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Friday, December 26, 2008

Neetu Chandra Vs Rajashekhar

Do you remember this petite beauty in Shekhar Kammula’s Godavari? She is Neetu Chandra, the upcoming actress from Patna, Bihar. She played the role of second heroine, Rajeswari, the cousin (maradalu) of hero Sumanth. Throughout the movie, Godavari, she will be in a dilemma whether to marry the hero or not.

Being in dilemma seems to carry into the real life for this heroine. Neetu Chandra is currently in a dilemma on whether to sue hero Rajashekhar and his producer wife Jeevitha for the alleged harassment that she faced at the hands of the actor and producer in their current film shooting of Satyameva Jayathe

Neetu Chandra alleges that, actor Rajashekhar and Jeevitha harassed her. She claims that the actor came drunk to the sets and abused Neetu. She claims that when she was sick, running high fever and was unable to even stand, the actor and producer dragged her to the sets and forced her to act in front of the camera. So, finally, she had to run away from the shooting. She is currently talking to her lawyers on how to sue Jeevitha and Rajashekhar

Reacting to the allegations; Jeevitha Rajashekhar, the producer of the movie Satyameva Jayathe, rubbished the allegations. She accused that the upcoming heroine is unprofessional towards her work. Jeevitha says that, Neetu demands air tickets and star hotel accommodation to all her assistants. Further, Neetu & assistants demand travel by Jet Airways only and not through low cost airlines. Jeevitha alleges that, Neetu already took all the remuneration and is now demanding more for the remaining schedules.

Jeevitha also adds that Neetu has a history of troubling the producers. Neetu seems to have troubled Shekhar Kammula during the Godavari Shooting. In fact, Jeevitha booked Neetu, as they were looking for a heroine who is not busy and who can cooperate to the fullest. But, it seems the trouble started on the day one of the engagement itself, when Neetu arrived for photo session. Jeevitha couldn’t cancel the heroine as all the other schedules are decided by then.

Jeevitha agrees that, as the heroine threw tantrums to complete the last 2-3 shots on the pretext of ill health, the producer chided her to get up and complete the task at hand and then go take a leave forever. Otherwise, it would have been a herculean task to reschedule the 2-3 simple shots and impossible to get all the call sheets of all the characters & technicians who are involved in the shooting. Jeevitha advises that such an adamant and non cooperative behavior is not good for an aspiring artist like Neetu Chandra

So, what is the truth in this new controversy? What can we say??

Satyameva Jayathe!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yuvarajyam Calls WakeUpIndia

Last week, Pawan Kalyan spoke at the youth summit of Yuva Rajyam, the youth wing of Chiranjeevi’s political outfit Praja Rajyam. The speakers at the summit asked all the volunteers to show social responsibility by responding to the injustice happening to our neighbors.

As an offshoot of this meeting, the Power Star Pawan Kalyan declared a new forum of Students, Parents and prominent people from all walks of life. The forum will discuss the legal solutions for the common challenges of the ordinary people.

The forum will be hosted as and will seek the inputs, advice, suggestions and feedback from the public on various contemporary issues.

At the time of writing this article, the website is still under construction. Let us hope that some action starts, as the youth leader proclaimed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Telugu, The Ajanta Language

While reflecting on the movie Vinayakudu, more than the acting skills of the hero, I liked his name Krishnudu :) It indeed is a pure Telugu name. The Nouns in Telugu language normally end with a Vowel. That means, “Ram” is not Telugu. It should be “Ramudu” – Like “Kodanda Ramudu”, “Yanamala Ramakrishnudu”. And it is apt that the movie name is "Vinayakudu" and not "Vinayak" or "Ganesh"

As the English & Hindi words started modifying the urban nomenclature, the Telugu smell is slowly going away from our names these days. The “Halant” (words ending with a Consonant) or "Pollu Hallu" are common in other languages in India. For instance: Ram, Kishan, Mahesh, Raman, Rahul, and many other common names are Halant. But the words ending with Vowel (Acchu + Anta = Ajanta) are unique to Telugu. i.e. Rama/Ramudu, Krishna/Krishnudu, Maheshwara, Ramana etc.

