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Producer:Edida Nageswara rao

Sharat Babu

He might have recently given a nightmare of a movie called Anumanaspadam recently, but Vamsi's caliber is unquestioned. With hits like Anveshana, Ladies Tailor, April 1 Vidudhala, Avunu Vallidaru Ishtapaddaru he has a style that is easily distinguishable.

His journey started with assisting various big directors for the production house Purnodaya Movie Creations. He debuted with Manchu Pallaki, but the movie failed to make a mark. His second directorial venture was with Purnodaya Movie Creations, with Edida Nageswara Rao producing it.

Mahallo Kokila was a novel this talented maker wrote during his assisting days. The novel was about a zamindar's sister who becomes an actress, an intriguing subject. Vamsi put in tremendous amount of research while writing it. Sitara was born.

The story goes thus: Kokila lives in a fort with her brother Chander (Sharath Babu), a bankrupt landlord who goes around courts for his property. She falls in love with Raju (Suman), a street theatre actor who comes to her village fair. Chander finds out about this romance, kills Raju and himself. Broken and distraught, Kokila flees the village and is found by Devadasu, a photographer, on the train. She becomes a star and renamed Sitara, and a book is written about her life which she reveals to Devadasu. After many hurdles she decides to give up on life herself, when in the end, Raja comes back, alive and kicking. All's well that ends well.

Vamsi and Ilayaraja -
one of the greatest combinations of Telugu cinema.
Jandhyala's associate Sainath wrote the screenplay. DOP MV Raghu used the round trolley in the movie, making it the first South Indian movie to have used it and set a trend. Purnodaya's regular Sharath Babu, Suman who was already a few films old were cast in the roles of Chander and Raju respectively. JV Somayajulu, fresh from the super success of Shankarabaranam was cast as a lawyer. Producer Edida Nageswara Rao's son Sriram was supposed to play Devadasu, a role 'Subhalekha' Sudhakar played while he portrayed a journalist named Tilak. Saikumar dubbed for Suman while Laxmi (sister of S. Janaki) dubbed for Bhanupriya.

Bhanupriya was a film old, that too in Tamil. Bharatiraja-P. Vasu directed a Tamil movie which had her in the lead. Sitara marks the debut of this sparkly-eyed beauty. The fact that she was a trained danseuse was an added advantage for the role of Kokila/Sitara.

What marks this movie is the music. Ilayaraja and Vamsi's fabulous combination begins here. During the post-production of the movie, those who saw the rushes gave negative comments, while Ilayaraja loved the movie. For those who thought it was a drag, Ilayaraja gave a powerful background score which plays a character by itself in the movie. The songs are a highlight for the movie.

Vamsi eccentric and highly individualistic style of shooting, especially songs, is displayed right from Sitara. The song 'Kukuku...Kokila Rave' was picturized entirely on hands and feet! The movie, much to the nervous producer's relief, completed a run of 100 days in 12 centers.

Sitara won Best Regional Movie, Best Regional Playback (Female): S. Janaki for 'Vennello Godari Andam' and Best Audiographer: SP Ramanathan. Bhanupriya became a huge star after this. Sridevi wanted it to be remade in Hindi and Ilayaraja wanted a Tamil version, both of which Vamsi politely refused. Sitara is a movie that has unforgettable songs; it also marks the beginning of Vamsi's spate of memorable movies.

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Early Tollywood

1 Comment:

John said...

can you get any info about the rajmahal used for shooting in sithara movie, where it was....? have any pics...? so good editing and picturization revolving around the mahal

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