Telugu films, the makers do resort to a multi-genre format. What that does is you get served a little bit of everything much like a buffet. Likewise, here there are moments in the first half which have a few comic elements which do not really sit well. The humour does seem forced and was rather unnecessary. But thankfully the writers do not overdo it. Sticking to the first half, there are several beautifully crafted moments not only between the two protagonists but also the setup in Kashmir which lends a beautiful message of Humanity over Religion.
The mystery element is kept intact throughout the first half as also the second half. There are multiple twists and turns in the love story which will keep you invested. And the crackling chemistry between the couple would also make you root for them. The threads begin to come together in a rather layered narration which was heartening and heartbreaking at the same time. It did give me a sense of Veer Zaara and you will know when you watch this film too. The emotional track at the end is really good and because the foundation was perfect, it will make your heart weep too. I am trying to keep my analysis as vague as possible to avoid spoilers but overall the screenplay is charming which perfectly represents an old school romance.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are really heartfelt and they create an instant impact. The music is beautiful and it blends perfectly will the old school love story. The BGM is wonderful and I found it playing in my head long after the film was over too. The film is made on a budget of just 30 crores but the cinematography and art design are beautiful and absolutely stunning. Director Hanu Raghavapudi has done a stupendous job in adding the right amount of emotions which really propel this love story into a memorable outing.
The performances comprise of so many performers from different industries and all of them are fabulous to watch. Pawan Chopra, Jisshu Sengupta, Murli Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sachin Khedekar, Prakash Raj and Gautham Vasudev Menon all have their moments to shine. Rukmini Vijaykumar as Sita’s friend is firat rate. Ashwath Bhatt as Ansari makes his presence felt. Vennela Kishore and Tharun Bhascker are decent although their comedy lands flat. Sumanth as Vishnu Sharma is really good and he comes alive towards the end of the film. Rashmika Mandanna as Afreen is quite good here. She has many moments where she does show her restraint and delivers a matured performance. Mrunal Thakur as Sita looks so pretty and excels in some of the heavy duty emotional scenes. This performance of hers is on par with that of Jersey which I had regarded as her career’s best so far! She shares some crackling chemistry with Dulquer Salmaan who as Ram is just so affable. He has a quiet charm to him which resonates in his easy going personality onscreen. This was a commendable act by DQ.
Sita Ramam is a charming old school romance which is really heartfelt and soulful. Available in a theatre near you and Highly Recommended.