That’s why Telugu is called the Ajantha Language. On that note, Italian is a similar Ajanta Language. That’s why, Telugu is the Italian of East.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nandi Awards as a Congress Election Rally

I was appalled to see the Nandi Awards today. There is little to celebrate Telugu cinema there. It was all about praising YS Rajasekhar Reddy and his Congress Party.

For once, I doubted whether I tuned into the election rallies which were happening every other day these days.

Heroes Mahesh Babu and Nagarjuna were liberal in praising the chief minister YSR for all those things that he did. But, full marks go to hero Mohan Babu.

Mohan Babu who is known for his uncontrollable public utterances, went on to say that, “everybody is thinking that it is a Congress’ election rally. But its not! All these people who came to this event came here to display their affection on their dear leader, YSR. Nobody in the past has done this much to the Telugu Cinema as our CM YSR did. On that count, we all should applaud once more to our beloved CM”

So, are the decks clear for Mohan Babu too to join Congress?

Monday, November 3, 2008

TDP Launches

On the eve of Yuva Garjana, a party road show & rally at Guntur on 05 Nov 2008, Telugu Desam party launched its exclusive mobile site

This website will host ring tones, caller tunes, wallpapers and video clips related to the party. The site has several MP3, mobile videos in 3GP format containing movie clips, songs and dialogues of party founder N T Rama Rao.

Launching the website, TDP leader Chandra Babu Naidu said, This website has been designed keeping in view the demands from the Nandamuri fans as well as the TDP rank and file,"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Name is Ram G Varma, I am a Psycho!

Oh! Boy, how did I miss this news?

A friend of mine told me that, couple of days back, there was a public gathering of all those frustrated with repeated torturous movies of RGV. They all announced a new movie with a title “Naa Peru Ram G Varma” with a caption “Nenoka Psycho Ni!” (My Name is Ram G Varma – I am a Psycho). They went on to shoot couple of scenes for this movie on this occasion.

The guest speaker at this gathering is the Censor Board Member Shobha Rani. She seems to have given an animated speech on the changing values of mainstream Cinema. She is very critical about Ram Gopal Varma’s mindless movies and their effect on the ordinary movie goers.

Apparently, all this is a reaction to the repeated horror movies that RGV is unleashing on to the Telugu cine goers. The last nail in the coffin was RGV’s new venture announced last week. RGV’s next project titled “Raktha Charitra”, is a chronicle of blood and gore of faction ridden Rayala Seema region of Andhra Pradesh. RGV visited wellknown factionist families over the past few weeks and noted down their versions to shape his story.

Now, we have to wait and see which of these two movies will draw more crowds!

Just looking at the titles, I’m game to spend my 3 hrs of time for a matinee show of “Naa Peru Ram G Varma, Neno Psycho Ni” than wasting my time on the chronicle of blood called “Raktha Charitra”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mental Krishna fires back at Rajasekhar and Jeevitha

Last couple of days, the prime time news bulletins are dishing out the much needed comedy shows into our living rooms.

First it was Dr. Rajasekhar and Jeevitha who went overboard in criticizing Chiranjeevi and his political intentions. It was the funniest political discussion that I've ever seen in recent times. Angry Hero, Rajasekhar with his Tamil Accent has branded the "AndaRivaadu" (man of masses) hero Megastar Chiranjeevi as "AndaNivaadu" (man not reachable). The couple, who recently joined the Congress Party went on to deride the "public service" tag that Chiru and his Praja Rajyam was using. Rajasekhar was more fun to watch, as he was desperately trying to dominate the show. The essence of their message to Andhra Public was that in the interest of the future of the citizens of Andhra, it is better not to vote for Chiranjeevi. If anybody votes for Chiranjeevi, he is "matash" (spoiling himself)

The funny interview is available on Youtube at

The next day news was even more funnier. While a reaction from Chiranjeevi's camp was expected, it surprised one and all, as the reaction came from self proclaimed Chiru fan; Writer, Director "Mental Krishna" aka Posani Krishna Murali on NTV. In the discussion along with TDP's Murali Mohan, Posani got a few seconds of slot but has the most punching statements. Posani, known for his un-parliamentary language has literally given a warning to Rajasekhar and Jeevitha to shut up or else, he and Chiru fans will open up the dirty history of both Rajasekhar and Jeevitha. He promises that the history will be told with as much filth as possible that the words will torture and indeed kill Rajasekhar and Jeevitha.

