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Times of India
A love story set amidst the turbulent political scenario existent during the Peshwa era.
There is no dearth of love stories but the genre of historical love stories has been comparatively less explored. Be it 'Jodha-Akbar' or 'Mughal-E-Azam', the stories of royal romances have attracted the audience in large numbers and 'Rama Madhav' takes this practice forward.
Moving away from typical boy-meets-girl love stories, the film presents before you the story of a young Peshwa Madhavrao (Alok Rajwade) and his wife Rama (Shruti Kalsekar/Parna Pethe). Rama is married off to Madhav at a very young age and starts learning the workings of the Peshwa household at Shaniwar Wada. Madhav is the enthusiastic and brave son of Nanasaheb Peshwa who wants to accompany his uncle Sadashiv (Amol Kolhe) in the battlefield. Then there is Raghunathrao Peshwa (Prasad Oak), the egoistic yet fierce warrior brother of Nanasaheb who is angered when he is denied the opportunity to lead the Maratha troops in the Battle of Panipat. Overall the film is a combination of the Peshwa exploits in the battlefield, the schemes plotted by Raghoba dada and the love blossoming between Madhav and Rama.
Mrinal Kulkarni deserves appreciation for attempting to make a film of this genre considering it has rarely been explored before. The exquisite sets designed by Nitin Chandrakant Desai bring authenticity to the look of the film and so do the costumes. Among the actors, Alok Rajwade, Sonalee and Prasad Oak stand out with their brilliant performances. Mrinal Kulkarni in the role of Gopikabai and Ravindra Mankani as Nanasaheb recreate their chemistry from the serial Swami but we would have loved to see more of them.
Despite all this 'Rama Madhav' doesn't do well in holding the plot together. The first half of the film drags to death but things pick up after the interval, albeit slowly. Songs slow the proceedings of the plot and could've been done away with. An Ekta Kapoor serial feeling strikes you during some scenes. The significant events that took place during this era find a mention but the film is predominantly about the love brewing up between the lead pair.
You can watch is once for the love of Pune, the beautiful sets and some memorable performances.