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Kumara Rama: A superb effort

By R G Vijayasarathy
August 04, 2006 18:13 IST
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Kumara Rama is a 13th century chieftain belonging to a small province called Kummatadurga in the now carved out Bellary district of Karnataka. Several folk songs and material evidence have chronicled him as a great warrior who stood up to the designs of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq and other encroachers from neighbouring provinces.

Kumara Rama, the film produced by Anita Pattabhiram and directed by veteran director Bhargava, is an honest effort to portray his heroics and unblemished character on screen. Although the director has tried to present him as a larger than life hero, it doesn't, to his credit, go beyond a limit. How Kumara Rama stood up for his values in the face of stiff resistance comes out quite well. Bhargava has done his homework and created a perfect script for a film that looks interesting from beginning to end.

Bhargava, who has directed a hugely successful costume drama like Guru Shishyaru in the past, has also worked as an associate of Hunasuru Krishnamurthy, known for his high quality period films. Bhargava uses this experience to the full while directing Kumara Rama. He has taken the best-known technicians for the job and used powerful dialogues to make the film interesting.

His choice of artists should also be commended. C R Simha as Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq and Dharma as Yappatiraya are perfect. The director has also been able to extract outstanding performances. The dialogues are perfect, as are the costumes and weapons used in the war sequences.

Coming to the flip side of the film, it is to be said that much was expected from the war sequences, but they comprise mainly computer graphics. Too many fast cuts may also lessen the impact of many sequences.

Now, the plot. Kumara Rama is the son of Kampilaraja, chief of the province of Kummatadurga. Destiny plays a cruel part in his life when the girl he loves becomes his father's wife. His lover cannot come to terms with this and tries to play foul with Kumara Rama. But he refuses to play along and insists she is his mother. Despite such a personal crisis, Kumara Rama does not compromise on his values, and valiantly fights the enemies of his province. He dies on the battlefield, trying to save his province from the onslaught of Tughlaq's army.

Shivaraj Kumar once again shows his maturity while performing such a complex role. Veteran actors Srinivasa Murthy, Ramesh Bhat, Seetha and Avinash have also put in good performances. Among the heroines, it is Anitha who shines.

This is a huge film and producer Anitha Pattabhiram has to be congratulated for not compromising on any front. The technical department has put in some excellent work, while Guru Kiran's background score stands out. Two songs from the film -- Gini Rama and Sarasake Baaro Sarasarane -- have become chartbusters. Suvarna's efforts behind the camera have yielded some exceptionally good visuals. All said, this is a film worth watching.

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R G Vijayasarathy