Posani's interview is available on Youtube at

My sincere advise to Rajasekhar and Jeevitha is not to get into any argument with this Mental Krishna :) He indeed is known to talk filth and is at best avoidable.

In the recent past, Mental Krishna made a tirade against Dasari Narayanarao. Posani accused that Dasari was blocking the release of his movie "Apadamokkula Vaadu" as the movie has pro-chiranjeevi story line. He accused that Dasari, who once was the Guru of hero Chiranjeevi, is scared of Chiranjeevi's political entry.

You can watch Posani's ramblings on Youtube at

All in all, the fun continues as the election date nears!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Priyamani, The Dusky Diva Of Tollywood

Today Priyamani, the Dusky Diva of Telugu Cinema, is receiving the national award for Best Actress; for her performance in Tamil Movie Paruthi Veeran. Considering the fact that Telugu/Tamil movie goers have a fetish for fair skin, it is indeed an achievement for Priyamani to rise to the top slot of Tollywood with in such a short time. This Nalla (Tamil: Good) Pilla is here to stay.

Her notable performance in Telugu was in Pellaina Kotthalo. Its a decent movie that has all the required commercial elements. Now that all my readers know the story of this movie, I’m not re-reviewing this movie. Most of the reviews wrote that the second half is too slow.. But I think, the second half of the movie is the real show. The sensual interaction between the estranged couple is marvelous.

I was surprised to know that the director Madan is a bachelor and he could capture some of those sensual feelings very well.

I haven’t seen much of Priyamani earlier. The last I saw her was in Yama Donga. There she had little to do. I remember that half the time she was crying and the remaining half dancing with hero. Of course she was cute in two songs "Labbaru Gajulu" and "Noonugu Meesalodu"

In this movie too, there are some good tunes like: Chelivo, Naa Chilipi Kalavo.....Indeed this beautiful song penned by Chaitanya Prasad was beautifully composed by music director Agastya with a melodious guitar lead.

Monday, September 1, 2008

NTR Family to boost TDP prospects

With Chiranjeevi's entry, AP politics started heating up. Chandra Babu Naidu is looking at all alternatives, including giving up TDP's USP of last election - the samaikya andhra slogan.

While things are still shaping up, Naidu is all set to pull NTR family members - Bala Krishna, Jr NTR, Kalyan Ram and Hari Krishna to add the much needed glamour for TDP in the coming elections.

Naidu & Balakrishna have strengthened their ties in the recent past as Balakrishna's daughter is married to Naidu's son last year. With this new bonding, Balayya may bring in more action to TDP & Naidu in the coming elections.

Lets wait n see how this glamor works for TDP.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PrajaRajyam - Chiranjeevi's Party

Megastar Chiranjeevi's new party is named Praja Rajyam. Just as the trend with Telugu movies, the party name carries a caption "Preme Lakshyam, Seve Margam" (The goal is LOVE and the path is through SERVICE)

Chiru declared his party name, agenda and flag today at Tirupati.

Chiranjeevi party flag is made up of two horizontal strips of White & Green. The white strip is 3/4th of the size of the flag. On the white strip, a red sun is placed with a Yellow shade.

The theme of the flag is "Nature".
The meaning of the flag:
White: Transparency & universal theme
Green: Farmers & Food (is there any minority connection?)
Sun: Energy of the Nature
Red colour of the sun: Change in the world
Yellow shade: Happiness

If you closely observe, the flag is nothing but Indian National flag with slight modifications. The white & green are seen directly. The Ashoka's wheel can be seen in the SUN. The Safron colour is seen in the Red & Yellow combo of the Sun & its shade.

Chiru made a passionate speech to inspire the crowd at Avilala ground in Tirupati. He send warning signals to his detractors by saying that "those pulling us back dont realize that we are arrows and if they pull us hard, we will race ahead faster"

Incidentally, Chiru's ideas are in line with (borrowed??) JP's (Loksatta) theme of Government being the trustees of excehquers and not the owners. Chiranjeevi concluded with a statement that reminded me Seetharama Sastry's Gayam Song: "Surajyamavaleni Swarajyam Endukani!!" Loosely translated, the poet is questioning the point of having a free nation if the nation cant be a good nation.

