There have been very few movies which have been able to leave back their impression on my mind….I’m big time movie freak…But there are very few movies which have kept me tied up to my seat till the very end…This may be due the fact that I never watch movies for the namesake of the actors and actresses….I have no favorites…If I watch a movie,its purely because the story must be captivating enough to divert my attention from all my important works….Arundhati is one such movie…..

The movie starts off with a breezy introduction of Arundhati (Anushka Shetty),who is the Great Grand Daughter of King of Gadhwal,Mahasamsthan…..Arrangements are underway for her marriage with Rahul ( Arjun Bajwa)….During the engagement ceremony,we hear the deadly sounds of the villain Pasupathi who is shown lusting for her…..She goes with her family to Gadhwal,for final visit before her marriage…..Where a misleading phone call leads her to Mahasamsthan….There the evil spirit of Pasupathi speaks with her and promises to avenge her…..Confused and terrified,Arundhati rushes back home…..where Chandramma (Manorama),a middle aged maid servant tells her the story of Queen Jejjamma….

We are taken into a flashback where the young Princess Arundhati (Divya Nagesh) is introduced….Fondly called as “Jejjamma” by her people….She is shown to be akin to injustice and loved by her people for her valour….When you look at the little gir’sl majestic walk down the staircase in the palace…Its Royalty re-defined….an expert in painting,dancing and martial arts….She is shown as “Ruler in making”….

Young Princess Arundhati

The next introduction is of Pasupathi,the villain and his mother….He is married to the King’s elder daughter and Arundhati’s sister….Pasupathi and  his mother torture her but she never mentions about it to the King fearing Arundhati’s wrath….Pasupathi is womanizer who rapes the women in the village and kills those who do not succumb to him…His mother supports him in all his bad deeds….while his wife silently bears everything…..

Pasupathi

Things get worse when a blind teacher is brought in to teach the princess the famed “Drum Dance”…..The moment Pasupathi sees her,he starts lusting for her……Your heart escapes a beat when the blind teacher teaches the dance steps to the Princess and tells her the importance of the dance form….Despite being blind….she catches hold of the sounds being made by the drum and puts up a outstanding performance….

Blind Teacher

When Jejjamma goes away for a while,Pasupathi brutally rapes and kills the Teacher….Unable to bear the humiliation that Jejjamma has learned the truth about her husband….Elder Princess commits suicide….In anger,Jejjamma seeks revenge and gets Pasupathi thrashed from her people….He is tied to his own Horse legs….The people rejoice thinking that he is dead….Unaware that,Pasupathi is saved by the Aghoras (practitioners of Black Magic)….He stays with them and learns the Dark Arts….

Next,we taken 1o years ahead….It is wedding day of Jejjamma….Gadhwal is celebrating the marriage of their beloved Princess….Jejjamma grows up to be celestial beauty….

Arundhati in her Bridal Glow....

As the festivity is on…Pasupathi retrns to Gadhwal and starts killing everyone….He kills the King as well….But when his eyes fall on Arundhati,he forgets his revenge and starts lusting for her….He commands her to perform the “Drum Dance” for him or else he would kill everyone in the palace….To save all her people from Pasupathi’s evil magic….Jejjamma performs the dance….This is my favorite part of the movie….Because the grace with which Anushka dances and then swirls around to catch hold off the swords in remote corners of the room with dupatta to trigger them at Pasupathi is breath taking…..I just forgot myself….This particular scene showed the intelligence of Ruler….True to her spirits…..

Pasupathi commanding Jejjamma

Triggering the swords,Jejjamma cleverly cuts off Pasupathi’s tongue and stops him from reciting incantations….She then cuts off the ropes of the chandelier and pulls it down on Pasupathi….The act was really unparalleled….But she spares his life,to prevent him becoming “PRETATMA”…..He is buried alive in tomb which is protected with powerful yantras (defensive spells) from the holy Vedas….Three days later he dies….Jejjamma hears his voice in her sleep and goes to Mahasamsthan,where the spirit of Pasupathi swears to avenge her and her people…. His evil spirit afflicts bad omens in the village because of which people start dying…..

To protect them,Jejjamma meets the Siddhas (Holy Sages)…..She goes through immense torture and even sacrifices her own life….The act where the Siddhas kill her by striking her with coconuts leaves you terrified…..She is burned and her bones are reconciled into the form of Dagger….The only weapon which can kill Pasupathi forever…..

We are bought out of the the flashback….where a worker in trance to save his wife from the evil spirit of Pasupathi’s mother breaks pen the tomb and releases his spirit….All hell breaks loose with this….Pasupathi starts killing people from Arundhati’s family….Enter Anwar (Sayaji Shinde)…..who treats patient with his sorcery powers….He tells Arundhati that she is reincarnation of Jejjamma and was born to kill Pasupathi….and to protect her people……This is where You can see the massive differences between Jejjamma and Arundhati….Jejjamma was strong person and courageous who died for people….But Arundhati is shown to be very frail and timid….

What ensues next is cat and mouse race….Where Arundhati tries to get her family safely out of Gadhwal….But fails miserably….She is left with no option but fight him when Pasupathi commands her to surrender herself to him by night or else he kill her whole family….From a portrait of Jejjamma( it has minute inscriptions in the form of words)…..Arundhati learns of the dagger….Along with Anwar,she goes in search of Siddhas….But Anwar meets with an accident and falls off the cliff…..Thinking that Anwar is dead,Arundhati walks back to the Palace to surrender to Pasupathi….He orders Arundhati to wear Jejjamma’s bridal cloths and jewellery….and torments her….Just then Anwar arrives in time to save Arundhati from Pasupathi’s clutches….Anwar had escaped the fall and finally reached the Siddhas….They give him the dagger and tell him that it has to be soaked in Arundhati’s blood for it to be effective enough to kill Pasupathi….But before Anwar can tell Arundhati about it….Pasupathi kills him….

Arundhati tries to kill Pasupathi with Dagger but fails….Ultimately in an attempt to save herself,Arundhati tries to kill herself  with the Dagger and soaks in it her blood….The dagger glows and she realizes every thing….She then slays the evil spirit with her Dagger….

This story in true sense symbolizes the strength Of Women….It establishes the fact that even a Women Ruler can give up her life for people and protect them the way….A male ruler does….The sheer confidence with which Anushka portrayed the Queen Jejjamma was exceptional…..This film is must watch….For everyone who loves Horror with “ROYAL TOUCH”

©Krishnaveni Balasubramanian

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