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Movie review - Thiladanam
amrutha movie
(by MLN)

Reviewer: ML narasimham
Banner: NFDC
Cast: H.G. Dattatreya, Jaya Sheel, Brahmaji, Tanikella Bharani, AVS, Prasad Babu, Annapurna, Athili Lakshmi
Photography: Sunny Joseph
Music: L. Vaidyanathan
Editing: Sreekar Prasad
Story: Rentala Nageswara Rao
Screenplay - Direction: KNT Sastry
Producer: National Film Development Corporation, Hyderabad

Theatrical Release Date: unknown


Money is the most alienating factor in the society. Film scribe turned filmmaker K.N.T. Sastry's directorial debut, "Tiladaanam" lays emphasis on this Karl Marxian theory, with a realistic portrayal sans melodrama.

Subramanya Sastry (Played by H.G. Dattatreya) is a much-respected Vedic scholar and priest in his native village. But unable to make out a living there, he moves to the city along with his daughter-in-law Padma (Jaya Sheel). His son Raghuram (Brahmaji) becomes a naxalite. In the city, he becomes 'tiladaanam' Subbaiah, as he accepts the daanam given to ward off the evil effects of Saturn and as a corpse carrier. Old and haggard, he is a dumb spectator of the fall in values in his profession and modernization of the society, which has made the smaller minions of his group (represented by Thanikella Bharani and A.V.S.) to forego human kindness.

On the other side, his young and energetic son Raghuram, who dreams of becoming part of a new order is, in the process, hounded by the police.

On the night the child is born to him, Raghuram clandestinely comes to his house, only to be challenged by the police (led by Prasad Babu).

In the milieu, Raghuram escapes, killing a cop. He now carries a reward of Rs. One lakh. On his return, he finds his family in penury. By then, he becomes disillusioned with the movement and surrenders to the police through a trusted friend, so that the friend can collect the reward and give it to his family.

But the shock of this son's surrender kills Subbaih. Padma calls for the municipal van to dispose to the body. She waits in vain for the reward for two years.

The friend amasses the reward money. Sastry concludes on the note that money is the root cause for all sins. Dattatreya as Subramanya Sastry, on whom the central plot revolves, has underplayed his role as per the script.

He has excelled in the scene in which he requests the 'rich and arrogant purohits' A..V.S. and Bharani to come to his home to perform the navagraha shanty; and in the subsequent scene where he expresses to the deity at the temple.

Brahamji as the confused youth is adequate. The wordy duel between the father and the son, with punchy dialogues, is thought provoking. Caught between the two, daughter -in-law Jaya Sheel has essayed her role with less of dialogue and more of expression. She impresses in the scene where she picks up the small change from the plate given to her by Subbaih. Other mainstream artistes Annapurna and Athili Lakshmi have performed well.

L. Vaidyanathan's background score sets the mood, with brisk editing by Sreekar Prasad and candid camera work by Sunny Joseph.

As a beginner, K.N.T. Sastry has done a neat job, selecting a rather complicated theme. But he could have added a few more scenes and dwelled deep into the psyche of the principle characters, instead of abruptly ending some characters and sequences.

This would have helped the movie go commercial. But now, the film's screening is restricted to film fests, like the earlier NFDC Telugu production, K.S. Sethumadavan's 'Stree'.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>End of Thiladaanam Film Review
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