And yeah, Chiru Party's idea is to make this Swarajyam into a Surajyam!

Good luck Chiru.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Punadirallu - Fans and Friends of Chiranjeevi

Padmabhushan Megastar Chiranjeevi's Fans and Friends started a new website yesterday. The website is inaugurated by Chiru's maternal uncle Srinvasa Rao J.

The site will bring together all the people who dream of building a better world through ethical and social service.

Incidentally Punadirallu (English: Foundation/Stepping Stones) is Chiranjeevi's first movie as a hero.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chiranjeevi’s political entry - Is it the right time?

I’m not talking about the timing of the event but the time of the event!

The superstitions, lucky numbers and muhurtham were major part of the news for the whole day. Everybody noted that, there seem to be special focus on number 8 (Aug 17 = 1+7 = 8 and Aug 26 = 2+6 = 8).

However, the muhurath is even more interesting. The Moon has just come out of eclipse, breaking the Kala Sarpa combination. From Indian astrology, the Lagna/Ascendant at 2:30 in the afternoon of 17th Aug 2008 is in a cusp. The Lagna changes from Scorpion to Sagittarius at 2:36PM. While the meeting was called at 2:30, the declaration actually started after 2:35.

Now, had it been at 2:30, Sun owns the Rajya and is placed in Rajya. Sun is not strong for this muhurath, and is positioned along with Saturn, Rahu, Venus in Rajya. Among this group, Venus overpowered all and became Atma Karaka for the chart. But this Venus is debilitated (Neecha) in Navamsa. Psst. The only saving grace is that Sun is exalted in Navamsa. I’m not comfortable in predicting the outcome of such an important entry done in this muhurath.

As the event happened after 2:35, we can as well study it from Sagittarius Lagna. Here, the Navamsa is terrific. Sun in Aries Lagna is exalted. Rajya lord Saturn in 5th house. Lagna lord Mars in 11th and looking at 5th house. Everything is perfect for a powerful political entry. But the problem here is that, in the natal chart, the lagna lord Jupiter in retrograde (Vakra). A vakra Jupiter may not be the best thing for such a political entry.

For both the timings, the partnership lord Venus’s debilitation (Neecha) in navamsa may create troubles with partnerships.

So, looking from all angles, the time doesn’t look right for a great political aspiration. It doesn’t necessarily imply the end result will be unfavorable. It may just indicate that the journey is not a smooth sailing.

For superstitious conspiracy theorists, Hariprasad’s untimely demise - while talking about Chiru’s political ambitions - is an indication.

Remembering Hariprasad

Today’s eenadu ( carried an article in which they reported that Hari Prasad was known for the famous song “Sivaranjani Navaragini”.

First the correction: The song “Siva Ranjani Nava Raagini” was from “Thurpu Padamara” and was starred by Narasimha Raju and Sri Vidya.

Hari Prasad along with Narayana Rao, and Sudhakar is a very good friend of Mega Star Chiranjeevi. All these folks did their film school training in Chennai. Other than watching him on small screen, the last I remember of seeing him on screen was in Gang Leader as a member of the friendship gang of the protagonist. It was an insignificant role, as was the other role that I remember in Yamudiki Mogudu. In that movie, Hari Prasad acted as a friend of the protagonist Kaali.

The third movie that I can recollect was Sivaranjani (that’s the movie name and not the song title).

Sivaranjani is all about a village belle who goes on to become a famous film actress. Sahaja Nati Jaya Sudha played the role. Remember that famous song that she sings while roaming around the village, selling the Ek Tara (the one stringed instrument)

Joru Meedunnave Thummeda,
Nee Joru Evari Kosame Tummeda?

The superb song got its life from the lead violin played by Music Director Mani Sharma’s father (YN Sharma). Coming to the topic, Sivaranjani goes-on to become a big film star. A small town boy forms her fan club and starts admiring her. Sivaranjani starts finding her true love in this boy and gives up her career as a film actress and escapes the trauma of limelight by settling down with this boy.

Hari Prasad played the role of that boy/fan and will be remembered by all Telugu movie goers, if not for his action, but for the two most romantic songs of Telucu Cinema that are screened on this unusual pair – Jaya Sudha & Hari Prasad.

