Arundhati is a 2009 Telugu, fantasy-horror film written and directed by Kodi Ramakrishna, starring Anushka Shetty and Sonu Sood in the lead. The film was released on 16 January 2009 to positive reviews and emerged as a commercial success, also becoming one of the highest grossing Telugu films at its time. Owing to its success, it was later dubbed into Tamil and Malayalam with the same title and in Oriya as Mantrasakti. The movie was also dubbed in hindi as ” Arundhati – Ek Anokhi Kahani” by Sumeet Arts. It is remade in Bengali as Arundhati starring Koel.
Arundhati (Anushka Shetty) is the great-granddaughter of the Raja of Gadwal, Mahasamsthan. Arrangements are being made for her marriage. Arundhati is the first female to be born since her great great grandmother and is especially revered in the family. She then goes to Gadwal where her grandfather resides to visit him. Her grandfather, the head of the family, talks to her with respect as if she were older than him. She receives a misleading phone call in her fiance Rahul’s (Arjan Bajwa) voice asking her to come to the fort of Gadwal, where she faces a horrible revelation. Learning the story from an aged servant maid, Chandramma (Manorama), Arundhati comes to know that she is a look alike of her great-grandmother Arundhati/Jejjamma.
Jejjama is an expert in painting, dancing and martial arts. Her elder sister is married to her cousin Pasupathi (Sonu Sood). Pasupathi, a womanizer, rapes the women he likes and kills those who object. While Jejjama was still a young girl, he raped and killed her blind dance teacher while a horrified Jejjama watched through the peephole. Jejjama, furious, demands that he be killed but the King tells her that this would ruin her sister’s life. Hearing this, Jejjamma’s sister commits suicide. The people of Gadwal furiously thrash Pasupathi and tie him to his horse. Though Gadwal celebrates his death, he is saved by Aghoras (saints who practice the dark arts). Pasupathi masters the Tantric arts and returns to Gadwal many years later to exact his revenge.
He unleashes carnage as he uses his powers to torture innocent people—something the Aghoras don’t do. He arrives on Jejjama’s marriage day and magically starts removing her clothes but Jejjama seduces him and performs a special dance imbued with martial arts to lull Pasupathi. She then cuts off his tongue (thus ending the incantations) and pins his hands, allowing a chandalier to fall on his body. She spares him from being killed to prevent him from becoming a ‘pretatma’ (a demonic poltergeist). Pasupathi is buried alive in a tomb and powerful ‘yantras’ (defensive spells) are put on it to prevent him from coming out. Though pasupathi’s corpse is buried , his soul moves out all around gadwal destroying peoples’ lives by introducing famine& disease . Jejjamma then visits many temples and sages for solution but no one will be able to solve the problem . Finally some Aghories agree to help her . They say she cannot kill Pasupathi now; she must be reborn again. They ask her to bade goodbye to everyone before sacrifice and before leaving she orders everyone that the first girl that’ll be born in their race will be a replica of her and they all ought to respect the child as they respect her. She then returns to the aghoras asking for a painful death that ll increase her revenge on pasupathi. She then undergoes a painful death by having coconuts hitting on her skull. The queen then dies and her relics are fashioned into a dagger – the one weapon that could destroy Pasupathi forever.
A worker in a trance unknowingly breaks the tomb and releases the ‘pretatma’. Anwar (Sayaji Shinde) who treats patients through sorcery tells her asks her to fight Pasupathi. Arundhati comes to know that her great-grandmother had prepared a ‘weapon’ with her own bones and had kept it with the sages. Pasupathi stabs Arundhati and she goes to Anwar’s palace after recovering. In their attempts to procure the weapon their family will be threatened and she loses Chandramma. Later Pasupathi kills Anwar by throwing him off a cliff.
Arundhati, believing that Anwar is dead, returns to the fort to surrender herself to Pasupathi to prevent the death of her family members. Anwar, who survives the fall, hands the weapon to Arundhati. The weapon has to be soaked in Arundhathi’s blood before it can be used. Before Anwar can tell her this, Pasupathi kills him. As a last resort to save herself, Arundhati tries to kill herself with the same weapon. The dagger glows from her blood showing that Jejjamma had come. She kills Pasupathi and the building sets fire and blasts. Then Arundhati is shown walking out of the place as Jejjamma.
Directed by Kodi Ramakrishna
Produced by M Shyam Prasad Reddy
Written by Chintapalli Ramana
Starring Anushka Shetty, Sonu Sood, Arjan Bajwa, Sayaji Shinde
Music by Koti
Cinematography K. K. Senthil Kumar
Edited by Marthand K Venkatesh
Production Mallemala Entertainments
Release dates 16 January 2009