Magadheera is a periodical fantasy film starring Ram Charan, Sri Hari and Kajal Aggarwal in lead roles. Allu Aravind and B. V. S. N. Prasad produced the film under Geetha Arts. S. S. Rajamouli directed it.
K V Vijayendra Prasad watched a Marathi film in which Mughal Army attacks two warriors Sivaji and Tanaji. The duo can defeat the army if they reach Sinhagad fort. While Sivaji escapes to the fort, Tanaji stays behind blocking the army. Tanaji slaughters the Mughal soldiers counting One, Two, Three and so on. Vijayendra Prasad, impressed by the film, wrote a story based on reincarnation of a bodyguard who kills 100 soldiers in an effort to re-enthrone his queen but dies in the process. He is reborn after 400 years and fulfils his ambition by making her the Chief Minister of the state. The story was prepared for a film titled ‘Jagadeka Veerudu’ with Krishna in lead role under the direction of Sagar.
They instantly rejected it and several people said that the idea of killing 100 soldiers is impossible to film. Rajamouli was working as an assistant to his father at that time. 15 years later, Rajamouli considered the same story for Magadheera. After Chiranjeevi and Allu Aravind agreed for the project, he started working on the script. The character of Queen has been changed to a princess which gave scope for romance in the film. He started watching all the serials made by Alfred Hitchcock for inspiration. Rajamouli loved the way Hitchcock reveals the central theme in the beginning and then creates suspense. He decided that the opening sequence would be the death of lead actors. He worked with his writers’ team to finalize the script.
The story of Magadheera can be split into 4 parts: Beginning, Conflict, Flashback and Ending. The opening sequence gives a glimpse of what to expect for the rest of the film. Harsha (Ram Charan) is a bike stuntman who wants to participate in bike races in Bangkok. He gets a glimpse of his past life as he brushes the hands of a girl on his way to airport. This is the first plot point and from here on, the love story begins. Indu (Kajal Aggarwal) introduces herself as a friend of the girl he was looking for and plays tricks on him. Raghuveer, a distant relative of Indu, wants to kill her along with her father for the property. He gets lustful of her beauty and kills his own father to mend the relationship between their families.
Harsha learns that Indu is the girl he was searching for and plays tricks on her to make her express her love for him. Indu’s father initially rejects their love but later accepts. Raghuveer gets angry and kills Indu’s father and accuses Harsha of the murder. Indu believes it and they get separated. This is the interval and the second half is mostly flashback. Harsha recalls his entire past life and learns that Indu is the princess he loved in his past life as Kala Bhairava. Raghuveer is the reincarnation of Ranadev Billa, who separated them in that life. After the flashback, the ending is fast paced. Harsha wins over his love with the help of Solomon.
The director tells entire story from the perspective of Harsha/Kala Bhairava. The story of current generation has 2 opponents. Indu plays tricks on him in first half and avoids him in second half and Raghuveer wants Indu at any cost and wants to get rid of him. The flashback has 3 opponents: the king, who doesn’t want to marry off his daughter to him, Ranadev Billa, the commander-in-chief who wants to marry princess, and Sher Khan who wants to take over the kingdom. This makes the flashback episode more engaging than the current generation story.
First Half –
The opening sequence is great and sets the tone of the film. The first act has Ram Charan (as Harsha) introduction, bike stunts and first song, which have nothing to do with the central theme of the film and neither do they help with hero characterization or setting. They never show the personal life of Ram Charan, not even his parents. After the plot point 1, the story switches to romantic track with Ram Charan trying to find Indu and towards the interval learns that it’s Kajal Aggarwal. The horse riding sequence after getting a glimpse of his past is mind-blowing.
The interval sequence is no-brainer and is completely illogical. Kajal instantly believes that Ram Charan killed her father without even talking to him. As if that’s not enough, she leaves in a helicopter leaving the dead body of her father in home. There is no police complaint and no final rites. She travels to an unfamiliar place with a distant relative she has met a few days ago. This entire sequence is strange but thankfully audience don’t notice as the flashback is grand and overshadows such flaws.
Second Half –
The flashback episode happens in Udaygarh kingdom in the year 1609. The role of Kala Bhairava in the army is uncertain. He is a bodyguard, a trainer and a soldier too. In spite of being a normal soldier, he is treated on par with the commander-in-chief, Ranadev Billa, and is close to the king. The flashback is brief with short character introductions and a battle which leads to the death of lead pair along with villain. What made it exceptional is the desert race sequence which has great visuals. The king denying marriage because Kala Bhairava is brave is totally ridiculous. The kings generally choose brave men for their daughters who can protect their kingdoms. This element could have been better.
The fight with 100 soldiers has remarkable choreography and it played a key role in the phenomenal success of the movie. The Third act starts immediately after the flashback and it has not much to offer. There are no more conflicts or twists further. Sri Hari helps Ram Charan to get out of the fort with Kajal Aggarwal. This entire sequence is well shot in every aspect. The climax fight is not great and everything seems obvious. The detailing in Third act is impressive.
Magadheera had a regular first half except for the opening sequence. What takes it to next level is the second half which is full of adrenaline rush. The second half has desert race, fight with 100 soldiers, escaping from the fort and climax fight towards the climax. Rather than the script, the vision and direction played important role in the success of Magadheera. Rajamouli elevated several minor scenes like horse riding in first half throughout the film.