Sri Krishna Pandaveeyam is a film that has gone down in history as one of the most memorable films in the career of the late N T Rama Rao. It has the maximum re-releases to its credit, and you never go home disappointed. What makes this film so interesting to the audiences?
For one, it is the theme. It deals with an unknown fact, or at least a pretty less dealt with fact, in the Mahabharata - Sakuni's role. How he manages to wriggle his way into the confidence of Duryodhana (N T Rama Rao), and how he contributes to the downfall of the might of the Kauravas.
For those who don't know, Sakuni (Dhulipala) is the uncle of Duryodhana. The latter, incensed with his grandfather for insulting his mother Gandhari, invades his kingdom and takes the family captive. While everyone perishes in the hellhole, only Sakuni survives, and seeks revenge on Duryodhana. Before his death, Sakuni's father tells Sakuni to make dice from his bones, and these magical dice can win him any game. Mending fences with the haughty Duryodhana, Sakuni manages to gain his confidence. And plots his downfall.
Simultaneously, the film also details the love story of Krishna and Rukmini and the slaying of Jarasandha and Sisupala. While Rukma (Satyanarayana), the brother of Rukmini, wants to give his sister in marriage to his cousin Sisupala (Rajanala), Rukmini falls in love with Krishna (N T Rama Rao) and elopes with him. While this part deals predominantly with the love story, it also shows how Krishna helps the Pandavas in tiding over their harsh days during their exile when Duryodhana tries to burn their mansion.
Both the strands of the story are weaved so well together that we get to see a wonderful drama unfolding before our eyes. In both the roles - Duryodhana and Sri Krishna - N T Rama Rao displays his acting skills like never before. And since both the characters are diametrically different to each other, we get to see Rama Rao in some of his best moments in Indian cinema, and that is what makes this one of the most widely admired films, even after three decades of its release.
Like Sholay it has become an annual feature in theaters across the length and breadth of Andhra Pradesh. Dhulipala, as Sakuni, steals your heart with his cunning advice that Duryodhana laps up without an iota of doubt, advice that pushes him more and more into conflict with the Pandavas. The Mayasabha visit, where Duryodhana feels insulted, is a case in point. Duryodhana visits the place on Sakuni's goading and the bitter relations harden, making it impossible for reconciliation on both sides. And that is the significance of Sakuni in the Mahabharata war. The film brings out the various shades of his character.
A wonderful movie. Don't miss it, especially the youngsters, if you want to see how Rama Rao excels in a mythological movie. He is phenomenally good and you'll love every move and every dialogue of his in the movie. The supporting cast is great, too. Rajanala, who hounds Krishna with his imperfections, puts in a wonderful performance. It has all the elements of a good film - comedy, drama and intrigue. So why are you still reading the review? Check out the show timings!