The Indian continent saw many freedom fighters who raised their voice against the British. Legend has it, Mangal Pandey of Uttar Pradesh was the first freedom fighter who inspired Indians to fight against the anarchy of the British. The first rebellion is credited to be in 1857.
However, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, the freedom fighter from Rayalaseema who was a Polygar in Kurnool and raised his voice against the cruel taxation system of the British on agricultural land, is a forgotten chapter in history.
Ram Charan, the star son of Megastar Chiranjeevi, took the responsibility of throwing light on this chapter of Indian history. The movie he makes is titled Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.
Cast: Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara and Tamannaah Bhatia
Direction: Surender Reddy
Music: Amit Trivedi
The time documented is in the later 19th century, 1846 to be precise. Narasimha Reddy (Chiranjeevi,) the son of a local chieftain (Polygar,) becomes the leader of Uyyalawada in Kurnool. He studies the art of state administration under the guidance of his guru, Gosayi Venkanna (Amitabh Bachchan.)
Suddenly, the British introduce the Ryotwari system in the subcontinent, which means a lot of farmers have to pay an exorbitant tax to the British. In addition, the Polygars have to forfeit their lands to the British, if they are not in a position to pay the required tax.
Narasimha Reddy decides to hatch a plan to revolt against the immoral and inhuman system of exploitation and wants his village men to come together. With the help of his neighbouring village’s head, Raja Paandi (Vijay Sethupathi,) he rages a revolt against the British.
Narasimha Reddy is ably supported by his valorous wife Siddhamma (Nayanthara) and his lover, Lakshmi (Tamannaah Bhatia,) in making the farmers refuse to pay any taxes and forego any of their agricultural lands.
How does Narasimha Reddy employ his skills as a warrior and how does he fare in the war? What were the reasons for his execution as a martyr? This forms the rest of the story of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is a movie which instantly strikes a chord with the audience because of its theme and execution. The staging of scenes and performances of actors make the movie a great experience in itself.
Chiranjeevi, at 65, makes his presence felt in every scene, with his eyes doing the talk in many important scenes. As Narasimha Reddy, he brings a fresh air of credibility to his role and his emotional exchanges with his guru, Amitabh Bachchan, are moving. Amitabh Bachchan, as usual, is fantastic, as an aged guru who guides his disciples in his moral cause of revolt.
Another man who shines bright is Vijay Sethupathi, who, as Raja Paandi, plays his role with immense conviction and elan. The character and his action sequences will show Vijay in a never seen before avatar.
Kichcha Sudeep as Avuku Raju, a local landlord, has meagre screen presence but gives a decent performance.
Among the female stars, Nayanthara as Siddhamma has a few scenes, but she does a neat job in the short time she gets.
The star among the female cast is Tamannnaah, who, as Narasimha Reddy’s ladylove Lakshmi, is both tender and fierce at the same time. Her pre interval scenes with Chiranjeevi are outstanding.
Anushka Shetty plays the legendary Rani Lakshmi Bai, who is shown to be appreciative of this revolt in Kurnool. Surender Reddy sees to it the characters do not crowd at a time and devises his shots in a non confusing manner.
Another important aspect of the movie is its background score by Amit Trivedi, which is good and required for the emotional mood of Sye Raa.
The cinematography of Ratnavelu shows how much hard work has gone through the conceiving of scenes and other sequences, including the pre climax fight scenes between Narasimha Reddy and the British soldiers.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy throws the much required light on the forgotten hero of India, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. You will feel proud such a man lived among the Telugus. Do watch Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy this weekend.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy!
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