One of the two most romantic songs is the title song of the movie:

Abhinava Tara O, Naa Abhimana Taara O!
Siva Ranjanee, Siva Ranjanee!

This was the song that Hari Prasad sings on a stage, in praise of his favorite actress. The Second one is:

Navami Naati Vennela Nenu! Dasami Naati Jaabili Neevu!
Kalasukunna Prati Reyi, Kaarthika Punnami Reyi!

While the lyrics & Ramesh Naidu’s magical compositions are remembered for these songs, Hari Prasad lives in these songs, as he is remembered for these two most popular and unforgettable songs of the Telugu film industry.

It was indeed touching to see Hari Prasad’s demise in TV9 interview yesterday. This gentleman was talking about the day’s top story, when he lost his consciousness and slipped off the chair into eternal sleep. May his soul rest in peace and god gives immense courage & support to his family.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ramulamma to join BJP?

Lady Amitabh, Vijaya Shanthi is all set to join BJP. She is in Delhi today and is scheduled to meet Advani tomorrow.

The talk is that, BJP has little ground in AP and is vying for Vijayashanti & Narendra to secure at least a couple of seats.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Golmaal and Bindiya Goswami

While not many of Bapu’s heroines made it big in their career, all of them had their fifteen minutes of fame in Bapu’s movies. There are some heroines in Bollywood too who were part of memorable movies and later disappeared from the screen. One such actress from my list of favorite heroines is Bindiya Goswami.

I watched Golmaal movie, many times till now. While the comedy track of Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar (as Ram/Lakshman Prasad) is the main attraction of the movie, equally entertaining frames are those of the innocent & chubby Bindiya (as Urmi). She was cute and lively through out the movie.

RD Burman’s ‘Ane Waala Pal, Jaane Wala Hain’ was the most popular number from the movie. But, I found “Ek Baat Kahoon Agar Mano Tum, Sapno Mein Na Ana Jano Tum” much more interesting. It’s your love, chiding you for continuously coming into her dreams and not letting her sleep!

Among other things ;) her big eyes get my full marks. The director captured her looks in many frames.

Phew! Not many knew that Rekha was the first choice for Urmi’s role. And after a lot of deliberation, director Hrishikesh Mukherji decided on Bindiya Goswami. I guess, that was on of the best thing to happen for Golmaal. However, Bindiya's career as a heroine was short as she married & settled down with J P Dutta.

If you haven’t watched Golmaal, its worth spending a lazy afternoon on this classic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Connecting with audience

Continuing on my last entry, I think RGV and many other directors are increasingly getting disconnected with the audience. I pity all those who threw money into Aag like projects.

From my little knowledge, I opine that the disconnection comes from the over confidence of these directors on their assessment of what their audience want. One basic thing that they forget is the fact that the audience’s tastes change over time. In this regard, RGV’s flogging the same old dead horse of “Antham” like stories and remaking them with slight changes and releasing on to us is a criminal wastage of resources. Of late, this kind of disconnection is seen more with the RGV’s school. Or is it that I expect more from RGV’s school and thus am finding these faults?

I remember watching a dreaded movie called “Nijam”. I spent many sleepless nights trying to understand what that movie was all about. Director Teja cooked an unpalatable story and brings an angle of student power and a personal revenge and got lost in the process. This was followed by his next disasters “Jai” & “Oka Vichitram”. The movies are so pathetic that, I don’t want to waste my key strokes to write on them. These movies eroded all the impression that he created with his “Nuvvun Nenu” & “Jayam”. Remember the protagonist’s mother’s dialogue in Jayam that “If you get the girl, they will kill you. If you don’t get, I’ll kill you!” That is what connects with audience.

Same is the case with Krishna Vamsi. I don’t understand why he made “Chakram” and “Danger”. Even his Chandamama is a boring flick. He was lucky to get away with his HAHK like scenes in Ninne Pelladata & Murari. Most of the people are not convinced by the Attla Taddi celebrations shown in Ninne Pelladatha.

Another movie that comes to my mind is “Sye”. The director had to educate the audience about the Rugby game. Just because the sports related movies are making money, he went up and made a movie with Rugby as a central theme. I guess, in Chantabbai, Sri Lakshmi writes a story. The story is about how to make “Rasam”. Sye was like that.

