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Away From Extremist Path
Cast: R Narayana Murthi, Prabha, Shakuntala, Lahari, Mallikarjuna Rao and Others.
Camera: G Chiranjeevi.
Dialogue: YS Krishneshwara Rao.
Editing: Mohan-Rama Rao.
Story, Music, Producer & Direction: R Narayana Murthy.
Banner: Sneha Chitra Pictures.
Bhadra (Narayana Murthi) is the son of Prabha. And this character comes much later into the drama. Actually it is the oath he takes on her, which forms the central point of the drama. The first oath is to destroy the persons who killed his father, a great Saivait (also played by Narayana Murthy) and then the second oath is to kill the second villain in the drama Gowtham Sankar, after he comes to know that Sankar, who is the incumbent president of the village, not only used the second wife of the former president of the village, as his concubine but also raped her daughter, almost before, Bhadra's nuptials with her, pretty well knowing that Bhadra got married to her.
There is a flashback in this drama after the real mother (Prabha) reveals her identity and then is abused by her son Bhadra, for selling him away to another woman (Shakuntala). This is kept secret from everybody. Only when her son questions her why she sold him away, Prabha starts narrating her story. His father was a great man of the village and a Siva Bhakta. There is a Siva Lingam in the village, which is the presiding deity of the place. The moment the old man learns that the president of the village has annexed all the property donated by previous kings to the temple, he makes it his mission to trouble them and take back the land. But the culprits murder him and the idol is shifted to the neighboring village. Prabha then asks his son, a child then, to avenge the killing of his father and also restore the idol shifted from that place to its original place. Her father-in-law suddenly falls sick and to raise money for the treatment, Prabha has to sell away the child to Shakunatala and her husband Mallikarjuna Rao. Now that the old man also dies of shock after knowing she sold away his grandchild, she is brought to the village court and is banned from the village.
The film actually opens showing grown-up Bhadra believing Shakuntala is his real mother. Now that everything is clear to him and the present president Sankar began destroying them, Bhadra takes upon the job of annihilating the villains one by one, which forms the last part of the drama. He also comes to know that Sankar even raped his wife, soon after they are wed, when he had to visit the hospital to save the pregnancy of his sister. By the time he returns his wife is found raped and is in dying condition as she had already swallowed poison. Police arrive to arrest Bhadra as it is reported that he was responsible for the killing of the former president, as reported in FIR by the former president's step wife.
The story is quite complex and has many twists in the two phases of its narration including the flashback. This can be regarded as one of the best films Narayana Murthy made so far. Once the Siva Lingam comes into focus and the story of Bhadra's father gets unwinding, a devotional atmosphere prevails and also the narration and the make up given to the character of Bhadra's father casts a kind of folklore atmosphere. Prabha offers brilliant performance. So does Shakunatala. Narayana Murthy underplays certain parts, when needed, but once he realizes that his mother was made the victim by the villains, he plays extremely well as a man on the prowl to punish the persons who troubled them. Besides, Narayana Murthy wanted to bring to our attention all the problems that the society faces today including temple land sale. The film gained by the presence of good artistes, some picked up from theatre. The child sentiment is well played up and the song given to the character of the child, is moving. It is a well-made film worth watching by all.