What it’s all about
Arundathi is a film that is about rebirth and revenge. Arundathi, daughter of the king of the Gadwal Samsthan is wronged by an evil man Pasupathy. Arundathi is reborn and the film is how she takes revenge on Pasupathy.
The film is set in the 1920’s. Jejamma (Anushka) is the second daughter of the king of Gadwal. Her elder sister is married to Pasupathy (Sonu Sood). He is a not a man but a beast. He rapes every good looking girl that he comes across in the village.
He is a drunkard and womanizer of the worst kind and he does not leave his evil deeds even after his marriage. The last straw for the young Jejamma is when Pasupathy butally rapes her blind dance teacher and kills her.
Jejamma’s sister commits suicide and this enrages Jejamma. She asks the men in the village to beat him to death. He is tied to a horse and it drags him into the deep jungle. The villagers are a happy lot as the evil Pasupathy is finally dead.
But is the evil Pasupathy really dead? No, he is saved in the forest by some Aghoras (man eaters) Pasupathy then practices sorcery and becomes a master. He now has the powerful evil spirits under his possession and he can destroy anyone and everything.
He sets out to take revenge on Jejamma but his efforts are nullified by the brave Jejamma. However, he is buried alive because if he is killed, his sprit will then be let loose and it will cause even greater damage.
But Pasupathy’s spirit continues to torment Jejamma and her people in Gadwal. The only way out for Jejamma is to sacrifice her life and take rebirth. This she does as advised by the priests and tantriks.
Jejamma takes rebirth as Arundathi and finally destroys the evil spirit of Pasupathy with the able assistance of the village fakir (Sayaji Shinde).
The film is an out and out Anushka show. For the first time, she plays a dual role. Anushka is okay in her modern avatar as Arundathi. It is only in her role as the feudal Jejamma that Anushka has unleashed her acting prowess. She gives a powerful and riveting performance in this role.
Sonu Sood plays the role of the evil womanizer, drunkard and evil spirit to perfection. He brings a lot of energy and force to his character. Sayaji Shinde slips into the role of a village fakir, fakiranna perfectly. His role is crucial to the film and he does justice to the role.
Kaikala Sathyanarayana makes a come back after a long time and he carries his role with the desired impact. Manorama is a veteran and she does a neat job. Ahuthi Prasad, Annapurna, Deepak, Chalapathi Rao and others are adequate in their roles.
The film is full of rich graphics and many riveting scenes. However, it is the scene where Jejamma sacrifices her life so as to take rebirth and destroy the evil Pasupathy that makes the most impact.
The bottom line:
The director manages to weave an interesting revenge drama based on black magic and sorcery with the help of a tight screenplay. The racy screenplay, particularly in the second half, makes the film quite interesting to watch.
Anushka, naturally is another big draw for the film.