It not just with new age directors. Even old timers and mavericks are failing these days. Ace director Raghavendra Rao’s last few flicks are flops. One of the very few sensible directors of Tollywood, Bapu dished out Sundarakanda, a flop. There were many such instances where the story has no relevance to the period.

Looking at the trend, I prefer Ram Narayana’s school to Ram Gopal Varma’s school! I’m sure that all my readers agree that Ram Narayana’s works like Gomatha Vratham are much more money spinning entertainer than the current duds :) :) They are like a circus on the big screen and value for money for many front benchers.

So, to conclude, I urge that our directors start connecting with the audience, so that the industry will see some meaningful pictures.

Trivia: Watch Donga Mogudu song “Nallanchu Tella Cheera”. The heroine Radhika sports all kinds of dresses but not a “Nallanchu Tella Cheera”.. Not even a Sari

Friday, July 18, 2008

More on RGV

No, I’m not saying that RGV is moron. Readers note the space between each of the three words :) It’s just that his recent movies are moronic!

Ram Gopal Varma and I have many things in common. We have links to Vijayawada. We are linked by our college (he happens to be a super senior). Our favorite heroine is Sridevi. We both liked her rain song in Mr. India. But the similarities end there. Ramu disappointed me by pampering Urmila & Nisha Kothari like heroines in his movies. I firmly believe that, they are the reason for all his flops. He’d’ve tried a Rambha or a Nagma for a change. :)

RGV can make an ordinary story into a gripping narration, coupled with a brilliant taking. It’s a gift that is demonstrated in Shiva, Kshana Kshanam & Gaayam. But the problem with RGV is that he is so obsessed with some themes, he ends up throwing the same story on to audience many a times. His Shiva, James and a future production used the same theme. His Gayam, Sathya loosely follow the same track. His protagonists in Gaayam, Antham & Satya don’t talk much.

Further, RGV is inspired by some specific movies, he ended up copying them frame to frame. Godfather theme is seen in Gaayam, Sathya, Company, Antham. His earlier movies Kshana Kshanam was a complete lift from a 1984 Hollywood movie “Romancing The Stone” (Michael Douglas, Catherine Turner). Sridevi’s shivering dialogue of “Devuda..Devudaa..” can be seen in Turner’s expressions in the first few scenes on her arrival in South America. The scene where a villager gets out of the bus with his Pig in hands, is a direct lift. The theme that a ransom is kept somewhere and the protagonists chase the ransom is retold in a desi style. The green woods of South America are replaced with a hyderabadi neighborhood. Some of the shots taken by Ramu were completely inspired :) by director Robert Zemeckis of Romancing The Stone. Watch it if you get a chance.

As I said earlier, RGV’s obsession with Romancing The Stone is carried into “Daud”. Rememeber, the “My father is a great hunter” dialogue in Daud? That is a character in Romancing The Stone, who is a south American villager who admires/loves the heroine and helps the heroine (and thus hero) to get out of the trouble in the locale. So much to creative/inspirational direction!

However, Ramu’s taking is really brilliant in some of his movies. Be it Antham, be it Anaganaga Oka Roju (they screened it special for us in Vijayawada – Urmila & RGV came to our campus). I love Gaayam so much that I saw it countless times. I never bothered about the story. I just loved the narration. The thoughtful songs penned by Sirivennela were an asset to the movie (will write on that some other time). The taking was brilliant.

Trivia: If my memory serves me right, the blooper in Gayam is that, the Hero & Villian uses the same car (or the taxi from same company). There will be one scene where the Hero is shown leaving in his car. You note the banner on the car. The next scene will have the Villain arriving from Delhi. He walks out of the airport and gets into his car. You will see the same banner on the car.

To sum up all my banter, I’d say, RGV & his students should start connecting with audience while making their films. We don’t want to throw our hard earned money into Aag!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

RGV’s new movies – Contract & Phoonk

Director Ram Gopal Varma started moving away from the under world topic and moved on to terrorism as a theme for his next movie Contract. The film casts newcomers Sakshi Gulati & Adhvik Mahajan.

I’d say, terrorism is not new to RGV. He’s been terrorizing the audience with his Kaun & Aag like flicks ;) His fetish for horror still continues, as he is about to dish out another horror movie “Phoonk”. It has the Kannada hero Sudeep in the leading role. This is one of the best selections that RGV made after his gimmicks with newcomers and his Matondkar & Kothari’s. Sudeep was famous for his neat action in Sparsha, Huccha & Ranga SSLC. I hope he will do good in this role.

