thupaki ramudu

As a protagonist of Telangana state, it was a kind of a dream movie for me. There are many reasons for it. One of the first reasons was the “local accent” of the movie.  I was never comfortable with the Andhra accent that smacked of “internal colonialism” in the Telugu movies both in accent and content. It reflects the urge of the Telangana people to see their accent in the popular movies which was a far off dream for them before the formation of the state. This movie is one of the many growing number of cases where the local slang is having a “deep connect” with the people.

One must only appreciate the role played by various channels in harnessing the local talent through local idiom. In fact one only fails why the established channels did not give the opportunities to the local accent.  One does not fail to see the link between the ownership and the content of the programmes. It is not innocence that explains the matter but a deliberate design.

Thupaki Ramudu is also very important for many other reasons. It very beautifully explains how the human relations in India are mediated through hierarchical notions ingrained in the minds of the people through caste but not on the basis of equal moral worth of the people as is the case all over the world. The director choosing to select the India’s perennial evil i.e. caste as theme is really noteworthy. How caste had been working as a quicksand for the forward movement of the nation has consumed the attention of people in India for many centuries. As a neighbour of China, one does not fail to compare India with the former in all spheres of life including science and economy as well as military. Every one by now realised that India is lagging far behind China. There are many reasons offered for it and one of the most important one is caste. Caste is a quagmire in India which had really crippled the whole of the nation. It is that serious an issue on which unfortunately the current cinema, given the ease with which it can penetrate into the masses so easily as a sphere had not focussed much of its attention.

What is so noteworthy about the cinema is the casting. Priya the heroine and Satti as hero had done excellent justice to their characters having come from first generation backgrounds.  The heroine Priya is an example for the equal moral worth of all human beings. She is a test case to say that given an opportunity any person can excel in any field.

Capitalism had made human being almost de-human in the sense that person as human being had forgotten the fact that a person can really laugh and make others laugh which medical field had confirmed as one of the greatest stress busters.  In the era of rat race a person  has really forgotten that tribute. One can only recollect the laughing therapies and the laughing exercises that have become a new normal in the recent past in India for that matter all over the world. Bittiri Satti had really marvelled in making even serious people laugh which is not a small feat. One can only recollect the scene in which he tries to cover up his torn pant with one hand and his mouth with another. The auto journey surrounded by the eunuchs and his natural comment that “he will take out money from the pockets” makes people to laugh till one tears his or her stomach. The other instance is the way he drove the auto as an inexperienced driver and his comment that “even the dog is driving bike and what is so special about him in driving the auto”. Comedy is at its best there.

As far as the golden girl Priya is concerned the apt choice for movie, one fails to notice that it is her first movie. I for a moment thought that she is very experienced in the industry with at least many movies. But the moment one realises that she is acting for the first time in the movies, one can’t ignore her gifted talent in acting which is very natural. The way she embodies herself as a village strong willed person who does not brook any injustice is strikingly brought out in the bust where she slaps the teaser.  What is very noteworthy is that she very brilliantly embodied herself as a morally strong in spite of physical handicap. One of the other very striking facets of her character in the movie is that all her dialogues are very brief and precise with full of meaning and perfect matching facial expressions.  Her ability to express difficult emotions through expressions is an extraordinary ability in contrast to the modern movies in which the inability of the hero or heroine is compensated either through a powerful story or through efficient villain or a comedian.  Today unfortunately acting is equated with gun wielding and trigger pulling which is more glaring in modern Telugu movies though a new normal.  One can easily notice this in Telugu movies as the heroes or heroines are promoted by the established cinema family mafias. In Telugu cinema the undeclared qualification to become either a hero or heroine is one’s own pedigree. With a million dollar smile on her highly expressive face, she did full justice to her character. She literally imbibed the psychology of a physically handicapped person and the concomitant behaviour i.e. diffidence which one usually notices in all physically challenged people. There is literally no scene throughout the movie in which she looked unnatural. The most remarkable yet very difficult scene was dragging her-self with chopped off legs on the path strewn with roses to the gate of the house which the altruistic Ramudu has arranged for. The director did not reveal the plot until that movement is very marvellous. But the only lacuna which I noticed is that her dance which should have been a little better but may be the director wanted it to be that way as it is a  handicapped person who is dancing.  Her few but brilliant steps for the dance jodedla bandi …..on the roof top seem to be a pointer to her ability to dance. Unfortunately the movie does not portray her as a good dancer in which she is not lagging either.

The director however seem to have woven the movie with more coherence as there so many gaps in the order. The producer’s own song had dominated the movie.

Anjaiah Gorlakapary, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Banaras Hindu University


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