Tollywood takes divine path
Hyderabad: Love stories are the order of the day in Tollywood. They have been so for a decade now and directors, short of ideas, have explored every conceivable angle from stalkers to ghosts ('Arundhati', a movie about a lecherous ghost and a princess is going to be remade in Hindi with Kareena Kapoor in the lead).
Some of them tickle the funny bone, get the adrenaline pumping and hormones racing while many others simply burn a hole in the pocket, if not the heart.
Amid this flood of bitter-sweet good-for-nothings have come 'Vedam', 'Gamyam' (Destination), 'Athadu' (He), 'Chirunavvutho' (With a smile) and 'Khaleja' (Courage), that are based on the Vedantic ideals. And the minds behind this 'philosophical revolution' are directors Jagarlamudi Radhakrishna, popularly known as Krish and Trivikram Srinivas.
Krish, director of the critically-acclaimed movies, 'Vedam' and 'Gamyam', depicts the manifestation of the divine in his characters without religious overtones.
''Vedam' for me means knowledge; it also means a question on the purpose of our existence,' he says. 'Gamyam' is about self-discovery through various life experiences and 'Vedam' is about being human and responsible towards society, he adds.
The films, both big hits, deal with love that encompasses everyone and not necessarily one's sweetheart. His inspiration, not surprisingly, is the Bhagavad Gita.
'I may not follow everything mentioned in it, but I take excerpts from it and incorporate them in films,' says Krish. His favourite philosopher? 'Krishna, of course. His deeds are very noble and intended for the society. He has his own charisma,' says Krish, whose next movie is all about Krishna Tatvam.
Titled 'Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum', it is not about the stereotyped Raasa Leela of the lord. 'It has a streak of Krishna's teachings and their relevance in modern society which is in a way similar to the Mahabharata.'
The media shy Trivikram is even subtler than Krish. In his last release, 'Khaleja', starring Mahesh Babu, the writer-cum-director adapted James Cameron's 'Avatar' to the Indian context.
The plot is the same except that it takes place on Earth and instead of the blue tribals, villagers in a remote corner face the existential threat from an entrepreneur. A young man, believed to be an avatar by villagers, saves them and the process makes him a realised soul.
Trivikram's characterisation of the protagonist in almost all his films as a detached and stoic man with Daivi (divine) qualities has earned him laurels.
But do producers back such directors and scripts? D Suresh Babu, who is producing Krish's next film, says, 'Our audience wants a lot of interesting material.
But at the same time, they will like it if it is layered with a good subject. Most of the times, we just try and make commercial films. In this movie, Krish is trying to keep all the commercial elements, but is layering it with a lot of Indian cultural elements.'
Babu also draws examples from yesteryear classics. 'Shankara Bharanam', which championed the cause of classical music and dance, was a hit. We are trying to recreate something similar.' His son Rana Daggubati is playing the lead in the film and the father hopes 'this movie will do a lot of good for his career'.
News Posted: 6 May, 2012
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