(by SI blog reader Asha Tampa)
It is amazing how, after a period of more than 50 years a movie can continue to enthrall audiences of all ages – perhaps now more so than ever, considering it’s just been released in color.
Having seen Mayabazar umpteen times since my childhood, it was pure pleasure to watch it on the big screen with more life thrown into the characters, if it was possible.
Of course, they could’ve done well without all the make-up that was glaringly obvious in the color version – I liked Ghatotkacha better without lipstick on, and when Lord Krishna was not painted blue.
Perhaps the success of the movie must fully be attributed to the larger-than-life acting; each and every one of the actors is par excellence. Relangi as Lakshmana Kumara demands special mention – his immortal role induces laughter in every frame he is in – whether it’s primping before his mirror, acting the spoilt brat, or singing for the pseudo-Sasirekha.
I watched this movie last night, and I am still humming – Aaha na pelli anta, Vivaha bhojanambu, Neevena nanu pilichinadi, Sundari oho sundari are my favorites from the plethora of songs.
Ghatotkacha’s magical powers induced scenes are also a treat to watch; unlike really crude graphics and primitive special effects that we see in other movies of that age, the cinematic effects look completely natural.
To sum it up, the movie is based on a fictional story famously known to the Telugu population as Sasirekha Parinayam.
Sasirekha is the daughter of Baladeva, elder brother of Lord Krishna; she has been promised in marriage to Abhimanyu, Subhadra’s son even when they were both kids.
In a spurt of generousness Baladeva agrees to get her married off to Duryodhana’s son, Lakshmana Kumara. Enter Ghatotkacha, Bhima’s son, who has been assigned the job of getting the right people married to the right people.
What follows is pure chaos, reminiscent of a Wodehouse tale.
SV Ranga Rao, NTR, Gummadi, Savitri, Akkineni, Ramana Reddy, Chhaya Devi, Suryakantham – it is as if the crème de la crème of the Telugu film industry came together to make this movie, hell bent on creating a masterpiece.
And create it, they did.