Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam review: An impressive film that takes a strong stand against hate politics

Debutant Rasheed Parambil's directorial also talks about the "new" India where minorities face struggles and violence every day.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Aug 09, 2023

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam
Clean political satire.

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam (Malayalam)

  • Cast: TG Ravi, Akshay Radhakrishnan, Irshad, Manikandan Pattambi, Prasanth Murali, and Nandana Rajan
  • Director: Rasheed Parambil
  • Producer: Raison Kalladayil
  • Music: Vishnu Sivasankar
  • Runtime: 2 hours 4 minutes

Audiences always welcome political satires. For example, Nna Thaan Case Kodu (2022) grabbed seven awards in the 53rd Kerala State Film Awards.

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam is the latest entry.

The title (Kingdom of Lord Rama), being quite quirky, gives the impression that this is yet another film on patriotism (or should I say hypernationalism?). But then, the movie does take a tough stand against religious fanaticism.

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam is actually the name of a musical drama in the flick.


Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam is an entertainer

‘Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam’ is an entertainer. (Supplied)

Directed by debutant Rasheed Parambil, the story happens in an imaginary village called “Vannathikavu”. The people here are pretty hard to deal with since they turn violent for silly reasons, especially in the case of caste and religion.

The film starts with the festival of “Vannathikaavu” where every villager — from small kids to the elderly  — observes fast in the name of Lord Rama.

The festival ends with the burning of the effigy of Ravana.

The Hindu-dominated village is keen on observing this festival every year and considers it to be a prestigious issue.

Kunji Raman, a famous drama artist from the village, dies suddenly.

Bhagavan Dasan (TG Ravi) is his disciple, while Ravi (Irshad) and Chandran (Manikandan Pattambi) are his co-actors.

Bhagavan Dasan has to revamp his drama troupe and take up the challenge of playing the drama “Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam” at a particular point in the story.

He gathers old actors and technical assistants for the drama which is to be held in a gap of one month.

However, Kunji Raman’s son Sumesh (Prasanth Murali) is against playing the drama as he feels that Bhagavan Dasan and his troupe are troublemakers.

Sumesh is a casteist, womaniser and problem-maker in the village. He also has a group of unemployed youth who dances to his tunes.

Will Bhagavan Das succeed in presenting the drama? How does he overcome the obstacles? — the answers to these questions form the crux of the story.

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Political satire

Akshay Radhakrishnan plays a key role in the movie

Akshay Radhakrishnan plays a key role in the movie. (Supplied)

As mentioned earlier, the movie is a political satire.

Sumesh is a casteist. When his father dies, he instructs a news reporter to mention the full name of his father —Kunji Raman “Nair”, a forward caste in Kerala) — in the obituary.

The recent superhit movie Madhura Manohara Moham (2023) also mocked the “Nair” community.

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam also talks about the “new” India where minorities face struggles and violence every day because of their identity.

For instance, the growing incidents of mob lynching across the country over the years. Towards the climax, a similar incident is depicted in the movie, too.

The Hindu-dominated villagers become furious after fake news spreads that a Muslim man portrayed the role of Ravana in the drama.

Soon, chaos spreads in the village just like what we have been witnessing in Manipur since May.

Even though Bhagavan Das asks what the problem is if a Muslim acts in a drama, which is an art form, the violent villagers are reluctant to accept it.

The climax where the villagers become violent is shot well.

The Mappila Ramayanam song “Rama Rama” elevates the mood and is apt here. Mappila Ramayanam is popular in the Malabar area, particularly Vadakara in the Kozhikode district.

Interestingly, the deletion of some scenes by the censor board doesn’t affect the film anywhere.

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Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam is a satire

‘Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam’ is a satire. (Supplied)

The movie has some notable performances.

TG Ravi as Bhagavan Dasan is commendable. He also appears as Ravana in the drama where he steals the show.

Irshad, Manikandan Pattambi, and other actors did justice to their respective roles.

Akshay Radhakrishna, as Aadi, is decent.

All the female actors, who are shown as individuals with integrity and self-respect, did a good job.

Prashant Murali, who appears in the negative role of Sumesh, has a long way to go. The actor earlier did small and impressive roles in films like Sreedhanya Catering (2022) and Jaan-E-Man (2021).

Technical aspects

Shihab Ongallur’s cinematography is a huge plus for Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam. The village, the temple, the festival, and the costumes for the drama are all showcased beautifully.

There are slight mismatches in a few scenes which, however, can be excused.

The songs and background score are another highlight. Vishnu Sivasankar did a fabulous job. The songs are funky and give us a different feel.

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Final take

Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam is a clean political satire that dares to talk about casteism, hate politics, and much more.

(Views expressed here are personal.)