(1999)(Apparently originally Telugu but I think my copy was dubbed in Hindi)
Director: Kodi Ramakrishna
"Is it true that female cobras descend to earth from the heavens?", the good and innocent Sunita (Vanitha) asks her devoted father.
Oh yes indeedy, and they come in an elaborate snake evoking mothership, complete with swirling clouds and (filmi) lightening.
Sadly for Devi (Prema), a young female cobra who comes with her friends for an earthly excursion, snake motherships also leave, and she gets left behind. You see, when there is an eclipse, cobras lose their powers and revert to snake form, rendering them vulnerable to attack from malicious demons, and there was one (an eclipse that is... well actually also a malicious demon but more of that in a moment). Because Devi was off following Bambi, and the others were under strict instruction to get back home to the cobra realm in the event of an eclipse, the other cobra girls leave without her. Sure enough, an evil demon (Abu Salim) appears, hell bent on destroying Devi - we learn, because she told tales to her father (the Snake God) about his unpleasant nature leading to his being cast out of the cobra realm. He is not happy with Devi and tries to set fire to her. A human (who happens to be Sunita’s devoted father) saves Devi in snake form, but unfortunately his own life is sacrificed as a result. Sunita is left at the mercy of bad, greedy, selfish and untrustworthy relatives. Devi makes it her mission to save and protect her.
This she does for the rest of the film by tricking her way into a family, arranging a marriage or two, negotiating with a range of goddesses (and her father), continuing to outwit her evil adversary, administering snaky truth serum, self immolation and the general aversion of all manner of catastrophes. Pace is variable but certainly picks up in the last hour or so.
I was led to believe this was a snake movie. It is actually less of a snake movie and more of a mythological. Prayer, faith and devotion are the main themes.
In relation to the climax I have five words:
If you like that kind of thing, the film is worth a watch. If fantasy/sci-fi/religious movies are not your thing, give it a wide berth.