Rudrangi review: Jagapathi Babu shines in this not-so-convincing fictional story of the Nizam’s feudal era

The story of Ajay Samrat's directorial venture is set in a fictional village of the Telangana region during the feudal era of Nizam.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published:Aug 10, 2023

Drama takes a backseat!

Rudrangi (Telugu)

  • Cast: Jagapathi Babu, Mamta Mohandas, Vimala Raman, Ashish Gandhi, and Ganavi Laxman
  • Director: Ajay Samrat
  • Producer: Rasamayi Balakishan
  • Music: Nawfal Raja AIS
  • Runtime: 2 hours 22 minutes

Director Ajay Samrat’s Rudrangi is set in the pre-Independence era when Hyderabad State was under Nizam’s rule. 

Somewhere in the nondescript village of Rundrangi in the hinterland of Telangana, an aged man named Maisi wants to see Mallesh (Ashish Gandhi) and Rudrangi (Ganavi Laxman) get married before he leaves this world. 

Maisi is a slave under the feudal lord Bhujanga Rao (Kalakeya Prabhakar). He is forced to pay the price for refusing to work for the feudal lord and succumbs to the torture.

Young boy Mallesh revolts against injustice. However, he fails to take revenge.

Meanwhile, another feudal lord named Bheem Rao Dhora (Jagapathi Babu) gives him shelter and nurtures him.

How Mallesh avenges his grandfather’s murder? Will he unite with Rudrangi? How does the pervasive behaviour of Bheem Rao trouble Mallesh and Rudrangi? What the people of Rudrangi had to sacrifice in lieu of averting a possible famine in the region?

This is the story to watch out for in the second half. 

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Too fictional

cast and crew of Rudrangi

The cast and crew of ‘Rudrangi’ with veteran actor Nandamuri Balakrishna at the pre-release event. (vamsikaka/Twitter)

The story of Rudrangi is set in a fictional village of the Telangana region during the feudal era of Nizam.

The film portrays a vivid picture of social discrimination that was prevalent during the pre-Independence era when people had to face severe oppression from state-appointed Jagirdars (landlords) in the erstwhile princely State of Hyderabad. 

Deshmukhs have a firm hold of the regions in the interiors. People revolting against slavery are perfectly depicted through various characters in the film.

However, rather than making it more organic and natural, the director makes the script too fictional in the second half.

As a result, more than drama, you would have to wait for the scene to pass on to know what happens next. 

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Jagapathi Babu’s show

Kalakeya Prabhakar as an aggressive and violent landlord Bujanga Rao looks frightening on the screen and does a good job.

Jagapathi Babu as Bheem Rao Deshmukh, the arch-rival of Bujanga Rao, is the spine of Rudrangi. 

jagapathi babu in rudrangi

Jagapathi Babu in ‘Rudrangi’. (Twitter)

The crooked and pervasive nature of sex-thirsty landlords gives Bheem Rao a distinctive tinge to his character. His Oxford education and despotic characteristic make Bheem Rao more beastly in appearance.

Jagapathi Babu’s mannerisms evoke laughter in a few scenes in the hall. A few one-liners like B*sedk and l**jakodaka are used as though to emote ferocity in the character.

But the impact gets diluted when the story lags behind. Jagapathi has his moments in Rudrangi though.

Mamta Mohandas is impressive in her role as Jwala Bhai Deshmukh. A warrior-queen, Jwala comes to the fort as the second wife of Bheem Rao.

Vimala Raman as Meerabhai Dhora gives her best.

Ganavi Laxma’s performance as Rudrangi is commendable.

Ashish Gandhi as a trained warrior in traditional warfare deserves laurel for his efforts.

Divi Vadthya’s peppy item number during the first half is good.

Producer Rasamayi Balakishan, too, is featured in the folklore song that coincides with the famous Nagoba festival held in Telangana.

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Rudrangi is rich in visuals, barring a few scenes. The cinematography by Santosh Shanamoni is appreciable.

Nawfal Raja’s music too is good. 

The editing should have been crisp in the second half. The scenes where people revolt against Bheem Rao and his death are too sluggish.


Rudrangi is not an extraordinary execution of the script. But the director does his best to narrate the story through the characters of those times.

The drama takes a backseat in the process as the story becomes too fictional.

(Views expressed here are personal.)