Phoonk is a story on black-magic & witchcraft. All my Telugu readers can safely assume that the story could be on the lines of famous novels of Yandamuri Veerendranath. He wrote a series of horror novels in 80s – Tulasi Dalam, Tulasi, Ashtavakra, Kaashmora. All these were tried on silver screen and have badly fared in the past. I saw the Tulasi movie with Rajendraprasad playing the Kaadra role. I found it ok, but some how it didn’t connect with audience. Later the stories were tried on small screen with little success. Then they were tried on smaller screens (I mean, other regional language). All that reminds me the fact that, even RGV’s first attempt on horror theme was loosely based on these novels. Remember Raathri (Hindi: Raath) with Chakri & Revathi?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Songs of Babu

Babu movie, brings the lingering memories of a beautiful song. It used to come on Janaranjani on radio and was always an attention grabber.

It starts with heroine asking the protagonist Sobhan Babu, how she is looking in a dress. He says, his eyes were not enough to see the contours. She offers him to take her eyes too and enjoy! Here it is:

Ennenni Vampulu, Enneni Sompulu
NaakunnavEmo RendE Kannulu!!
Ela? Ela? Elaa ChoosEdi? Edi ChoosEdi?

Chalakunte, Kaavalante, Naavi Kooda Teesuko
Tanivi Teera Choosuko! Nee Tanivi Teera Choosuko!

And so on..
Now that we are in the re-mix era, I dont get surprised, if a Smitha re-mixes this sometime!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Director VVN Aditya, Ileana & Other thoughts

Director VN Aditya signs up Ileana to pair with Nitin for his next film. The film is about to start later this month after he is done with his current work “Rainbow”.

Talking about Aditya, I always wonder why this talented director is unable to get back on the success track that he promised with his first movie, “Manasantha Nuvve”. He was one of those few folks who planned his career in Tollywood and started his preparation from his college days at P.B. Siddhartha College at Vijayawada. He followed it up with apprenticeship under top directors. The notable one was as an assistant director under Singitham Srinivasa Rao for Bhairava Dweepam, which was a blockbuster hit.

He sure has a keen eye for beauty, as does his guru K Raghavendra Rao. It is amply displayed in “Sriram”, “Manasu Maata Vinadhu”, “Boss”. The picturization of “Tiya Teeyani Kalalanu Kandame Telusu” song on Anitha & Uday Kiran was brilliant and sensual. It was one such songs which makes us believe that he is one of the few sensible directors who pays attention to good and relevant lyrics in movies – I liked the feeling “Ennallaina NenundiPogalanu Nee Kougillalo!” that too coming from a heavy voice of Bombay Jayshree

Looking at all the five six movies that he did so far, I safely conclude that he better go back to the winning formula of cut n paste that he used for “Manasantha Nuvve”. The story of his first movie was loosely (or tightly?) based on the old Shobhan Babu, Lakshmi & Vanishree starrer titled “Babu”. In that movie, Shobhan Babu and Vanishree get separated when they were kids. The only memory that can join them was a rupee coin which they split into two parts ( a head & a tail of course) and keep one piece each. Now they get separated and grow up. Heroine Lakshmi, gets in to make it a triangle as she starts wooing our hero. Finally, somehow the childhood friend Vanishree comes in, lives with hero, gets to know him, tease him without revealing her identity and finally joins him.

That’s a cute story and lot of scope for romantic drama that Aditya created as Manasanta Nuvve. He added some more romantic interludes from other good movies in to his first venture. One that comes to my mind was when the hero Uday Kiran holds heroine Reema Sen’s hand and asks her to apologize. She teasingly threatens him – Ippudu vadalaka pothe, jeevithantham ilaage pattukovaali!!” (If you don’t leave my hand now, you will have to hold it forever = marriage). This was a fantastic scene which touched me, when I first saw it in a Vijaya Nirmala & Krishna movie – I guess that was a movie by name “Meena”.

