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Chenchu Lakshmi (1958)

Banner: B.A.S. Prod
Director: B.A. Subba Rao
Music: Saluri Rajeshwara Rao
Story: V. Sadasiva Brahmam
Dialogues: V. Sadasiva Brahmam
Lyrics: V. Sadasiva Brahmam ,Arudra., Kosaraju, Samudrala Raghavacharya
Cinematography: C. Nageshwara Rao
A. Nageshwara Rao,
Anjali Devi,
Relangi Venkatramaiah,
S.V. Ranga Rao,
Gummadi Venkateshwara Rao,
Master Babji
Story: Musical mythological, remade from S. Soundararajan's hit of 1943, featuring Vishnu (Nageshwara Rao) in his two best-known incarnations: the boar (Varaha) and the man-lion (Narasimha). Not invited to the celestial marriage of Vishnu and Lakshmi (Anjali Devi), Durvasa banishes Lakshmi's parents to earth as common people. There, Lakshmi is reborn as a tribal. The film intercuts her story on earth with the heavenly tale of Hiranyakashapu (Ranga Rao) who cannot be killed by man or beast. The demon's son Prahlada (Balaji), devoted to Vishnu, survives several murder attempts by his own father until finally Vishnu kills Hiranyakashapu using his Narasimha avatar. The heaven-earth split allows the film to deploy two narrative styles: the mythological one and a folk idiom (cf. Anjali Devi as a restrained goddess and a coquettish earthling). Her performance and Rajeshwara Rao's music helped the film's commercial success. In 1958, a hugely successful 'Chenchu Lakshmi' had the story of Prahlada in it, with SV Ranga Rao as Hiranyakasyapa and Pushpavalli (Rekha's mother) as Leelavati, her son Babji as Prahlada and Relangi as Narada.

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