It is not wrong to love your country, but you don’t need to harbour such hatred for a neighbouring country, a wise man tells a young woman in the film. In another scene, when she is given a few references, with all the names pertaining to one religion, she asks in exasperation if there isn’t anyone from her community. Director Hanu Raghavapudi’s Sita Ramam is a lot more than just a love story. The story, screenplay and dialogues by Hanu, Raj Kumar Kandamudi and Jay Krishna ride on the idea that humanity matters more than war, boundaries and religion. The idea is ever relevant especially in times when discussions of ‘them’ and ‘us’ threaten to take over the discourse all around us.
Sita Ramam unravels the mystery surrounding its title characters, Sita Mahalakshmi (Mrunal Thakur’s debut in Telugu cinema) and Lt Ram (Dulquer Salmaan) through two timelines — 1964 and 1984. Afreen (Rashmika Mandanna), a Pakistan-origin student arrives in India from London, when she is tasked with tracing Sita to hand over a 20-year-letter written to her by Ram. She takes the help of her college senior Balaji (Tharun Bhascker), who is now in Hyderabad.