Idolle Ramayana: A Review


Idolle Ramayana is a 2016 film starring Prakash Raj, Priyamani, Achyuth Kumar, Sudha Belavadi, Aravind Kuplikar and a host of other well-known character actors in a huge ensemble. Prakash Raj handles the direction and screenwriting of the film as well. The film is a remake of a film by Joy Matthew.

Idolle Ramayana can be reviewed in two words Idolle Ramayana which can be colloquially translated to this is such a long winding story or this is such a good story. This is where I can see a divide coming into the viewing audience. This can be a movie that divides the public right down the middle. Prakash Raj as Bhujangayya is kind of a local celebrity because of his time spent in Dubai and his acting skills during village plays. He lives on his high horse and has a mildly bad temperament with his family. The movie wants to go the distance of showing his transformation from the aforementioned state and bring him down to earth with a series of twists in one specific event.

The movie’s primary issue would be its lack of genuine stakes. Prakash Raj who is one of the best actors of his generation and still gives a spellbinding performance here does not have much to work with. His outbursts with his family seem more comical than genuinely threatening to mean much to the film’s final message. With the A message being weak, the B message about friendship seems completely out of left field and has a much lesser build to it.

The movie also telegraphs its plot twists with a specific cue used before the twists come in. A clever viewer can spot this cue and know the twist coming from afar. This takes away a lot of the edge of what’s to come and leaves the audience with no real tension. Priyamani does just a decent enough in her role but it does not have much to offer in a tired old stereotype. She gets some short shrift in her character’s development. Achyuth Kumar has the same problem as well. He is as good as can be, he never lets you down on screen. But his character has too little to work with and has no growth or genuine change in a movie that is looking to have a transformative storyline. The one character who does do well is the one portrayed by Aravind Kuplikar. He is a fresh face and is a joy to watch in certain scenes even though his actions are questionable when you know his motives.

Technically speaking the movie is very sound. The direction is sure handed, the background score is good but nothing to boast of, the cinematography makes me the movie seem like it’s in this grand dream state where the main character’s actions have no consequence but for their own self-discovery. There a couple of jarringly shot segments which may catch your eye as the quality dips.  The one area which is sorely lacking in the film is an engaging screenplay. The movie starts off quite well with a folk narration of a segment of Ramayana which in itself acts as a synopsis for the movie to come but as the film progresses, the film slows down to a grind and all the funny lines and character build takes a back seat only for a few plot twists.

This might end up being a very divisive movie with the general public and could be debated on for some time or it may do a complete 180 and the viewing audience can forget it as soon as they walk out of their auditoriums with the film fading into obscurity.




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