The film is set in the Nelakondapalli village of Adilabad district in Nizam Princely State of Hyderabad of the late 1940s. The feudal society is under the vice-like grip of an aristocratic family and its head, a Dorasani (Shwetha Menon). Mallamma (Baby Annie) is the darling of the village, who is living in perpetual humiliation. They seek solace in her songs. Brought up by Sambayya, an old man, she develops a mysterious attachment to a basil tree which is regarded as holy by the entire village.
She happens to sing a song in the Dorasani's house which enrages her. Since nobody can have a skill which her daughter has not been able to acquire, she decrees that Mallamma cannot sing if she wants to be alive. However, singing is in her very marrow. After all, she is the daughter of Rajanna, who had inspired hundreds of villagers to revolt against the evil lords through his revolutionary songs.
When the Dorasani finds Mallamma singing for another time, she decides to hound her and kill. The grandpa wants to take her away, but Mallamma refuses to oblige. It is then when she tells him that she cannot abandon the village where she Rajanna meets her every day. Dorasani, who overhears Sambayya telling her that she is Rajanna's progeny, kills him. A heroine that she is, Mallamma stages an escape with the help of the music teacher (Nassar), who tells her that the only way to get rid of Dorsani is to meet Jawaharlal Nehru at Delhi. She sets off to do the same. After overcoming many challenges, she reaches, is taken care of by a young lady, and sets off to meet Nehru with a rose. But, the crowd rushes past her and crushes the rose. She then writes to her music teacher and tells him that she met a musician who will introduce Mallamma to Nehru in a singing contest on his birthday. Unfortunately, Dorasani catches hold of the letter, captures Mallamma, and locks her in a shed with her music teacher, who tells her the story of Rajanna as follows:
After killing over a hundred British officers, Rajanna (Nagarjuna Akkineni) is a proud son of a free India. Much to his dismay, he finds the villagers of Nelakondavalli still in servitude and radicalizes them to massacre the oppressors. He slices off the hand of a Nawab and saves a woman from the assault. When the Nawab comes back for revenge, he is killed by the very same woman whom he tried to assault after a revolutionary song by Rajanna. The revolution spreads to hundreds of villages and the nawabs are shaken. Unable to repress the warfare on their own, the local lords seek the help of the evil Razakars.
Ever at the forefront to save the village, Rajanna leads a guerrilla warfare with his four comrades (a Muslim, a Tamil Brahmin, a Punjabi and a Maharashtrian) and achieves martyrdom after fighting hundreds of Razakar desperadoes to the finish.
Rajanna lives on in the memories of the people of Nelakondapalli.
After knowing the story, Mallamma escapes the shed and sets off to meet Nehru. But, the singing contest is over. She then sings her heart out. The song attracts Nehru and he comes to Mallamma. He drives away Dorsani and develops the town.
The town is shown with a statue of Rajanna
The music was composed by M.M. Keeravani. Music released on Vel Records Music Company. The audio was well received and was opened to positive reviews by critics.
It was announced in 2010 that Akkineni Nagarjuna would do a film titled 'Rajanna' under Vijayendra Prasad's direction. Tollywood director S.S. Rajamouli choreographed the action sequences of the film. Sneha was roped in to play the female lead after their previous hit Sri Ramadasu.
Malayalam actress Shwetha Menon played a negative role. Baby Annie was cast in the role of an orphaned girl.
A massive village set and Bungalow set were erected near Jubilee Hills of Hyderabad for the film. It accidentally caught fire on 5 April 2011 causing a loss of ���7 million. Filming resumed after 2 weeks.
The film was set to be released on 23 December 2011 but the date was moved ahead to 21 December due to a good response to the film's music.
The reviews from the press were very positive. Rediff hailed the film as brilliant and fullhyd.com said "Mallamma's story is brilliantly written", and praised the performances as well, particularly that of Baby Annie. StudentLive gave 4/5 saying, "Rajanna is a movie made a genuine effort. It���s not a movie stuffed with brainless action. This is something rare from the stables of Tollywood which more often than not dishes movies that require you to leave your brain behind when you watch the movie. Rajanna is sure to touch your hearts." The film was later dubbed and released in Tamil as Raja Singh during 2015.Nandi AwardsNandi Award for Best Feature Film ��� silverNandi Award for Best Child Actress ��� Baby AnnieNandi Special Jury Award ��� Nagarjuna AkkineniNandi Award for Best Character Actor ��� GandhiNandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer ��� MalavikaNandi Award for Best Art Director ��� S. RavinderOther AwardsSouth Indian International Movie Awards ��� Special Appreciation (Actor) ��� Nagarjuna AkkineniCineMAA Awards ��� Special Jury Award (Actor) ��� Nagarjuna Akkineni