Directed by Udugula Venu and released on Netflix on June 17th, 2022, “Virata Parvam” has gained quite an audience and has been trending right after its release. It is based on the story of “Thumu Sarala.” “Virata Parvam” incorporates folklore, lived history, as well as the emotions felt during the turmoil and portrays them in a way that has the audience empathizing with the characters.
‘Virata Parvam’ Plotline: What The Film Is About?
The story is based in the era when the Naxal movement was active and very much prevalent in the south of India. States like Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh had a vivid history of being a part of the turbulent history, mainly during the decade of 1990-2000. During this era, Vennela, a girl from a village in Telangana Rural in Andhra Pradesh, grew up to be a lover of poetry. She comes across the poetry written by a Naxalite leader, Ravanna, and falls in love with him. She sets off on a journey to meet him after breaking off her marriage. She travels through many villages and then ultimately gets to meet him, only to be rejected. She joins his cause to stay beside him and love the revolution like he does. Later, due to some misunderstandings, she is ousted as a traitor and is killed. However, they later found out that she was not a traitor.
The Communist Party and Naxalites in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
The communist party and the Naxalites seem to be against the police. Since the 1970s, there has been continuous guerilla warfare between these two sides. The police were portrayed in “Virata Parvam” as a group of people just for the money, and the communists and the Naxalites were portrayed as the radical group of Robin Hoods who protected and uplifted the weaker sections of society. In the 2000s, the police conducted mass killings in the form of raids and fake encounters. They had orders to shoot any Naxalite at sight. The police were full of corrupt officials who lived on torturing the weak and pilfering their money during this period. They were held in terror whenever they raided a village. A group of youths decided to form a movement to uproot the evil officials, and this gained momentum and mass support from the public. They provided monetary support as well as medical support and protected the people by punishing evil deeds. Education had really helped the youth of India during this time and had opened their eyes to identify the corrupt officials who were a menace to society. In Andhra Pradesh during the late 2000s, the government was later successful in stamping down on the movement by understanding the needs of the people and implementing socio-economic programs to help uplift the society. They succeeded in breaking down the entire movement with their plans of “Surrender and Rehabilitation” to appeal to the masses. Once their purpose was met, the Naxalites stopped the insurgency.
“Virata Parvam” focuses on the part of Andhra Pradesh that was overcome by unrest during the 1990s. The Naxalites were fewer in number, and the ones who got caught by the police broke down under the immense torture they were put through. The ones who kept their silence even through the torture were killed without dignity. The Naxalites focused more on guerilla warfare due to the sheer number of enemies they were facing. The police could not come up with plans to stamp down on the civil war. The Naxalites, due to their consisting mainly of youth embodiment, were present with different schemes that used the topography to their advantage to counter the lack of troops they had. The state had meetings where they finally explained the attacks and understood the base. They realized that the Naxalites were heavily dependent on a strategy where they attacked a base after much planning and waiting, similar to the attacks conducted by the Pandavas against the Kauravas, thus the name “Virata Parvam.” The heads decided to strategize their warfare where they would plant the seeds of doubt among the Naxalites and turn them against each other. They scheme their way into the base of the Naxalites and turn them against each other, creating doubt and strife. Vennela gets caught in this crossfire and is accused of being a traitor. Before the message from the other heads comes to make them aware of the scheme against them, the deed is already done, and Vennela gets killed.
‘Virata Parvam’ Ending Explained: What Happened To Vennela?
“Virata Parvam” follows Venella closely while she undertakes a journey of uniting with her love. Her love offers her the confidence and courage to travel through places of unrest to get to the one she loves. With the guidance of people along the way, Vennela reaches Ravanna, but he rejects her and tells her that she should go back to her village. Vennela’s love deters her from giving up, and Shakuntala Devi, leader of the Communist party, finds Vennela similar to her past and pleads with her to not go down that rabbit hole like she did. However, Vennela is determined to fight for her love and understand Ravanna’s cause. She makes up her mind to join the revolution alongside Ravanna. Ravanna rejects her for fear of trapping another person in the everlasting battle of the revolution, but Vennela wins him over. Her naivety and desperation to reach Ravanna make her fall prey to the enemy’s plans, and she is declared a traitor.
The police succeed in planting the seeds of doubt among the group, and the colleagues, pissed at the preferential treatment and praise Venella got for her quick thinking, seize the moment to side with the notice they received and vote to kill Vennela. She is tortured for information by the very people she decided to fight with. They continuously tortured her to no avail, later citing Ravanna for help. She is then killed by Ravanna, who thinks she is a traitor and has used his emotions to gain the upper hand over them. He shoots her down with the regret of loving her. The notice from the officials above them appears with the information that it was, in fact, a scheme where they would kill each other off while doubting themselves. They had become paranoid after the episode where most of their comrades got killed, and it was easy to pin the blame on the suspicious way Vennela had reached out to Ravanna. When they got a hold of this notice, it was already too late, and Vennela was taking her last few breaths. The moment of distrust caused them to lose a comrade full of vigor.
“Virata Parvam” is based on Thumu Sarala, who lost her life in February 1992 due to the Naxals being suspicious of her involvement with the police. During this time, like Thumu, many other lives were lost during the crossfire between the two sides. The main circumstances that led to Sarala and Vennela joining the cause, both in reel and real life, were the “inspiration” and the “necessity” caused by the events where the Dalits are thrashed by the police due to their lower caste. This causes them to question the authority of the said officials and join the movement. The Naxals rescued the state underdogs and the lower classes from the state’s crimes, and this idea portrays the hope that the lower classes felt and how the Naxal movement gained such momentum. “Virata Parvam” portrays this through the very dialogues, underlining the underlying issues and hopes among the lower castes of society. The film catches the emotions and the re-enactment of history, folklore, and folk songs and has managed to portray them adeptly. Although the scene where Vennela becomes a victim of the conspiracies is shot dexterously, the leaders had a lot of trouble when Sarala’s death came to light. The film has portrayed the turmoils faced by each section of the society with facts mixed with beautiful storytelling.
“Virata Parvam” is a 2022 Indian Drama film written and directed by Venu Udugula.