July 26, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Our minds are so crowded that we do not want to take some time off to think in solitude, reflect and question ourselves. Why do we always run behind cinema that churns out the same trash every Friday and why have got used to so much mediocrity that we do not want to even appreciate the creative enthusiasm of a director? We want cushioning, we do not want any questions asked, we despise anyone who rewrites grammar and take pleasure in heightened expectations that fit into a set formula. We want the same screenplay beginning with the introduction song of the hero and ending with the fights interspersed with spoofs of popular heroes. Demand, supply is the answer.
While the word 'commercial cinema' is order of the day, any poster that has an artiste, dressed as a senior citizen in dhoti and kurta, bespectacled is bound to keep youth away but..give it a thought why Rajendra Prasad and why not someone? Rajendra Prasad must have been an obvious choice after Aa Naluguru and Mee Sreyobhilashi in Onamalu that revolves around a village. Narayana Rao master recollects all the sweet memories of his village while travelling from the airport in a car to his place.
The entire first half of the film is shown while he converses with the cab driver, alights at a restaurant for lunch and as he reaches the village he reaches the interval point too. In this journey and after reaching the village he gets to meet his students at regular spaces and they all have become something or nothing.
The first scene shows Rajendra Prasad in New York, a beautiful home and a flight touching down in India, the director fakes all that but gets down to serious business soon. The strength of the film is the dialogue writer and the cinematographer. The intention of the director is very clear, he shows the ideal village in India where air is pure and people don't think twice in feeding people. The philosophy behind the thought is simple, just keep feeding and God will ensure you are never short of food.
Religious amity, value for relations are all something we have seen before but such scenes appear very valuable, we derive a sort of pleasure while sensing all this has gone amiss. simplicity and positivity are virtues of the village and the master puts everything behind when it comes to educating the students. In a scene the master spends time in front of the mirror grooming himself and his wife asks why and he has a convincing answer that plesantly surprises you. We know all this but haven't we forgotten it?
Ditto with the village. As we live in packed apartments, no space for a patch of green and no time for communicating, we tend to see this cinema with a fresh perspective. A small talk on Onamalu is abusing one's mother. For Rajendra Prasad it is a cake walk, he has done far more emotional and better work before but here he reacts and lectures with wit (on one occasion he explains the meaning of adda gadida, it is horizontal donkey) subtelty and sometimes assertion and yes, the preaching is necessary; He is a teacher.
Kalyani does a very good job and they make a fine pair. Lyrical beauty adds to the greenery and also describes the pathos and pain the master undergoes. Director Kranti Madhav's narration exudes sincerity, honesty and sense of purpose. He hasn't left any lesson untouched, those ignorant can learn a few and the learned ones can go through them once again. Raghu Babu is adorable as Erramanzil and credible performances from Chalapati Rao and Siva Parvati. Join Narayana Rao master in the shower of memories.