So, my advice to Aditya is that there are many such romantic dramas that can be taken out from Tollywood history and can be retold to the current audience. Go back to the board, pl!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mallepuvvu blossoms again

The new Mallepuvvu seems to make news with its Tamil & Hindi rights already booked by Ilayaraja & Bhoomika Chawla. The movie takes its name from Natabhushana Shobhan Babu’s all time classic, Mallepoovu. Lets wait and see how much fragrance does this second mallepoovu brings to the Telugu Cinema.

While on that topic, Mallepoovu has a special place in my memories of Telugu Cinema.

When I was a kid, I was fond of the song “Zimbamba Zimbamba, Bomba Bomba Zim”. Whenever it came on Janaranjani I used to turn the radio full volume on. Whenever mom applied oil to our head, we used to imitate Malish Ramdoss, played by Rao Gopalarao in the movie. I guess R Narayanamurthy of Erra movies played as an assistant to Rao Gopalarao in that movie.

Over the time, when I saw it for the second, third & nth time, I started getting the fragrance of Mallepoovu. All the songs are great hits.

The title song of the movie: “Gagana Veena Sarigamalu Paadaga, Nee Jhaghana Seema swara jatulanaadaga… oho…Lalithaa, Naa Prema Kavitha”.

Then, many a times I lost my self, listening to Devulapalli’s “Chinna Maataa, Oka Chinaa Maata!.... Sande Gaali Veeche, Sanna Jaaji Pooche”. Lakshmi brought so much oomph to the vamp’s character, that the vamp became heroine of the movie.

Perhaps, it is the only tragedy movie that I ever watched for the second time. I normally avoid tragedy movies. As a middle class cine-goer, I believe that we have enough tragedy around us and we need to get the best ROI for the money that we are spending in a theatre. You might’ve noticed that the only fun part of the movie was in Malish Ramdass role.

But, Mallepoovu is different. Be it a helpless crying of the protagonist Venu in “Sakhiyaa! Neeventhati Vanchana Chesaavu, Siri SampadaKammudu Poyaavu,VidaNaaduta Neeku Sulabham, Ninu Viduvadule Naa Hridayam”

Or his desperation in “Evariki Telusu, Chitikina Manasu! – Jagatiki Hridayam Ledani, Naa Janmaki Udayam Lene Ledani”, it somehow connected with the audience and they watched the hero struggling all through the movie.

And then there are some melodies like “Chaka Chaka Saage Chakkani Bullemma” & “Nuvvostaavani Brindaavani”. The movie for sure is a land mark and must-see for all Telugu Movie Fans.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gollapudi at Atlanta

The Telugu Association of Atlanta ( conducted some events over the weekend. While it is taking up initiatives to start a Telugu course at Emory University, I was more interested in the get-together with renowned writer, actor Gollapudi Maruthi Rao.

Gollapudi as many Telugu cinema goers acknowledge, is a versatile artist. He had an illustrious film career as a villain, comedian and character artiste. I still remember his role in Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya. No one else could have played that role to that perfection. Another memorable role was that he played in Smasaram Oka Chadarangam.

However, I admire Gollapudi more as a writer than as an actor. In fact, he rose to stardom through his writings. Not many know that he was one of the best screen play writers of Telugu cinema. He won acclaims for his work in 1965 for the film Dr Chakravarty. He had many more popular films in his kitty as a screenplay writer.

His contribution to Telugu Stage is even more greater. Some of the finest stage plays were penned by him since his college days, and during his stay at Andhra Prabha and during his All India Radio career. He wrote the critically acclaimed “Kallu” which was later made into a movie.

I am a fan of the writer Gollapudi, who used to write a weekly column – Jeevana Kaalalm - in Andhra Jyoti. I used eagerly await to read his satirical writings on contemporary politics and social issues. It inspired me in many of my own writings. One of the characters of his column is “Om Namassivaya”. He brought subtle humor with the innocent ramblings of om namassivaya with the author.

With the demise of his youngest son, Srinivas, in 1992, Gollapudi’s career as an actor, as a writer has calmed down. He sounded more philosophical then on. The last I saw him was as an anchor in a TV show. I guess it was Praja Vedika on Gemini TV. He has a great voice and an exceptional ability of expressing his thoughts in lucid Telugu. I wish this great man lives a happier life and dishes out many more writings, acts that enthralls all of us.

For more on Gollapudi, pl visit his site